RIAA Says Your iPod is a Crime

The RIAA says ripping CDs to your iPod is illegal.

s the substance of a filing submitted by the RIAA during the ongoing digital copyright wrangling in Washington.

This maneuver reneges on their statement made during MGM v Grokster that,
s perfectly lawful to take a CD, upload it to your computer, put it on your iPod.

Similarly, the same filing said,
creating a back-up copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use.

re just going to strap on a phonograph and only listen to honky-tonk cartridges.

RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use
[Electronic Frontier Foundation]


Edit Your Comment

  1. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Good night! These people have almost zero credibility. I mean am I actually just paying for the disc or am I paying for what’s on it? Does this mean that only music purchased from iTunes can legally be put on my iPod? Are iPods the only acceptable MP3 player per the RIAA. Maybe the RIAA should just tell us what they want us to do. Maybe a pay pal site where I drop in a nickel every time I play a song or something like that.

  2. mrscolex says:

    Careful to the knee-jerkers out here, I don’t have a thing personally against Cory Doctorow but I believe it was his boingboing that broke the news on this yesterday. It’s since been picked up and carried by the EFF (of whom Cory is still an influential member of).

    Cory has a copy of the quote that he based his interpretation on and in legalese it doesn’t say that copying your CD’s to your iPod is not fair use.

    Nowhere in the quote does it say that. I suspect we would need to see the full transcript to understand what Mr. McRIAA’s context was, but here is the quote that everyone is flipping out about:

    “Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorization, not about fair use.”

    Note the use of the word particular circumstances, this implies that there is a particular context to his statement. I know gawker media and fark and boingboing are all blogging butt-pirates, but lets make something certain: The RIAA hasn’t (yet) ruled specifically that copying YOUR music to YOUR pc for YOUR iPod is illegal. Infact it doesn’t matter what they say because they aren’t a ruling entity to begin with. The RIAA doesn’t legislate law and the law is on your side when it comes to making copies of your own materials that you buy.

    Not that I expect gawker/fark/and boing boing to share that same sense of journalistic integrity but we’ll end up hearing about this for weeks from disgruntled nerds and its kind of boring to be honest. ;)

  3. non-meat-stick says:

    Good thing I use a Carbon. And to think I almost bought an iPod…

    I agree with RowdyRoddy, the RIAA needs to tell us what they want so we can tell them to fuck off once and for all.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Please note the phrase, “That’s the substance of a filing submitted…”, the second mention of filing and the word “maneuver.”

  5. Kishi says:

    I think the RIAA isn’t going to be happy until the only way we can get their music is to pay them $20, they’ll send a goon over to hum it off key, and then kick you in the stomach before they leave.

  6. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    mrscolex, I’ll see your curmudegonlyness and raise you some joykill ;)

    The issue in MGM vs. Grokster argued before the SC was should there be a test for substantial non-infringing use or is the fact that there is a potential non-infringing use for a technology a sufficient test to shield developers from liability for infringement occuring through the use of their product.

    iPods got into the whole discussion as a Justice brought up the examples of Gutenberg, Xerox, Sony and iPod as examples of technologies that may enable users to infringe upon copyrights. The question was: how should an inventor/developer know in advance which proportion of a given technology will be used legitimately vs. illegitimately? I think it’s a fair question. Verelli’s quote, “that it’s perfectly lawful to take a CD that you’ve purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.” is one of the many forseeable lawful commercial uses of the iPod. The fact that his clients recognize this as a lawful commercial use of the iPod was brought forth to neutralize the argument that the standard asked for by the Petitioner (MGM in this case) would likely result in a restriction on innovation.

    What does this have to do with the EFF article? Bear with me. The filing itself has to do with request for exemption from the prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection schemes. In plain english, don’t make the act of circumventing copyright protection schemes illegal, make actually infrinfing upon copyrights illegal. The snippet quoted by the EFF comes from a footnote to this statement:

    “The submission asserts in its third example, “device and format shifting,” that such activities “are unquestionably fair uses” of lawfully purchased CDs, (C6 at 8); but among those questioning this conclusion is the Register, who noted in 2003 that “proponents have not established that space-shifting or platform-shifting is a noninfringing use.””

    Space-shifting and platform-shifting are not advances from the year 2754, they simply mean copying a cd to your computer or to your iPod. The footnote is incorrect in its assertion that the statement in MGM v. Grokster pertains to authorization, not fair use. Should a user be required to receive authorization from a copyright holder in order to copy legally owned material to another platform, the argument that there is an obvious lawful commercial use for the iPod goes away.

  7. mrscolex says:

    way to step up to the plate RowdyRoddyPiper! I certainly commend you for putting that information together.

    I’m not an apologist for the RIAA but it seems to me that the quote everyone is abuzz about seems to indicate that the copyright holder may have the ability to withhold the authorization to shift formats to the iPod. In this sense, I can see why everyone is on fire about it, but, we all know that the RIAA drinks the blood of small chlidren to sustain itself.

    The geek world getting on fire about this is akin to us burning american flags because the government asks us to pay more taxes. There are certain things you expect the RIAA to do and to attempt to challenge the idea that we are legally able to copy our CD’s to our iPod’s seems more like a court tactic than an actual attempt to stifle our rights.

    Lets be serious– the RIAA won’t get anywhere with that kind of proposal and doomsayers and sensationalists need to take a deep breath and realize that nothing much is really going to change here.

    but seriously though, good job putting that all in perspective. You’ve earned my respect.

  8. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I’ll give the RIAA 3 years to get its shit together. If they can’t get it together by then, it’ll go the way of Enron, WorldCom, and every other dot-bomb that went away after the burst.

  9. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Let’s just wait for Warren Buffett to get pissed off at the RIAA. He has enough money to buy every major record company on the planet and singlehandedly force it to leave RIAA once he’s the majority shareholder.