Your Daily Phil

Archive for August, 2007

Interesting bit of info about the RIAA

Posted by lozenp on August 21, 2007

So as anyone who reads this blog will know, I’m not a big fan of Digital Rights Management (DRM) or any other type of hard-handed copyright technology that prevents me from enjoying something that I legally bought in any manner I would like. As such, the Recording Industy Association of America’s (RIAA) recent string of blackmail lawsuits have really boiled my blood.

Forgetting for a moment that they went after a disabled single mother, that they dealt Internet Radio a crippling blow when they backed the per song fee increase, and that they have tried to cut the legal system out of the picture by sending threatening blackmail letters to people they claim have infringed on copyright demanding $1000, let’s look at how they actually make their cases against people.

The RIAA claims that making songs available over a file-sharing network like KaZaa, Limewire, etc., is copyright infringement. This is before anyone has even downloaded that file. And in a interesting piece of irony, the only way the RIAA can prove a file has been downloaded is when it’s own investigator, MediaSentry, has downloaded that file.

Further, the RIAA has not been able to establish that any infringement has actually taken place, nor do any of their complaints allege any actual acts of infringement, which the Digital Millennium Copyright Act says must take place in order for a case to actually be brought against someone.

The short of it is, with this type of argument if you put a song on the Internet from home, so that you could go to work and put it on your work PC, the RIAA could send you a copyright infringement notice and demand $1,000, even though you’ve not actually done anything wrong.

Once again, I must reiterate that I don’t condone taking songs off the Internet for free. If your entire music library was obtained for free, then I feel you are breaking the law.

However, the type of baseless lawsuits being brought by the RIAA and the Motion Picture Association of America are preventing law-abiding consumers like you and me from being able to enjoy our DVD, CD and MP3 collections the way we want to enjoy them.

A interesting side note to this is that it seems DRM is slowly breaking down, as both iTunes and now Wal Mart are offering DRM-free downloads from their music stores.

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