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RIAA To Target CD-R 659

Posted by timothy
from the be-a-customer-not-a-consumer dept.
mike skoglund writes: "According to this 8/20 RIAA press release, the RIAA is concerned about CD burners. Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the RIAA, said: "Many in the music community are concerned about the continued use of CD-Rs . . . and we believe this issue deserves further analysis. A preliminary survey of tech savvy online music enthusiasts recently conducted for the RIAA showed that nearly one out of two consumers surveyed downloaded in the past month and nearly 70 percent burned the music they downloaded. All of this activity continues to show the passion of the consumer for music and the need for both legal protection and legitimate alternatives.'" I enjoy Rosen's claim that "consumer loyalty to the physical product still dominates and we are committed to providing the quality product listeners desire." I wonder if they'll eventually push through a Canadian-style tax on anything that can carry data.
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RIAA To Target CD-R

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  • Is anybody out there now not completely convinced that Hillary Rosen is the antichrist?
  • by MentlFlos (7345) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:01PM (#2209574) Homepage
    Time for me to put my mp3's on punch cards... :)
  • by Uttles (324447)
    They'll be taxing air, which we use to make noises that form phonetics, then words, then sentances, resulting in communication... I'm surprised we've gone this far with free air...
  • Tell me... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Sludge (1234)

    Name me one person you know who is at least moderately computer savvy, has a cd burner and uses a computer as a hobbyist device who has not done something illegal with their cd burner within a week of owning it.

    Right. That's partly the reason why we Canadians pay a CD levy tax.

    • Re:Tell me... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MeNeXT (200840)
      Sad but false. I for one. It is used for backups mostly and personal use.


      Then again I hardly listen to CD's anymore. I haven't bought one in over three years. When something new that you like comes out it gets killed by radio stations to the point that you start hating the song or even wondering why you ever liked it.

      • You should "get out" more. There is more incredible music coming out that will _never_ be played by a radio station now than at any time in the past. If all your music exposure is from the radio then your are getting the drek of the crop with only very few real gems.

        Rick "prog-head since '78" Gutleber

    • has a cd burner and uses a computer as a hobbyist device who has not done something illegal with their cd burner within a week of owning it

      And when you find that one person who didn't? They're guilty until proven innocent, right?

    • I have yet to burn an illegal CD. I've space shifted (pulled together some 80's compilations) and have taken stuff from work to home (big source packages) and burned some Linux distributions. I've also backed up media so that the originals can be stored in some offsite place, but I still have the disks to do installs at work.

      Now, you can argue whether or not I am 'moderately technically savvy' or not. But, I use Free software, work pays for the non-Free stuff, and if I want a CD/DVD, I either buy it, or wait.

      FWIW, I don't mind paying a tax. But if I pay the tax, that means I can do all of the things I've not done yet (ie: download and burn any song I want from any RIAA artist).

    • by SpiceWare (3438)
      What music I've burned onto CD is music I already own. Being able to create a cd that contains the songs I like, using tracks from the CDs I already own, is not illegal.


      I also use my burner to create CDs, for family & friends, that contain the digital photos I've taken over the course of the past year. I set up the photos to be shown using a web browser. This way viewing the photos is platform independent.

    • Name me one person you know who is at least moderately computer savvy, has a cd burner and uses a computer as a hobbyist device who has not done something illegal with their cd burner within a week of owning it.

      Me. I purchased my CD burner to make back-ups of my computer (after having my computer crash and discovering that my Iomega tape back-up drive liked to physically mangle tapes when attempting to restore back-ups). CD-Rs make a fantastic back-up solution because the media is much cheaper than back-up tapes and they are also much more portable. I think it was months after purchasing my CD-R drive before I used it to burn music and even then it was music that I had legally purchased and was using for my personal use (i.e., to make a mix CD for myself).

    • I have no real interest in copying CDs; it's far and away the most practical way to back up my data.
    • One at work, that I have sole control over (along with a 100 Mbps net connect), my personal burner at home, and my parents one.
    • Ummm, me. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:30PM (#2209879)
      Haven't done anything illegal (by US law) with my CD burner. I've space-shifted a few CD's I own (perfectly legal) which the RIAA doesn't like but that's about as close as I come. Most of what I use my CD burner for is backing up data from my hard drive. I don't listen to much music and don't own many music CDs. I'm very choosy about the music I actually purchase media for and have no time or interest in downloading it off the web. My interests lie elsewhere. I do purchase blank media but what I use it for is none of the RIAA's business, nor should I pay them for the "priviledge" of using it.


      I have a problem with a levy tax because it presumes that I am currently or will break the law. Since I do not purchase much music, why the hell I should reimburse the RIAA for money they wouldn't have gotten from me anyway? They aren't entitled to a dime from me. If their business model relies on laws that are impossible to enforce, that's just too bad for them. They aren't entitled to make money and I am not, and should not be, obligated to pay them for goods or services I do not use.

      • I have a problem with a levy tax because it presumes that I am currently or will break the law. Since I do not purchase much music, why the hell I should reimburse the RIAA for money they wouldn't have gotten from me anyway?

        Actually, it doesn't presume you're guilty. It presumes that a percentage of the population is going to break the law, and forces you to share in the RIAA's losses. Though this distinction may be slight, here's why the problem is significant.

        If a store loses money due to theft of merchandise, it passes it onto its own customers through rising prices. If someone steals from a credit card company, they charge higher interest.

        If companies lose lots of money because of product or security mismanagement, they won't be in business for long, because nobody will pay their high prices when their competitors charge less.

        The RIAA's strategy is to place this burden on someone else's customers, namely those who might engage in "theft" of their products.

        This is socialism, plain and simple. People pay for someone else's enjoyment of a product or service. If someone "steals" from the RIAA, they're stealing from everyone.

    • I haven't done anything illegal with my CD burner and I've had it for well over a year. Actually, I'm willing to bet that many, if not most, owners of CD burners haven't done anything illegal with them. Believe it or not, personal use copying of CDs is not illegal; it was specifically exempted in the Audio Home Recording Act. Neither is making compilation CDs, CDs of legally obtained mp3s, or many other things that the RIAA wants to claim are illegal.

      As a matter of fact, I can't remember if I've even copied a music CD with my burner. I primarily use it to do weekly backups of my system, and secondarily to distribute my digital photographs to my friends and family. All music related uses put together are much, much lower down on the list. Believe it or not, many people actually want to use their equipment for perfectly legitimate, non-musical uses.

    • Re:Tell me... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 0xA (71424) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:46PM (#2210009)

      Right. That's partly the reason why we Canadians pay a CD levy tax.


      Speaking as a Canadian I love the CD levy. Here's the thing, if money that I pay at purchase time goes to the recording industry then I have the right to use the media to copy music. The legislation is very clear, if I borrow a CD from you and make a copy of it on my "tax paid" CDR I am breaking no law.


      The only thing that is illegal in Canada is distributing copies. I can't make a copy and give it to you without breaking the law.

      • The legislation is very clear, if I borrow a CD from you and make a copy of it on my "tax paid" CDR I am breaking no law.

        If it wasn't for the bitter cold and lack of any industries in my field, I'd move to Canada in a second. I mean honestly, do you really think that if this CD-R tax goes through it will grant us the rights you speak of? No. We'll just be getting shafted, this time by our corporately-sponsored government.

        • by tdrury (49462) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @04:29PM (#2210369) Homepage
          by our corporately-sponsored government

          When I read this statement, the image that came to my mind was of the floor of the Senate (or House). But in this case each senator is wearing a uniform with corporate logos. Junior senators probably look like golfers where they have two or three small logos on their sleeves or hat. The real crufty senators look like a stock-car driver where there isn't a single square inch of un-logoed material visible.

          When they have to floor and begin to speak, they preface everything with, "The AOL-Charmin-Tidy Bowl gentleman from Virginia believes that Bill 1234 is baloney!"

          Hell, I'd be watching CSPAN every night for that!

          -tim
    • I have burnt exactly 2 audio cd's in about 8 years of having access to a burner. One was a collection of Y2K related music that we played at the rollover from 1999 to 2000, and one was a collection of Canadian tunes that I gave to a Canadian who was going to Australia for six months. Both of these were entirely made from tunes downloaded from mp3.com. Every non audio CD I've burnt has been backups, linux distributions, my own code etc.
    • Name me one person you know who is at least moderately computer savvy, has a cd burner and uses a computer as a hobbyist device who has not done something illegal with their cd burner within a week of owning it.

      As far as I know, me. Twice.

      I bought a SCSI CD Burner (for my Unix box) referb at a "good price" because it was cheap and I thiught I wanted one. It didn't go into a machine for six months (give or take). It also didn't work once put in, which makes me feel extra dumb since I can't really return it under the 90 warente if I didn't look at it for twice that long...

      I also bought another drive (Firewire for my laptops). That one I did use almost right away. So far I have only burned two music CDs, both of which contain only music I owned at the time, and still own. I have burned a pile of CDs with copyrighted pictures as well. Of corse since they are copyrighted by me I'm going to say that was quite legal.

      That's partly the reason why we Canadians pay a CD levy tax

      Right, so I should pay money to the music cartel to store pictures of my dog? I don't think so. They got the DCMA, if that hunk of un-constitutional crap can't protect them, I really don't care. They should repeal that before they go begging for another way to screw 100% of the people to catch the 75% they think are riping them off.

    • I've made backup coppies of some software I've bought.
      I've made compilations of songs from CDs I bought.
      I make coppies of CDs to listen to in my car.

      None of that is illegal, and I shouldn't have to pay extra for the media, because other people break the law.

      It seems like Judges, because their jobs require them to deal with criminals all the time, have pretty much come to the conclusion that everyone is a criminal to some extent. One very large problem with this is that if you treat people like criminals, many of them will become criminals. It's not like they have anything to lose.
    • by Rimbo (139781)
      Add me to the list. The reason I use my CD-burner is because, as an artist, it gives me a cheap way to make limited numbers of CD's of my own music. I've also used it to make audio CD's of MP3's that I legally downloaded off of MP3.com for my own personal use, and to burn Red Hat ISO's. I use it for backing up the large amounts of digital data I generate as a musician, so that I don't find myself needing a new 40GB hard drive every month.

      I use mine for legitimate work, thank you very much.
    • Re:Tell me... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by farmhick (465391)
      Well, I won't name myself, but I fit the bill here. It was at least a month after buying my burner before I did anything illegal with it. For the first month, I hardly used it, just for backing up my data files to see if it worked OK. After that, I made a few copies of copyrighted material, such as MS Office, Windows 95, Norton, etc. Actually, I never sold the copies or gave them away, so maybe that is just fair use backup copying, but my intents weren't pure, let me tell you that. Watch out, I'm a wild man.

      But why does that mean I should pay a 'tax' to the music industry for copying Microsoft's software? I have never downloaded, uploaded, or crossloaded music on my computer. Not a single time. I have never made a copy of any of the CDs I own. I have never copied any of the cassettes I own to CD. I don't care to make a compilation disk. If I play a CD, I play the whole damn thing from beginning to end. I don't DJ my own music. I just don't buy CDs that have crappy songs on them, which means anything new out there that the RIAA doesn't want me to copy. Don't worry guys, I wouldn't want to listen to it free on the radio, much less waste a perfectly good 30 cent CD-R to copy it.

      So, reading all the other comments too, it looks like there are plenty of people who don't use their burners to illegally copy music. Not my fault if you think everyone does.
    • Right. That's partly the reason why we Canadians pay a CD levy tax

      Yes, but we are legally entitled to copy music CDs for ourselves now. Ie: I take your CD, copy it and return it to you. My copy is now my own and completely legal.

    • Let's see, what have I used the CD burner I have owned for about a year for:

      -Buring the soundtrack to The Longest Journey [longestjourney.com], available free on their site
      -Backups of various software that was purchased online
      -Backups of my own work (my OWN music compositions and software)
      -Red Hat 7 .iso

      I'm Canadian. I paid the tax on ALL of those CDs. I'm pretty sure the copyright holder (i.e. me, in several cases) was not compensated.
  • That might be a good idea. Under the right circumstances. If we pay the tax on the CDRs or DVDrs, but are then allowed to copy them amongst ourselves, for instance. That's sort of how ASCAP works (well, for sufficiently large values of "sort of").
  • by sdo1 (213835) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:04PM (#2209604) Journal
    nearly one out of two consumers surveyed downloaded in the past month and nearly 70 percent burned the music they downloaded

    Yea, I've downloaded music and burned it to CD in the past month... but not music that's under RIAA control.

    Or did she just forget that little bit about there being actual LEGAL uses for this technology? Just because someone downloads music and burns it to CD does not mean that a copyright infringement has just taken place. And it does not mean the RIAA has just been monetarily damaged.

    -S

    • Now see, there you go again... trying to apply LOGIC to a situation where logic does not prevail..

      Remember, the money of the few out-weigh the rights of the many...
    • Eh. It's a press release. I wouldn't get too worked up by it.

      ...nearly one out of two consumers surveyed downloaded in the past month and nearly 70 percent burned the music they downloaded...

      So, 35% of the people they surveyed (tech savy people by their own admittion, and that limits the scope of the problem much further) downloaded music and burned it to CD-R. Woohoo. Yeah, I know that incrimental infringment is the most insidious variety. Yes, this PR is worded in a way that makes it look really scary. Over all, though, I don't see this as being that great a threat. If they were to take this data to court (along with the fact that they lost sales by charging more - do the math!) or the legislature then I would have a problem.
    • Just last week, I downloaded over 4 *gigabytes* of SHN encoded music (about half the size, lossless). All legal, live music that the bands have authorized as OK to be distributed for non-profit use. I would feel sickened if I had to pay a tax to the RIAA for music that was copied legally.

      Wake up RIAA: many of us distribute music that he bands *allow* us to.
    • Or did she just forget that little bit about there being actual LEGAL uses for this technology?

      Her job is to defend a troubled industry, not to be in touch with reality or concern herself with ideals. She is also very good at her job. This is good if you have money invested in one of the RIAA's member corporations, but bad if you're anyone else.

      Read this Wired interview with Hilary Rosen. [wired.com]

      Hilary Rosen is a very intelligent and opportunistic person with a motive that is against what most of us want. But the desires of the RIAA, and the desires of independent artists (like me) and consumers (like me) are not really orthogonal. Where you, me, and Hilary disagree is how this should be done.

      The overwhelming majority of us are not out to rip off our favorite artists. And the RIAA is not out to rip us off. The first thing we need to do is rid the RIAA and ourselves of these two illusions. Then, we can work on a solution that's good for everyone.
  • by Steve B (42864) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:04PM (#2209606)
    The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced today that the number of units shipped domestically from record companies to retail outlets and special markets (music clubs and mail order) and their corresponding dollar value fell in the first six months of 2001.


    So -- did the flack who wrote this really expect anyone to conclude from this anything other than, "Yup, we're in a recession..."

  • Mulling a CD-R tax? Nothing new, really.

    Other than that, it's just a fnord, like all press releases. Yawn.

  • so why doesn't she tell her member companies to STFU and simply advertise them?
  • While Total LP Shipments Are Low, Popularity of Format Rises Modestly
    LPs increased in unit sales by 7.4 percent in the first half of 2001, representing a $12.9 million dollar value. This number is up 3.3 percent from mid-year 2000.

    This means that I can continue ripping LPs with out any heat from the RIAA. They'll never catch me.

  • Yes, that is right. I make backups of my harddisks by burning the data monthly to disk. I don't see how the RIAA is going to get away with calling all CDR users pirates. If you want a tax, then please tax Music CDRs and leave me alone, okay?


    (Of course, we all know what exactly the difference between a Music CDR and Data CDR is).

  • Sure, why not pay a leavy on all data storage devices. Given a hard drive I can carry my stolen MP3 and warez anywhere I want--all i need is an IDE cable to plug into...

    Or maybe I could copy it all by faxing it to myself. How about a leavy on fax paper?

    ::sheesh::

  • They're concerned about CD burners? They've been around for how many years and they're just now getting around to the "concerned" stage?

    Fine, let them try to take away everyone's CD burner... it's almost time to move to the DVD-R format anyway. =)

    I think I'm going to patent air, then lease it out and charge a tax on it cuz these morons are using up some good oxygen when they sit around thinking up these STUPID ideas to try and enforce copyrights.

  • At the risk of being Redundant:

    The great thing about this argument is that you can replace "CD-R" with "electricity" or "computers" or "The Internet" and it still holds just as well.
  • by briggsb (217215) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:09PM (#2209661)
    blank CDs [bbspot.com]
  • I got High...

    I was gonna pay my fine to the RIAA...but I got high...

    I was gonna download divx movies...but I got high...
  • Interesting story

    It makes me wonder how much longer technology like this [plextor.com] will be legal. Of course, it's not as if we haven't wondered before [theregister.co.uk] (The link I have was to banjo, sorry folks).

  • Thats a crock. I'm sure they ruled out the following people:

    1) People who dont own a computer.
    2)People who don't know what an mp3 is.
    3)People who don't own a burner.
    4)People who do not use the internet.



    You are left with a *very* small percentage of people burning cd's compared to the countless droves of consumers who purchase cd's without knowing that it's all free ;)

  • by tcc (140386) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:12PM (#2209706) Homepage Journal
    RIAA, tax rambus memory... it's so much better for multimedia handling than anything else on the planet, so it's the base of MP3 compression, file sharing, ram on home computers that plays those illegal song, run the software that burns CDs, it's the NextBigThing(tm) and they claim market domination in months from now, so you should look seriously on this threath, and stop it before it gets out of hands!

    Plus, you'll get our support :) I promise! :)

  • by eldurbarn (111734) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:13PM (#2209711)
    As a Canadian content producer, I can attest to one of the faults of the Canadian media tax:

    The money collected from it is supposed to be distributed to content producers to offset the business lost to copying, but the bar to entry as a producer is very high. As a small producer, not only do I have to pay the damned tax on the blank media I buy (and then pass that cost along to my customers), but I can't get my share of the gravy, either.

    If the US creates such a tax and sets the bar high enough, then only the "big guys" will be able to pass over it and everyone else has to pass along an extra cost to the consumer, to the great benefit of the big guys. Talk about predatory practices!

  • Before anyone goes out and tries to get a tax on CD-R [like Canada], we should know:

    What percent of CD-R are burnt with data or other non-music content;

    What percent of CD-R are burnt with music content owned by the burnt disk owner? AKA "Fair Use" transcribing media.


    I have a feeling the RIAA is just trying to kill fair use. Why am I not surprised? Anything for a $.

    • CD-R's are already being taxed and the money is being sent to the RIAA. Those CD-R 'music' CD's that you see are more expensive because they carry a hefty (relative to the base price) tax.
  • The change to slash 2.2 didn't fix Timmys' problem with open italic tags. His tags and Tacos spelling. What would slashdot be without 'em?
  • Well, actually, it's some stupid minister who decided a tax on CD-Rs was needed. It was absolutely moronic: as was pointed out, now, buying CD-Rs (no matter what for -- some companies that backup data on CDs yelled a LOT) brings money mostly to music corps that don't exactly need it, and doesn't really help small labels that DO need a hand.

    Bottom line: people bought massive amounts of CD-Rs just before the law became effective, so the prices went down, which vaguely made up for the tax.

    But still. Did you notice that trend where big corps live by taking small amounts of money from you regularly, no matter if you buy something new from them or not? Am I the only one who thinks it is a dangerous road for an economy to tread?
    • [The CD tax] brings money mostly to music corps that don't exactly need it...

      But to these megacorps, 'need' is pretty much synonymous with 'greed', and government agrees.

      Am I the only one who thinks it [government enforced corporate tax] is a dangerous road for an economy to tread?

      No, you're not alone; in fact, it's probably the majority opinion that corporate handouts, in their many forms, are as repulsive as they are a sign of growing corruption in govt.

      An economy is supposed to be about how limited resources are distributed among unlimited desires. This trend towards government being ever more a tool of business, in order to directly & indirectly profit from an enforced artificial scarcity... is scary.

      IMO though, we won't go too much futher down that road -- which ends in totalitarian control over all things abundant, so that a few might profit. I know it's cliche, but the RIAA and brethren are living dinosaurs... gasping for air... their cashcows dead.

  • The Canadian tax is actually a good thing. It recognizes that people use CD-R's to copy CD's, and makes that legal. You pay the tax, suddenly you're allowed to make copies

    Of course, I'm sure that's not what the RIAA wants. But it might be a good alternative to advocate. It's also used in many European countries.
    • The Canadian tax is actually a good thing. It recognizes that people use CD-R's to copy CD's, and makes that legal. You pay the tax, suddenly you're allowed to make copies.

      No, it recognizes that you use CD-Rs to copy CDs, and makes me pay for part of your copyright infringement.

      So I end up paying for people who were infringing on copyright. That's not justice.

  • Please. That assumes that everyone who buys CDRs is using them to burn music. What about backups? What about photo CDs? What about documents? What about all the other myraid of uses of CDRs?

    Now I am not naive, and I use them to burn audio CDs too. But I am not a big downloader of MP3s, I have a large CD collection, as does my fiancee. It is legal (and rightfully so) for me to burn a copy of a CD I bought for use in my car.

    *If* someone were using CDRs to burn illegal copies of CDs and selling them, the only thing taxing CDRs would do is shrink their profit a little. Unless the goal is to make CDRs unaffordable for the average person, which would be really really bad.

    Michael

    M$ = Monopoly? Check out "Micropoly" at Pounding Sand [poundingsand.com] Tshirts.

  • Jimi Hendrix is now a "quality product." So is Mozart, Zeppelin, NiN, Bill Hicks, Tool and every other artist happen you like. They're not musicians, they're not artists, they're "products." They make consumables.

    These people drive me absolutely batshit. It's the skewed perspective that gets me. Fuck the art, they say, we just want to make money. Well, guess what: it ain't all about the money. When you focus on the money you lose site of important things like spiritual enlightenment and spiritual growth. Call me a vapid liberal, but I think those things are pretty important in life. If I have to choose between making a buck and becoming a wiser person, I'll choose wisdom every time, thanks.

  • "Many in the music community are concerned about the continued use of CD-Rs (compact disc recordables) and we believe this issue deserves further analysis."
    Translates into:
    "We are looking for a way to convince the US (and other governments) to make the manufacturers of CD-burners pony up a percentage per each unit sold and give us lotsa $."

    This is also a pretty crummy way for the RIAA to line it's pockets from people (and Indy labels) who write and record their own music in home studios.

  • Lets look into the future. We have an image of the year 2003:

    If you are contemplating releasing a product, you must first check with the patent offices (very minor, they let everything through), then to the RIAA and government to determine if it affects the music industry in any possible way. If it does, then you can't release it and all doc on it is incinerated. The RIAA also goes into research facility to determine if any scientist is using "Sound waves on the "air" medium (they patented that on Dec.14, 2002)", and any violators are sued, raped, then incinerated.

    Anyone have a link to the "The Onion" article about Kid Rock starving to death because of MP3's? That'd really fit in....
  • Last time I checked, sites like Liquid Audio came with software that would let you take your downloaded music (in "proprietary, protected" format), and burn it to a CD-R ONCE.

    If they tax the CD-R's, people would be paying TWICE for music.

    If they DO tax CD's, does that mean I can copy anything and give it to anyone? After all, I paid for the music when I bought the CD....

  • by jeffy124 (453342) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:20PM (#2209795) Homepage Journal
    During the whole Napster debate (back before Napster had filters), many journalists pointed out that judges often sided with improvements in technology in cases of copyrights and unauthroized reproduction.

    When the audio tape recorders were introduced, the RIAA cried foul as it gave people the ability to make their own copies of music. Ruling was based on fair use.

    VHS Recorders same deal. Hollywood and television threw a hissy fit and said it gave people the ability to copy shows and movies without authorization. Judgement was based on the fair use laws from the audio tape incident.

    There were a few other examples (like the Xerox copy machine), but these were the most relevant.

    CD burners have been available for the home market for quite some time now, all the previous cases came out just as the technology was brand new before a significant number of people had access to them. I think the same fair use law will come into play because it takes a significant amount of physical time and effort to duplicate a CD (whether data or music) or assemble a custom CD.

    In addition, some members of RIAA are also in the business of building and selling CD-RWs. Sony is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are others. I just know my burner is made by Sony.
  • I think they're a little late. They might as well put pressure on those audio cassette manufacturers and those piano roll makers and don't forget those pesky blank wax drum merchants, ooh I know, lets charge anyone with ears a user fee if they happen to listen to ANYTHING!!!

    If anyone was actually losing money, I'd care.

    --BUT THEY'RE NOT--

    *throws hands up in the air, stomps out of universe*
  • Canadian CDRs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mark4ST (249650) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:25PM (#2209838) Homepage
    I am what you would call an amateur music production enthusiast. I'm also a Canadian.

    The tax we have here (aside from various compound sales taxes) is only on the CDR media specifically for audio. (read: the kind that works with those near-useless standalone CD copying whizmos).

    I often make digital recordings of my friends' horrible bands, and my own decidedly mediocre tunage. These are burnt onto vanilla CDR's. People like to pass these recordings around. People need copies. I don't have the time to make all of these copies.

    If someone who owned a stand-alone CD copying device wanted to make a copy of his own CD (of his own band!), he would be paying a tax designed to protect musicians from illegal copying. The technical term for this sort of obtuseness is, I believe, "Bullshit."

    There is no tax on the vanilla CDRs because those have business uses. Don't stand in the way of progress.

    • Re:Canadian CDRs (Score:3, Informative)

      by stevens (84346)

      The tax we have here (aside from various compound sales taxes) is only on the CDR media specifically for audio. (read: the kind that works with those near-useless standalone CD copying whizmos).
      ...

      There is no tax on the vanilla CDRs because those have business uses.



      Bullshit. The levy (not "tax, but levy", sounds less like ripping you off) is on all kinds of blank media [neil.eton.ca]. Even audio tapes and CD-RWs.



  • by RobertAG (176761) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:28PM (#2209862)
    .... with cassette tapes during the late '70s and early '80s and with video tapes, too. In the end a small tax was levied, they collected their money and people still recorded music and video.

    Let's face it, people are going to do a small amount of copying for their own personal use. You do it, I do it - I'll bet even the children of the RIAA demons do it. The RIAA is sweating the small stuff.

    The greatest threat of piracy comes from people that will copy in huge volumns for sale on the black market. A lot of this will happen overseas, where RIAA has the least influence.

    If they want to sweat the small stuff, I say fine. It hasn't gotten them anywhere in the past - and it won't get them anywhere in the future.

    Phillips, Sony and others have invested far too much money in CD-R technology and make far too much off of it to roll over dead for the RIAA.

    I've said it once and I'll say it again. The business model where by music makes large amounts of money is dying. In it's place, artists (those backed by record companies) will make money from personal appearances and product endorsements, just like professional sports figures do. Sports figures may make a few million a year, but they pull in much more from product endorsements. That's where the money is and that's where the industry will finally go. The true value in a recording contract for an artist will lie not in the sale of music, but in the sale of his/her image.

    • The true value in a recording contract for an artist will lie not in the sale of music, but in the sale of his/her image.

      Very true...add to that money gained via merchandising.

      Doesn't bode well for the future quality of music, though. :\

    • maybe not Phillips, but Sony IS the RIAA.

      As soon as they decide that they can make more money off of IP monopolies than they can huckstering commodity hardware and supplies, (DUH!) they'll jump right onto the bandwagon.
    • The business model where by music makes large amounts of money is dying.

      Probably a more accurate statement is: "The business model whereby pre-recorded music makes large amounts of money is dying." In fact, this is the way things usually were; the purpose of recordings and performances were to sell sheet music; later, the recordings were used to push the performances. The music business has already reverted back to this model; that's why the RIAA is feeling threatened all of a sudden. They're defending a dying business, just like buggy whips.
    • So Alex Rodriguez's $252 million/10 year contract [usatoday.com] is small potatoes compared to his endorsment income? I think not. Although he is an incredibly tallented ballplayer he doesn't have the charisma that an MJ or a Gretzky does. Now those are the guys making bank on endorsements.

      Artists already make the bulk of their income from touring. For them the album is basically PR for the concert tour.

      Pete

    • I believe this "tax" already exists in the US on blank video and cassette tapes (whose sole use, we all know - thanks to the RIAA - is illegal copyright violations; who would put original content on this medium?). Blank CD-Rs is an inevitable extention. However, why stop there - paper products solely exist for the benefit of photocopiers and computer printers, and whose sole use is also illegal copyright violations. Thus, the RIAA should be entitled to a surcharge levied on paper. I'm more than happy to pay my tax in the form of used toilet paper, to verify that the tissue was not used to illegally reproduce the lyrics to 'NSync's latest hit.

      Regards,
      Slak
    • Let's face it, people are going to do a small amount of copying for their own personal use. You do it, I do it - I'll bet even the children of the RIAA demons do it.


      What seems to get lost in the discussion is that copying for personal use IS LEGAL. Copyright is designed to prevent people from publishing content in competition with the copyright holder. It has nothing at all to do with personal use.

  • We at the RIAA have done studies stating that 90% of the human population at one point or another in their lives has heard music that they have not properly paid us for. Therefore, we are having our whipping dogs in Congress pass a law whereby we will tax every birth in the US $20,000, that will cover our lost revenue for the lifetime of the customer.

    Anybody caught commiting birth piracy will be terminated by our lawyers.
  • Back in the good old pre-DMCA days, they tried to tackle tape and were refused under the grounds that a technology itself was only in breach of copyright issues if its primary use was for copyright infringement. "Nearly one out of two" does kind of imply that CD-R's primary use isn't to infringe.


    Still, buy a few good lawyers, a couple of politicians and call it viral, I'm sure they forces of RIAA goodness will come through in the end.

  • I wonder if they'll eventually push through a Canadian-style tax on anything that can carry data.

    Ever heard of the DAT Tax? [brouhaha.com] In 1992, the US Congress [loc.gov] passed a law taxing media for use in digital recorders.

    The Audio Home Recording act of 1992 [brouhaha.com] mandated that consumers pay a royalty on each tape sold for DAT drives.

    This contributed to the death of a market for the promising technology. And assumed that everyone who owns such technology would use it for theft. I have not made any illegal copies of music or software using the CD recorder that I own. This sort of levy assumes that I will, and I don't care for that.

    I remember waiting for DAT technology to catch on for music - and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.....
  • You know, if computers didn't come with sound cards, I wouldn't be half as tempted to download music and burn it. Maybe we should outlaw sound cards. And who without a computer would download music? let's get rid of those. What about the internet? well, we will take care of that in good time.

    There is an old precedent that if a product has both legal uses and illegal uses, it should still be allowed becase the legal uses must be preserved. You can use CD-Rs and CD-RWs for more than pirating music and games, etc.

    They need to move to Turkey or Afganistan if they want to control the people like that. Oh wait, those countries wouldn't have them either. They exist because America is Free. And they want to make it less free, but not for them, just for everyone else.
  • From the press release:

    ...the dollar value of all music product shipments decreased from $6.2 billion at mid-year 2000 to $5.9 billion at mid-year 2001?a 4.4 percent decrease. Unit shipments dropped from 488.7 million at mid-year 2000 to 442.7 million units at mid-year 2001?a 9.4 percent decrease, according to figures released today by the RIAA.

    Check my math, but this means that at ~$12.69* per "unit" they sold more units (and made more money) than they have by charging ~$13.96** per unit.

    Imagine that. Charge more per unit, and you sell fewer units.

    * $6,200,000,000/488,700,000 units ~ $12.6867/unit
    ** $5,900,000,000/442,700,000 units ~ $13.9578/unit
  • It's interesting that copying digital audio from a CD is now referred to as "ripping". In the early days of CD-ROMs, it was simply referred to as "reading the CD". Adobe Premiere on the Mac, for example, could import audio from a CD. It can't do that any more. Wonder why.

    When you need music for something, it's easy to find some techno tracks from a band nobody ever heard of, and pay them $100 or so for the right to use it in your own stuff. ("And where would you like the cases of beer delivered?")

  • It's time congress steps in and creates a compulsory license for digital music, and explicitly explain that it is within that license to copy that music to different formats. The RIAA seems to think they are entitled to be able to abuse the system as they have for years. I don't mind paying a fee, but I should have the right to choose how I use and store the music. If I want to be able to listen to it at off CD, Cassette, CD-R, Hard Disk, whatever, that should be my explicit right.

    This would end up being good for everyone (except the RIAA, but who really cares). Distribution channels would pop up all over the place, giving more choice to artists and consumers. We'd have the ability to not feel like criminals when we burn a CD.

    The only thing I'd rather see, is congress revoke all of the RIAA's copyrights because they've been using them to stifle innovation and competition.

  • I haven't seen something this silly since my dog got stuck in the cat door.

    "Many in the music community are concerned..."

    Well, it's a bit late for that. CD-Rs are so incredibly cheap, pervasive, and useful that there's no way people will surrender them. Since you can burn WAY more than just copyrighted material, they don't even have a legal leg to stand on if they want to impose a "tax".

    Not only are the horses gone, but the barn door has been ripped off of its' hinges and burned. They should have been worried about this five years ago.

  • Remember the Apple commerical promoting their new CD burner with all the artists (George Clinton, Smash Mouth, Liz Phair,) - and about 30 others on a stage, and they guy was saying he wanted to burn each of their tracks to a CD for a mix...

    And George said "It's your music - burn it" - you mean they lied????? I can't create a mix tape of my own stuff that I bought cause it's stealing???? (they afraid I'm sucking profits from NOW compilations? They pissed cause I burned my own copy of the Beatles "1" from the entire catalog I already own?)

    Of course, I'm not endorsing the stealing of MP3's, but fer crying out loud...can't a guy make a mix CD of his stuff without the RIAA trying to bitch about that too...? They did this with Consumer Audio CD's (basically stand alone CD burners) and got the media price kicked way up to 4-5 bucks a disk because of taxes and fees...only reason they haven't gotten this far is because users aren't computer savvy enough to put mp3 to computer disk, but they're getting there.

    Time to stockpile, kiddies...snag a few hundred and hit the black market when they're illegal.

    RB
  • by Ramses0 (63476) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @04:07PM (#2210200)
    Yup. This just confirms my suspicions. When Napster was in full force, music sales were up. Now, Napster has been shut down and there is no easy way for people to exchange or try out new music. Correspondingly, record sales are down. I the words of that big bully kid on The Simpsons... Haaa Haaa!

    Don't you think that's funny?

    --Robert
  • All of this activity continues to show the passion of the consumer for music and the need for both legal protection and legitimate alternatives.

    There are plenty of legitimate alternatives [negativland.com] to RIAA-owned music. I agree, though, that consumers need legal protection...

  • At $17, I don't buy a CD for much less than a special occasion, like birthdays or Christmas. At least part of this is an impure sense of personal protest. If it weren't impure, I'd buy NO CDs at all.

    If CDs were half the price, I'd feel less sense of protest, and buy more than twice as many. At one third the price, I'd probably take off on a binge of replacing my old vinyl, which I still hope to transcribe to CDR one of these days.

    The whole thing with Napster and CDRs is MASSIVE violation of copyright law. But any time you get to MASSIVE violation of the law, perhaps more structural inspection is necessary, other than pers^H^H^H^Hprosecuting the violator. I can think of two examples of such massive violation, prohibition and the current War on Drugs.

    Prohibition was one of the (scratch "one of") stupidest things ever put in to the US Constitution. The Constitution details rights, interactions, and operations, and Prohibition is the only time it tried to "act like a law instead of a framework." Rightfully repealed.

    As for the War on Drugs, I have nothing to do with them, but feel they should be put on a peer basis with tobacco and alcohol. IMHO, the side-effects of the War on Drugs, in terms of 'crimes of financing' and organized crime control, exceed the evils of the drugs themselves.

    For another example, the oft-repeated piracy of VHS tapes. Rampant at $80/tape, virtually not a worry at $10-$20/tape.

    In short, we're being GOUGED. That's the underlying structural issue behind the current "crime wave". Except that their gouging is apparently legal, in spite of what I used to think were restrictions against collusion and price-fixing.
  • "A preliminary survey of tech savvy online music enthusiasts recently conducted for the RIAA showed that nearly one out of two consumers surveyed downloaded in the past month and nearly 70 percent burned the music they downloaded"

    I burn the mp3s that I download. I get them at www.npgmusicclub.com [npgmusicclub.com]. These mp3s are sold by Prince and the NPG, and users are given the right to burn them to CD so that we can listen to them without using an mp3 player.

    Of course, I can certainly see why this would have Ms. Rosen concerned. That fat bitch knows that the big record companies are going to watch their profits melt away as other companies like Tekadence and mp3.com help artists sell their music directly to fans at reasonable prices.

    I think I need to write some letters to politicians now...
  • I want names. This statistic crap without sources is not worth the phosphor its glowing on.
  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @05:01PM (#2210571) Homepage Journal
    The Music and Movie industries tell their customers, "You Are All Criminals"(tm), and the average customer agrees with them????

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