Sony BMG says: You're a thief if you listen to your CD music on your iPod

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Amazing, but true.

Link.

Sony BMG's chief anti-piracy lawyer: "Copying" music you own is "stealing"
By Eric Bangeman | Published: October 02, 2007 - 09:12PM CT

Duluth, Minnesota — Testimony today in Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas quickly and inadvertently turned to the topic of fair use when Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, was called to the stand to testify. Pariser said that file-sharing is extremely damaging to the music industry and that record labels are particularly affected. In doing so, she advocated a view of copyright that would turn many honest people into thieves.

Pariser noted that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise, which leaves the company particularly exposed to the negative effects of file-sharing. "It's my personal belief that Sony BMG is half the size now as it was in 2000," she said, thanks to piracy. In Pariser's view, "when people steal, when they take music without compensation, we are harmed."

Pariser has a very broad definition of "stealing." When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own.

Gabriel asked if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy. Pariser replied, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'," she said.

Countless studies have shown that the majority of music on portable music players like the iPod comes from sources other than download services. For most people, that music is comprised primarily of songs "ripped" from CD collections to MP3 or some other comparable format. Indeed, most portable music players comes with software (like iTunes) which is designed to facilitate the easy ripping of CDs. According to Pariser's view, this is stealing.

We've actually heard something similar to this view before. As part of the 2006 triennial review of the effectiveness of the DMCA, a number of content-related industries filed a joint reply with the government on the effectiveness of the DMCA and the challenges that lay ahead for copyright. The argument relating to CDs espoused in the joint reply could be summarized: although nothing has prevented consumers from making backups of CDs, this cannot be construed as authorization from the music labels for them to do so. Thus, there has been no authorization of said backups, and the coincidental ability to make backups currently should not be mistaken for fair use.

Pariser's views appear to be similar, insofar as she clearly suggests that consumers have no right to make backups of the music that they have purchased in CD form or even in download form.

Ken Fisher contributed to this report.

I don't get it. Either this lawyer is intentionally lying, or has absolutely no grasp of the purpose of, and justification behind, copyright law.
 
holy crap, swedishguy said something I agree with!
 
I'm not going to buy a song twice just to satisfy some Sony exec. If they don't like that, then screw them. It's not like they can do anything about it anyway.
 
I don't get it. Either this lawyer is intentionally lying, or has absolutely no grasp of the purpose of, and justification behind, copyright law.

Either that or advocating an extreme position in litigation in the hopes that the court will adopt a less exteme position that is till favorable to your ultimate (real) position when making a decision.

Its called posturing.
 
Literally speaking, that's actually the law in Australia (or at least it was a year or two ago), because our legislators are idiots, but I'm fairly certain fair use laws are different in most other countries regarding digital duplication for personal use. Regardless, the whole artifice of intellectual property laws needs a pretty fundamental re-working to catch up with technological change.
 
I'm not going to buy a song twice just to satisfy some Sony exec. If they don't like that, then screw them. It's not like they can do anything about it anyway.

Amen. That idea of theirs is quite possibly the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Question: if Sony hates iTunes' ripping software, why don't they go after Apple?
 
I don't get it. Either this lawyer is intentionally lying, or has absolutely no grasp of the purpose of, and justification behind, copyright law.
Why the "either"? Seems obvious to me that it's both. He's saying what he's paid to say because he's an unscrupulous statement-whore, and companies with a lot of money who are desperately trying to legislate that they must be allowed to hold on to power tend to hire exactly that class of lawyer

I wouldn't worry, because this sort of gratuitous shredding of the last bits of similarity between "what the music company wants you to do" and either "what's ethical to do" or "what's legal to do" reminds me of a quote from Schlock Mercenary:

This isn't the [moral] high ground. This is the firing range.

Not that their utterly shameless abuse of the word "steal" to cover copying is helping either. By claiming so many ridiculous rights and rules and restrictions and regulations, they are creating an atmosphere to disbelieve the ones they do have, something that undermines their remaining rights - the sheer disrespect for their legitimate claims will trigger laches and similar arguments if they don't sue every last man woman and child, and if they do sue every last man woman and child, they'll just get laughed out of existence.
Put shortly, laws must adapt to people as much as people adapt to laws. I leave you all with an extract from Lawrence Lessig:
Spoiler :
At the time the Wright brothers invented the airplane, American law held that a property owner presumptively owned not just the surface of his land, but all the land below, down to the center of the earth, and all the space above, to "an indefinite extent, upwards." For many years, scholars had puzzled about how best to interpret the idea that rights in land ran to the heavens. Did that mean that you owned the stars? Could you prosecute geese for their willful and regular trespass?

Then came airplanes, and for the first time, this principle of American law—deep within the foundations of our tradition, and acknowledged by the most important legal thinkers of our past—mattered. If my land reaches to the heavens, what happens when United flies over my field? Do I have the right to banish it from my property? Am I allowed to enter into an exclusive license with Delta Airlines? Could we set up an auction to decide how much these rights are worth?

In 1945, these questions became a federal case. When North Carolina farmers Thomas Lee and Tinie Causby started losing chickens because of low-flying military aircraft (the terrified chickens apparently flew into the barn walls and died), the Causbys filed a lawsuit saying that the government was trespassing on their land. The airplanes, of course, never touched the surface of the Causbys’ land. But if, as Blackstone, Kent, and Coke had said, their land reached to “an indefinite extent, upwards,” then the government was trespassing on their property, and the Causbys wanted it to stop.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Causbys’ case. Congress had declared the airways public, but if one’s property really extended to the heavens, then Congress’s declaration could well have been an unconstitutional “taking” of property without compensation. The Court acknowledged that “it is ancient doctrine that common law ownership of the land extended to the periphery of the universe.” But Justice Douglas had no patience for ancient doctrine. In a single paragraph, hundreds of years of property law were erased. As he wrote for the Court,

[The] doctrine has no place in the modern world. The air is a public highway, as Congress has declared. Were that not true, every transcontinental flight would subject the operator to countless trespass suits. Common sense revolts at the idea. To recognize such private claims to the airspace would clog these highways, seriously interfere with their control and development in the public interest, and transfer into private ownership that to which only the public has a just claim.

“Common sense revolts at the idea.”

This is how the law usually works. Not often this abruptly or impatiently, but eventually, this is how it works. It was Douglas’s style not to dither. Other justices would have blathered on for pages to reach the conclusion that Douglas holds in a single line: “Common sense revolts at the idea.” But whether it takes pages or a few words, it is the special genius of a common law system, as ours is, that the law adjusts to the technologies of the time. And as it adjusts, it changes. Ideas that were as solid as rock in one age crumble in another.
 
Why are they still trying to fight this battle? It's long been lost, and only getting worse. They can't prevent it and they're only ostracizing customers. Give up, and adapt.
 
I found my father's Dark Side of the Moon CD from 25 years ago.

I promptly copied it to my hard drive so I can listen to it while surfing the net or writing papers. Does that count as stealing too?
 
This Sony exec is obviously being an idiot, but that doesn't mean piracy is ok. One of my pet peeves is the way my friends casually ignore the fact that they regularly steal music with applications like Limewire. That is really stealing.
 
I guess the honours system doesn't really work in the digital age. I just wish that record execs could get that through thier heads and try to come up with some new innovative ways of packaging and distributing music...
 
They're losing money and there isn't anything that can be done about it. This just makes it worse.
 
private Property Is Theft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111
 
Dawgphood001: You're an ass if you're a music exec.
 
This Sony exec is obviously being an idiot, but that doesn't mean piracy is ok. One of my pet peeves is the way my friends casually ignore the fact that they regularly steal music with applications like Limewire. That is really stealing.

That is not stealing. That is just breaching a monopoly on copying a certain data block (or, to be more exact, data with certain distinct and recognizable characteristics), granted by the state to one or more entities. That is entirely different from stealing. "Intellectual property" doesn't exist! Legal monopolies on distribution, that's the correct name for businesses based on copyright.

Music stored as digital data is infinitely, and very cheaply, replicable. A person possessing a copy continues to have full use of that copy even if it is copied, therefore copying != stealing. The copy monopoly granted to the music company cannot be “stolen” either, only invalidated, or breached. “Loss of profits” attributed to p2p private copying, even if it were proved, cannot be equated with “theft” either, only described as a damage.

If you want to compare “copyright infringement” with something, try tax evasion. But I would rather compare it with tax resistance.

Oh, and Limewire is crap, there are far better p2p applications.
 
Again, this is why I have not bought music for more than five years. I'd rather not have new music at all than to put up with their banter and put money in their pockets.
 
I guess the honours system doesn't really work in the digital age. I just wish that record execs could get that through thier heads and try to come up with some new innovative ways of packaging and distributing music...

To start;

1. Reduce the price of albums to less than ten dollars.
2. Ensure that most albums are not comprised of one hit and eleven bombs.
3. Reduce the production cost by using a paper-based sleeve to hold the disc instead of the plastic case which people just pack away in favor of a disc book.
 
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