Audio Battle Follow-up


First of all, happy new year. Not sure what 2008 will bring but if nothing else it will bring a lot of political commercials. Oh, wait… That’s not a good thing. Oh well.

Anyway, I’ve been going round-and-round with a technology advisor’s group I belong to. This group is stocked with well-off, staunch conservatives who believe that capitalism is always right and that we all would be better off in the hands of the corporate elite. Of course they wouldn’t see it that way but that’s how it is.

Several of them are arguing that the act of ripping your music from a CD is illegal. None of them can point me to anything that shows this is illegal. One attempted to but pointed me to the Copyright Act of 1976. This is the same document the Supreme Court used to make its case that fair use included ripping CD’s.

As I noted, the real battle here is the hidden one regarding the industry’s desire to force us all into a PPL (Pay-Per-Listen) model or as close as they can get to it. One of the guys refuted this by suggesting that the industry brought us digital downloads. Yeah, they brought it to us about as much as Christ brought the world crucification.

The music industry was dragged, kicking and screaming into the digital format.

In 2005 in the case MGM v. Grokster, lead council for the RIAA and the music industry told the Supreme Court:

The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it’s been on their website for some time now, that it’s perfectly lawful to take a CD that you’ve purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.

That was when they thought that CD’s were a major player in how people would populate the iPod‘s. Once they realized people were boycotting CD’s their tune changed. They then came to see CD’s and their stance as an impediment to selling people digital versions of songs and now they want to change the rules again.

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