Friday, January 04, 2008

RIAA Revisited

I think the RIAA has stuck its head into a hornets nest. It seems the latest flap is going to boil down to fair use of legally purchased digital music whether the RIAA wants it to or not.

First up, there seems to be doubt about the accuracy of the original story in the Washington Post. The RIAA is very publicly going after Fisher, who wrote the article. And it looks like they have reason to at this point. But notice that nowhere will you find an RIAA source that will flat-out say that copying a CD to your hard drive or iPod is OK. Instead we get, "Not a single (legal) case has ever been brought (by the RIAA against someone for copying music for personal use). Not a single claim has ever been made." Which is true. It is also true that that statement does not say that the RIAA views copying for personal use to be legal/moral/whatever. In fact, the RIAA has been behind every attempt to block just this thing. If the RIAA really wants to clarify the issue, then just say so in plain language and quit dancing around the issue.

Washington Post backs off. The RIAA has yet to issue a point-blank statement saying that the owner of a CD has the legal right to make as many personal-use copies of it on as many different platforms and formats as he chooses.

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