Monday, December 31, 2007

What Did the RIAA claim about ripping?

There was another dustup this weekend over RIAA. It was originally spawned in early December by this Slashdot post which found this gem in a lawyer's brief:
Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs' recordings into the compressed .mp3 format and they are in his shared folder, they are no longer the authorized copies...
Is the RIAA really claiming what most of the commentariat has written: "illegal to rip CDs" and "personal compies are illegal," etc.?

As I (a non-lawyer) read the excerpt from the brief, the issue is not simply ripping the files as mp3s, but ripping them and storing them in a shared folder. Can someone take a deep breath and put those two clauses together? Is the loathesome RIAA really arguing against ripping, which surely comes under Fair Use, or against sharing what you've ripped, which in RIAA's view, is simply inviting people to steal it.

Mickeleh's Take: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance but the surcharge of freedom is not crying wolf every time the RIAA sneezes.

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