RIAA says you can and can not rip your CDs


This is an old story in Internet time, but I marked it in my RSS reader (Bloglines) some time ago, intending to post it, and then never came back and put it on the site.  Tonight, I rectify that.  That said, here’s the story (brought over from an original post by the EFF).

Back during the MGM vs. Grokster case (where the music industry went after a popular peer to peer filesharing network), the recording industry’s lawyer said to the Supreme Court:

“The 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.”

That seems fairly clear to me.  I read it as saying that the record companies believe we, as consumers, are legally allowed to rip CDs down to mp3/ogg/wma/whatever format to put on our portable music players for our own use.  Not to give to others.  Not to share with strangers.  But for personal use, it’s legal.  If I’m wrong, someone please let me know.

The reason for posting this story is the followup commentary from the music industry.  Recently, the following tidbit came from the recording industry  during the DMCA rule-making procedures:

“Nor 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.”

That says, basically, that sure the recording industry has said in the past that you as a consumer are allowed to rip to your preferred format for portable playback device use later, but now the recording industry no longer thinks that’s OK, so you are not allowed to do it any more.  Priceless, I say.  There’s a reason I don’t like to buy CDs any more, but I can’t quite express why.  Anyone have any guesses?

[tags]RIAA, Record companies hate consumers[/tags]