Thursday, February 16, 2006


I've always thought that one of the most powerful images in 20th Century literature is at the end of For The Good of the Cause: the moment when, having handed over his newly-built college and agreed to start building again on what remains of the school lands, the principal looks out to see the local party chief trying to move the fence to grab just a little more from them.

Effectively moving the fenceposts: The RIAA is now trying to deny its earlier acceptance that we have the right to put music we've bought onto other things like our iPods and back-up CDs.

Although an RIAA brief told the supreme court last year that "[t]he 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", they're now trying to change the rules, as they put forward a plea to to the DCMA rule-makers:

"[n]or 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."

In other words, you'd need to ask for permission every time you put a CD onto your iPod.

And, also:

"Similarly, creating a back-up copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use...."

[Thanks to David Scott for the tip]


Ian Snappish said...

The odd thing is that they already tried this tack back in the 1990s when Diamond launched the Rio. And they lost.

Anonymous said...
has a good campaign going on to try to stop this sort of nonsense. It might be over ambitious but it makes sense.

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