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CD Ripping - Fair Use or Copyright Infringement?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by MNicolai, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    A lot of people in the sound industry rip CD's, add songs to their collection, etc. But what if CD ripping was illegal?

    Before you run back to your iTunes or Rhapsody, I warn you of DRM and have a couple articles for everyone to read before they respond.

    RIAA: Those CD rips of yours are still "unauthorized"
    Could iTunes users suffer the same fate as Yahoo Music users if iTunes were to fail? - MAC.BLORGE
     
  2. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Interesting articles.

    I would think Fair Use. I wonder if everyone in the RIAA carries tons of CDs with them where ever they go so they can play their music. Probably not. If iTunes were to go belly up, there would be a huge uproar. (Or at least, I would.)

    What I don't understand is how ripping a copy for myself is considered stealing. Either way, I'm still buying the song. I would listen to it on my Computer, anyway, so why not store it on my computer and let the CD rot in my closet? It's a pain to have to get a CD out to only listen to one or two songs, and if I had to do that I probably wouldn't even buy any songs at all, or rarely.

    Personally, I think that once I buy the song, I should be able to do with it what I like, as long as I don't sell/give it to another person which means they won't buy it. That, I think, is stealing in a round-about sort of way - stealing a profit that theoretically exists. Is it stealing if I were to give the song to a person who never would have bought it in the first place? There are so many what-ifs, too much grey area. I guess this system makes it black and white, at least to an extent.

    It's capitalism, pure and simple.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Once again I fail to understand what the people at RIAA are thinking. Besides the fact that every one of them probably has their own iPod filled with songs they ripped off the CDs they own. The problem is that technology has progressed too fast and has left organizations like RIAA antiquated and out of date. I also maintain that people would be more likely to buy music if there was more good music being released instead of 13-15 track albums with 1 song worth listening to. When all you want is that one song, it is too easy to get it at no cost.

    Music has to be easily portable and random, non-linear accessible or people will riot in the streets. We can't go back now that we have the technology. I think RIAA is fighting a loosing battle, they just either don't realize it, or are too stubborn to admit it.
     
  4. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    In New Zealand just this year we have had our copyright law updated. So it is now legal for you to format shift ie rip, if it is just for your use.

    But when they made the changes they put on a sunset clause that this particular part of the law will cease to be legal in a few years. This is so apparently they can reveiw it to see if the law is working OK.

    People were upset this format shifting doesn't apply to video formats.
     
  5. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    That's the obvious catch - the music industry failed to anticipate and take advantage of the technology. There was originally a great plan for downloaded music - you would go to a music store, listen and find the music you want, and then the clerk would burn you a copy. Somehow the big record companies didn't catch on to the idea of giving the user control.

    As far as fair use copies for yourself, it was explained to me by a copyright lawyer that it would be like stealing an audio book, just because you own the novel. I'm not sure I agree with that, and I'm sure not buying duplicates of all my old CDs just to run on my iPod.
     
  6. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Logically, I have every one of my CD's ripped. When I purchase new DVD's, I back them up too. It's not so I can burn copies for other people or then give my physical copies away; it's so that when the discs inevitably become scratched, I don't have to worry. The worst culprit is my car's CD player, because of the nature of pushing the CD in, rather than using a tray.

    I raise to you a hypothetical situation. There are no questions of doubt about this theoretical person, it is what it is. Joe is a smart guy. He rips everything for backups and puts them in his My Music folder. He doesn't download illegally, or deliberately allows access to his files by anyone except those using his computer. Joe's 11-year old son, Mark, installs a P2P program, for the sake of downloading PDF e-books and other legal items. What Mark doesn't know, is that this same P2P program has set itself to open the My Music folder up to anyone and everyone. Now Joe's got a notice from the RIAA in the mail that he either has to pay $8k and admit wrong, or take them to court.



    • Q1: How many lawyers want to take a case up against the RIAA, that could last for over a year, is likely to be lost, and risk not being paid in the end; be it that their clients are unable to afford it, or they carry own of those "No fees unless we win" clauses?
    • Q2: Lawyer's fees vs. Settlement Cost, which is more likely cheaper?
    • Q3: Having done nothing wrong, would it be unreasonable for Joe to feel intimidated by the reputation of the RIAA and immediately reformat his hard drive(s) and try to hide any record of his music collection?
    • Q4: Is it worth the risk that if a case is lost in court, the consequential fines imposed could be upwards of $100k?
    • Q5: What would you do?

    Unrelated to the case of Joe, we can't forget about DRM. Let's say you purchase an iPod, and download all of your tracks via iTunes, and then 5 years down the line your iPod breaks. You are not either forced into 3 options. Move on, purchase a new Apple-branded player, or purchase an off-brand (for whatever the reason; better service, higher quality, less proprietary, cheaper, the off-brand product fits you better than the Apple product line). OK. Now what? Thanks to DRM, you can pretty much say goodbye to that music collection if you want to purchase an off-brand. Let's also say for whatever the reason you need to replace your computer because it's crashed indefinitely. Now you're up the creek, and without a paddle, because you can't back-up that iTunes library. You can re-download all of your music once with iTunes, but how much good does that do you if over the course of 8 years, this hypothetical situation presents you with both hard-drive failure and a new computer? Toasted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Amazon Music, don't use itunes, ever, for buying music. Everything on amazon is DRM free and drops into itunes automatically. Also, you are technicly breaking the DMCA whenever you break any type of encryption, no matter why you are breaking it.
     
  8. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    The new versions of iTunes have the ability to look at your iPod and look at items you have purchased. As long as you have authorized the computer, I think you can authorize up to 5 computers at a time to your account, you can click on the tab labeled "store" and then "check for purchases". This dumps any purchased item from your iPod onto your authorized computer. Currently I have three authorized computers that have my music that I have purchased. My desktop, my laptop, and my shop computer at work.

    When I am done with grad school, I will simply walk into the shop, open up iTunes, click on "store", and then click on "Deauthorize Computer" and then that computer is off my record. So really the only way I can see being without any of my items would be if all of these computers crashed along with my iPod.
     
  9. DavidDaMonkey

    DavidDaMonkey Active Member

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    Here's another part of the issue for you. Lots of the shows that we do are dance recitals and the like. Instead of having to switch CDs and keep up with all of them, I just rip everything into my laptop and put it into Qlab the moment they hand me the CDs. We won't even get into the issue of whether I keep the songs on my laptop after the show, but for the run of the show, is this legal?
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Do you have an ASCAP license through which you have paid the rights to use the music in a public performance? I thought so.
     
  11. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    I wonder just how many of the freelance sound guys/gals out there get handed CDs with songs from lime wire to use for shows? I would guess it is close to 100%. Besides wouldn't it be up to the show's music director or whoever put the CD together to take care of performance rights? I would think the tech has to assume that they did. Not that I do sound for dance type things-- I'm more the wild and crazy lights kind.
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Maximum PC has been publishing a lot of articles on Fair Use laws and DRM issue for a while now. I admit to siding with their judgement. Copying and backing up for personal use is a legal, viable interpretation of Fair Use laws. DMR schemes which disallow an individual to backup and copy personal use versions are tatamount to racketeering.
    That being said I've heard a couple of interesting arguements from several different folks, one said that Fair Use only applies to the use of the music in a Parody or "user generated format" like making a video to accompany the song. Everyone runnning around playing music for dances without an ASCAP/BMI license is clear under the Fair Use laws, but in Violation of the unions agreements and "public performance" clauses. Several coffee shops, bistros, and diners in the Portland area have been busted by ASCAP / BMI for Playing the radio as background music, playing songs from Ipods, or playing CD's even those purchased by the establishment specifically for the purpose of only being played on the stores pa system.

    Ah What a tangled web we weave, when at first we burn CD's.
     
  13. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    So I have a question.
    I'm fifteen, and a month ago, I had a church program I played piano for/ran sound. (yeah..don't ask).

    During set up and tear down, I patched my MP3 player into the mixer and put on my own tunes. They were subscription tracks from Rhapsody, so they weren't purchased.

    Was this an illegal move?
    Is somebody really going to prance into my church and tell me I'm getting fined for this? Really??? Doesn't sound realistic.
     
  14. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Is it likely ? No. Is it posible? Yes. Just ask the folks over at the Eastside Coffee House. Welcome to America .
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Does your church have an ASCAP/BMI license for using the music you sing on Sunday? They should. If you always sing out of a purchased published material then your rights are covered, but every time you make a songbook or power point projection of a song you need to pay a small fee to ASCAP/BMI in order to pay the songwriter for the privilege of using the music. When you buy sheet music that fee is included but when you reproduce it for others to sing off of you are stealing the songwriter's material. Will you get busted? Probably not. Is it illegal you betcha! My guess is half the churches in the country are breaking this law in some way and don't even know it.
     
  16. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Only half? I'd lean more towards, every church that has anything but completely live music.
     
  17. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I've worked plenty of church gigs where the church was good about paying the royalty fees.

    A great anonymous poll would be to see how many theaters pay for the music they play, especially pre, post, and intermission, let alone song clips during shows.
     
  18. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I would guess that the larger the church, the more likely it is they're aware of royalty fees and such. When it comes down to the smaller churches, I don't know that they care so much, and more importantly, are oblivious to the fact they're are even fees in the first place.
     
  19. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Another aspect that has come up is how and where you store any media. The argument is that if it is stored on a shared drive, then it is no longer private and you have made it available for distribution. Or if you copy it onto a computer that is not yours, say for a show at another venue, and then do not delete it afterwards, you have made a copy for use by others.
     
  20. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    I was referring to completely unrelated music I played over the speakers.


    Wait, so every time we use song "X" (lets say once a month), we have to pay a fee? Yes, we have an ASCAP thing, but does that mean every time we use the song we have to pay a fee?
    What about worship aids and powerpoints, every time we print it we have to pay a fee? Thats just pathetic.
     

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