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Recording Industry Hopes To Hinder CD Burning 869

Posted by timothy
from the technical-details-not dept.
Decaffeinated Jedi writes "News.com reports that the recording industry is currently testing technology that would limit the number of times that a given CD (or copies of that CD) could be burned. The idea is to let consumers 'make a limited number of copies of their music -- enough for a car, a vacation home and a friend, for example -- without allowing for uncontrolled duplication.' Currently, Macrovision and SunnComm International are developing competing versions of such 'secure burning' technology, with BMG Music Group already testing the latter company's software."
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Recording Industry Hopes To Hinder CD Burning

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  • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:34AM (#9314501) Homepage
    Record labels in the United States have been sensitive to these consumer concerns, worrying particularly about earlier versions of copy-protection technology that had difficulty playing in nontraditional CD players such as game consoles or car stereos. They've released many protected CDs overseas, but only a small number in the United States and United Kingdom, where perceived opposition has been the highest.

    Oh please, they are unconcerned with how we feel. They are only concerned with how much money they will make. I don't see how not releasing a copy-protected CD because people will balk is being concerned w/our feelings.

    I wasn't aware that free-use included allowing a limit to be placed on something you have purchased. Making a few copies for home use sounds good but it's all bullshit. They are trying to limit one of the few "freedoms" we still have.

    "I think the labels have been relaxing a little in terms of usage rules," said Liz Brooks, vice president of business development at Buy.com's music division.

    I realize that this quote comes from a VP at Buy.com but I wasn't aware that the labels got to decide what rules we had to follow regarding fair use. Wow.

    Just remember all this when you are supporting the cartels. Your money goes to developing methods and laws to limit your freedoms and to supporting suits against your fellow man.
  • Don't mind if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lysander Luddite (64349) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:37AM (#9314552)
    What I would prefer to see is my current ability to make unlimited dups of my *original* CD. I don't mind creating "mules" that is copies that then can't be copied, but if I bought it, I shoudl be able to make as many copies as I want/need for personal use and not have them tied to a physical machine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:42AM (#9314628)
    I'm not really interested in defeating this, I'm more interested in how this technology will work.

    If what is stored on a CD is just a binary bits of 1s and 0s, then how can it limit the number of times that a CD can be burned (or its copies)? The fact that a ``limited'' number of copies can be burned seems to suggest that the CD format has to be your standard CD, surely, and how do they plan to get around burning restrictions? Or do they plan to use the same dodgy autorun hack?

    I am genuinely interested. If someone could shed a light on this that would be great.
  • by swordboy (472941) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:48AM (#9314697) Journal
    The solution to piracy is never going to find success in copy protection.

    It already has.

    Right now, it is easy to pirate a CD because there were no anti-piracy measures implemented when the format was developed. The installed base has become too large to ignore so CDs are still distributed today. But then Apple came through with iTunes and all-of-a-sudden, we've got a new format that is gaining ground while the old stand-by is losing ground. When the old format has lost enough ground, the industry will drop it as a supported format and we'll be stuck with the new.

    Everyone on /. can see this coming but the general public could give a rat's ass, for the most part. They can still play their unprotected MP3s with their iPod so they could care less. However, they when they won't be able to create unprotected MP3s from unprotected CDs, they will finally see what's going on. But it will be too late. Of course, it will still be possible to make unprotected recordings using the "analog hole" that we all know and love.

    Other than my DVD player and my PC, I no longer own any native CD player device. It isn't necessary anymore. This is what the industry has been waiting for.
  • Hard Problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:49AM (#9314708) Homepage Journal

    Given that they haven't yet managed to create a CD that is uncopyable, what makes them think they're going to be able to make one that is copyable for a while and then becomes uncopyable? That's a much harder problem.

    It'll be interesting to see what the technological approach is. An autoplayed Windows app on the CD would be the simplest route, but even that would be very difficult. It would have to somehow interfere with your CD burning application to store an updated "burn count" on the new CD -- or to prevent burning if the count had reached some threshold. I suppose rather than putting the burn count on the CD they could store the data on the net somewhere... that way they could keep track of how many copies of any particular purchased CD were made. This approach would obviously be trivial to defeat (shift key, for example).

    A slightly better way might be to combine an "uncopyable" audio CD (assuming they can find a way to do that that works well) with an extra, compressed and encrypted copy of the audio and an autoplayed Windows app that can burn from this encrypted source. The big challenge here would be to use a standard CD burner to create a playable but not copyable audio CD to prevent next-generation copies, except via the same tool. Managing the burn count would be easy, this way, since it would be their burning software doing the work.

    Outside of some sort of software on the CD that attempts to control burning, or a future MS OS that has the DRM built in, I don't see what they can possibly try to do.

    Well, I suppose they could create a completely new audio format that is incompatible with CDs but has DRM features built in. Perhaps they could even do a decent job on the "security" (unlike the DVD standard), but then they'd have to figure out how to get consumers to buy it, and all of the equipment needed to play it. Not likely.

  • Sarbanes/Oxley (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stormcrow309 (590240) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:50AM (#9314722) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if the RIAA's 'cost of piracy' numbers fall under any of the new Sarbanes/Oxley rules for Financial Reporting. I would love to see the proof of those numbers.

  • by randomErr (172078) <ervin DOT kosch AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:50AM (#9314730) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't your CD burning software have to support this 'limit copy feature' already? Doesn't most burning software first make an ISO or a BIN of the CD(with encryption) and then burn the EXACT copy of the original CD? So if I'm making an EXACT copy of a product, never changing a bit in the process, how is it going to know I'm making copies?
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:54AM (#9314773) Homepage
    Exactly.

    A good friend of mine is a music studio middle-manager and I bounced this idea off him:

    Imagine if you could go to a web site, select some tracks from various artists, click on: burn and send, and the whole CD was burned on high quality disc, and custom jacket with lyrics made, and the whole thing shipped to the customer's house, including shipping, for 3.99 (yes, the whole CD).

    He looked at me funny for a second and said: But we'd lose money!
    To which I replied: You're losing money now.

    Then it dawned on him that millions of people would love that, because for the price, it's cheaper to order it that way than to download off your favorite p2p, listen for quality, burn it, and go to kinko's to photocopy the artwork.

    I asked him what it would take for the studios to implement a system like that, and he replied, half jokingly: An Act of Congress.

    Supply and demand are where it's at. The market laws apply to all industries and all countries for all commodities. What makes music industry execs think they're immune to it?

    They should go jump off a tall bridge and see if they're immune to the laws of gravity.
  • by The_K4 (627653) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:55AM (#9314777)
    It will NEVER stop being about money. As a great quote from "The Heist" says

    Coffee Cart Man: Hey buddy. You forgot your change.
    Joe Moore: [Takes the change] Makes the world go round.
    Bobby Blane: What's that?
    Joe Moore: Gold.
    Bobby Blane: Some people say love.
    Joe Moore: Well, they're right, too. It is love. Love of gold.

    They want control so they can squeeze every last penny out of you that they can. The more control they have the more gold they get! This is why you plan won't work, almost all of it involves being happy just making a lot of money, they aren't happy unless they make ALL the money.
  • by mwood (25379) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:57AM (#9314811)
    The labels should consider selling their product the way DEC used to sell software: licenses and copies on media are two separate products. Then I could:

    o buy a package deal (license+1medium) in the store and just use it;

    o buy a license and make my own copy legally, from someone else's copy or a download;

    o buy additional licenses and make more copies when I want 'em;

    o make licensed copies on any medium which suits me.

    All with the blessing of the copyright owners.

    Yes, I would buy licenses if they were sensibly priced.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:03AM (#9314883)
    So long as the trademark holder (Philipps, iirc) says it's alright, they could label cans of expired Alpo as CDs. If they say it's a CD, it's a CD. PSX games have the CD logo on them, do they play in your car?

    But go ahead and try.

    Oh, you wont get a $500 judgement. I doubt any court would give you punitive or "pain and suffering" damages. You'd at best recoup the 15 bucks or so you payed for the CD. And it'd probably cost you $50 or so to file.

    And expect to be countersued and wind up paying for the $500-per-hr lawyers the manufacturers send to deal with your nonsense.

    God, for a bunch of self-titled geeks, slashdotters sure are fucking stupid.
  • by path_man (610677) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:14AM (#9315014)

    Back in the day, when ISA slots were all the rage, there was this neat little add-on board that you could install in your 286 called a Copy-II-PC card. Now this lil card didn't just pop up for no reason... this was THE way to do bit-for-bit copies of floppy disks. Now some software manufacturers tried their hardest to munge up a floppy in just the right way so that the ol' DOS "diskcopy" would fail, but the Copy-II-PC card didn't miss a beat. You had to tell it which bits to copy (even bits that seemed to be borked to DOS but were actually copy protection) and with the right settings from trial and error, you could figure it out with little effort.

    I guess my point is that the music industry seems to be repeating history with these copy-protection schemes. The software industry figured out that copy pro didn't work, and that anyone with $139 for a bit-board could make all the copies of the software that they wanted. So instead of spending money on copy protection, now software companies have invested in better ways of providing software (subscription services, online gaming, on-demand downloads, etc.) which people are willing to pay to use.

    When is the music industry going to figure this out? It's time to change the way they do business. Don't keep trying to prevent us from copying something that we are entitled to use!! Give us a better way to buy music, create something that generates greater demand, and actually adds some VALUE and then people will begin to stop copying and pay for originals.

  • by MacBorg (740087) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:25AM (#9315128)
    Ok, the RIAA is having a flaming hissy fit these days, but exactly how do they plan to make something like this work? Are they going to insist on "blessed" computers or will they try to encode a copy protector on the cd its self? Pretty much, any way they do this there is a very simple work around - play it on any piece of hardware and then just record the sound on your computer. I mean, how are they going to block that? Will they lobby to outlaw 1/8" headphone jacks? Good grief. The RIAA is just nuts.
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:27AM (#9315155) Homepage
    "Wouldn't your CD burning software have to support this 'limit copy feature' already? Doesn't most burning software first make an ISO or a BIN of the CD(with encryption) and then burn the EXACT copy of the original CD? So if I'm making an EXACT copy of a product, never changing a bit in the process, how is it going to know I'm making copies?"

    Short answer: litigation.

    Long answer: CD burning software companies will HAVE to support the new copyright schemes, lest they get blown out of the water by RIAA et all saying "We gave you a copyright scheme, now use it". Watch and see. If "copyright management through litigation" takes off with DRM, you won't be able to purchase a burning program in a few years that doesn't support these schemes. And free software versions will be more or less sued out of existence.
  • by phyrz (669413) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:30AM (#9315181)
    lets see:

    1. run cool edit 2000 or similar software.
    2. put cd in drive.
    3. press record in cool edit.
    4. play cd.
    5. go make dinner
    6. spend half an hour breaking up the recording.
    7. encode as mp3 and enjoy.

    annoying, but i've had to do this a few times now. damned if im fiddling around with cd's when i want to hear some music.

    In the worse case the cd won't play in the cd-rom drive; then you run a hifi cable from an approved listening device to the computer and follow the same procedure.

    These dumbasses should stop wasting their precious profits on this stupid tech R&D.
  • Re:furthermore... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by beatleadam (102396) <flambergeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:31AM (#9315195) Homepage Journal
    It doesn't. Each copy will be slightly worse.

    Exactly. The scary element for me here is how oddly reminiscent of copying or dubbing cassette tapes back and forth in the 80's...YOW! Did I type that out loud?!
  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:32AM (#9315201) Homepage Journal
    How about this as a model for the music store?

    One cost the RIAA complains about, that is legitimate, is the cost of distributing the recordings of CDs that turn out to be poor sellers.

    Most music stores have a means to sample their catalog today, from small gizmos. That implies some form of readily accessable electronic storage. Now imagine that the record store of the future stocks only high-demand CDs, and the rest of the stock is stored, perhaps even on a cache basis. The store also has a (more expensive than consumer) machine that can burn CDs, apply high-quality artwork, print labels, and the like.

    Want a high-demand CD? Pick it up, pay, and walk out with it.
    Want a more garden-variety CD? Find it in the catalog, listen to a sample if you wish, and order it. (deposit optional part of the business model) Browse for 5 or 10 minutes, or go to another store. Come back, pay, and take it home.
    Want something obscure, like the namesake of "It's a Beautiful Day"? Just like the garden-variety CD, except it may take a little longer to get the full contents into the cache from a remote server.

    Oops, I should have patented this Business Method.
    Wonder if a /. post constitutes prior art?
    IMHO something this simply thought-up should NOT be patentable. Iff there's some devil in the details that's not easily worked out, THAT may be patentable.
  • by the pickle (261584) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:35AM (#9315237) Homepage
    I'd like to see some statistics -- preferably from an entity NOT controlled by the RIAA -- comparing the projected "losses" due to piracy within the United States versus piracy within Southeast Asia.

    If you stop a bunch of high-school kids in the US and Europe, big fugging deal. Put up enough obstacles to fair use, and the Britney-obsessed drones will politely shut up and pay their money.

    But there were monstrous cartels of professional pirates in SE Asia before Napster was even an embryonic thought in Shawn Fanning's mind. There are still monstrous cartels of professional pirates there, and there will continue to be monstrous cartels of professional pirates there, no matter what sort of fair-use restrictions the RIAA tries to throw at the problem.

    The solution is not a greater impediment to copying. The solution lies in driving the professional pirates out of business. Of course, the RIAA (or the BSA, or the MPAA) doesn't pWn the governments of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and China, so I don't expect they'll ever actually admit this is where the real problem lies, because they can't do anything about it.

    p
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:43AM (#9315349) Homepage
    I agree entirely with your post.

    One should be able to do this kiosk-like, in a store. Or at a drive-through, or at a Starbux, a Border's, or while waiting in line at the bank.

    Just like a photo booth.

    Put in 3 dollars, select 12 tracks, wait 30 seconds, and voila! Your CD.
  • Re:Give It Up (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:44AM (#9315356)
    This might be a little a field, but what the hey.

    My Sony amp/receiver that's part of my home theater is about 5 years old, I think the STR-995 or something like that. Little did I know it included a nasty twisted piece of DRM.

    The receiver has Digital Audio inputs for DVD/LD/CD/MD players and the like.

    It also has several analog-out RCA jacks for TAPE, TV, etc., on one of them, I've got a Advent wireless speaker transmitter, so I can broadcast whatever I'm listening to in other rooms in the house or outside, where ever I want to tote the speakers. It's a poor-man's solution that works fine unless... you guessed it, the audio source is one of the digital inputs. I noticed this when my cable system went digital and when I ran the digital audio out from the cable box to the receiver, the receiver's RCA outputs went dead, so much for digital music upstairs

    Of course, the work around is to use the analog inputs into the receiver, which unless you're watching a DVD and want to geek out to the 5.1 surround, is perfectly fine.

    I think we'll start seeing more and more crippled hardware like this in the future. Incidentally, if anyone knows of a good receiver that doesn't have this nice little "feature" I could use some recommendations.

  • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet.hotmail@com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:46AM (#9315381) Journal
    magine if you could go to a web site, select some tracks from various artists, click on: burn and send, and the whole CD was burned on high quality disc, and custom jacket with lyrics made, and the whole thing shipped to the customer's house, including shipping, for 3.99 (yes, the whole CD).

    He looked at me funny for a second and said: But we'd lose money!
    To which I replied: You're losing money now.

    Where is he losing money? The music industry is extremely profitable.

    Sure, there are sales to individuals that could be made under your proposed model--individuals not buying music now. That's not a loss, per se.

    Assume that it costs a dollar to press a CD and ship it to your local music store. Say it costs two dollars to produce a custom compact disc and art, and ship it to an individual's home.

    Back of the envelope math says that the record company makes fourteen dollars per disc under the first pricing scheme, and two dollars per disc under the second. Will they sell seven times as many discs under the new model? No? Then they're not going to change.

    Supply and demand are where it's at. The market laws apply to all industries and all countries for all commodities. What makes music industry execs think they're immune to it?

    Except that music isn't a commodity--not the way wheat is. For a given artist, generally there is only one supplier. Consequently, demand can be regulated through price in an effective monopoly situation. The price point will be set wherever total profit (units sold times net profit per unit) is maximized. Record companies may choose to introduce new products and new distribution schemes if they think they can make gobs of money at it, but there's no competitive pressure for them to do so.

  • by Macgruder (127971) <chandies.williamsonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:50AM (#9315435)
    Why not a copy protection scheme that gives you unlimited copies, but a) requires the master, and b) can only make one copy at a time (preventing the use of multi-burner arrays)?

    Joe Schmo can make copies for his car/boat/pc/mp3 player, but none of those can be distributed any further. And the large pirate groups can't just crank out unlimited copies from the master, not without investing huge amounts of time, limiting their profits.

    (the really professional groups use presses, stamping their own CDs, not burning them. As far as I know, there's no protection against that tactic, once you have the physical media)

    You can use your purchased CD or d/l tracks as many times as you want. But you're prevented from widespread distribution to others. And hopefully, it's a transparent-to-the-user scheme.

    I could go for something like that
  • by The Conductor (758639) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:56AM (#9315502)

    whether the duplicates will also have copy limits.

    Well, back in the 80's the TRS-80's TRSDOS operating system supported a scheme like this. Your floppy could be "backup limited" and the system would permit only, say, 3 or 5 copies, after which the OS's disk duplication software would flag an error. In that case the OS would not copy a back-up copy.

    How much this copyright protection helped Tandy realize its destiny as a world-class computer maker is left as an exercise for the reader.

  • Re:furthermore... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tree131 (643930) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:26PM (#9315807)
    You'd have one copy that could burn 4 discs, one that could burn 3, one 2, one 1, and one that you couldn't copy at all

    Why go through all this? Do it the old school way.
    You get force aspi [clonecd.net], you get Audiocatalyst or Audiograbber [com-us.net], you rip your CD, and you burn a new one DRM free, or you encode it straight to MP3's.
    Done! You have a CD that can be replicated indefinitely.

    You may have to use Sound Forge [sonypictures.com] or your favorite sound editing app to remove any DRM induced pauses/noise, but that's rare.

    I'm gonna go put on my tin foil hat now...

  • by XryanX (775412) <XryanXNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:34PM (#9315908)
    "Oh, I forgot, we're scapegoating the RIAA here and ignoring the artists in this equation. You know, those nameless people who actually rented the studio and spent a couple of months recording the music."

    Actually, artists make very little money from record sales. The majority of their money comes from huge signing bonuses, concert revenue, merchandise sales, etc.

    One could argue that file sharing allows more people to hear their music, and thus more people to be interested in going to their show.

    I heard something really interesting the other day on NPR. Apparently, the record companies willingly withhold royalties from their artists. In the event that the artist actually notices that (s)he is missing money, they have to spend thousands of their own dollars to hire a lawyer to get an audit, and even then, they only settle for a fraction of what they deserve.

    I'm not trying to justify "piracy", but I have a hard time sympathizing with a company that's fucks its employees over that much. Instead of getting Britney Spears on commercials condemning file sharing, they should be giving her what she rightfully earned according to her contract.
  • by rzbx (236929) <slashdot AT rzbx DOT org> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:50PM (#9316137) Homepage
    This is not a good thing. Consider this. If the RIAA continues, they will hinder technological progress by complicating the devices consumers use which means companies developing these devices will require employees with vast amounts of knowledge which the general consumer is not supposed to have since it is he/she that is the potential pirate. This will cause whatever piracy remains to be highly organized and tied into the blackmarket (they are indirectly creating crime that would not exist if they didn't have such control over their market). Going against the market creates problems. If you compare the RIAA do the DEA, you will notice certain similarities. They are in effect creating a new crime. Don't be surprised if 10-20 years from now you find the RIAA is closer to resembling the DEA. When a person making minimum wage sees a CD costing them maybe a quarter of a days worth of work at the store, what do you think goes through their mind? They have a some options; not to buy the CD, buy the CD and have less money for food/clothing/shelter/school/kids/books/whatever, steal the CD, find a friend that will make a copy for maybe around a dollar or free, download it offline for free, download it online from a foreign site for cheap(legal?), or buy it from an organized piracy group.

    You understand the intentions of the RIAA well. Unfortunately, the outcome of their actions is not something I and I'm sure many others are willing to live with. The RIAA is simply a legal cartel. The question is, what do we do? Some have tried fighting it in the courts, some have used technological methods (P2P), some have gone to congress, and others have gone around their system trying to sell more directly. In every case, the RIAA has been there to make sure they still maintain control. They have threatened companies, consumers, and probably even congressmen. They have sued companies, consumers (not quite there yet, out of court for now it seems), and taken everyone they could to court. Competition? They are there, but are finding it hard fighting the RIAA cartel.

    I don't disagree with your post, in fact, I agree. I just wanted to add some insight into the consequences of their actions.
  • by RickHunter (103108) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @01:25PM (#9316642)

    This is an excellent point. DVDs loaded with extra features are now, often, cheaper than the soundtrack CD for the same movie. And compared to the DVD content, the CD content's trivial to track down on any P2P service.

    So you're charging more for something with less value which the black market can provide more easily. And you expect anyone to buy your product WHY?

  • Re:Workaround (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @01:32PM (#9316735) Homepage
    You do realize that your post can subject you to severe civil and criminal liability under them DMCA (or equivalent law in your country, e.g. EUCD in the EU).

    We are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and being Bubba's roomate in a Federal prison for many years of your life. By the time you get out, you might be so old you can barely even hear music anymore.
  • by sgt_getraer (448034) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @01:49PM (#9316939) Homepage
    Another reason the RIAA are scared shitless is because of ME. Not only are they afraid of the collapse of prices now that their distribution 'model/monopoly' is broken, but they've made a business out of what really is an art. I'm a musician, and I want to make music. I gladly let my music be traded on the Internet, because I'm not in it for the money, I'm do it because I love it. The RIAA knows I'm not the only one out there.
    Music will be around long after the RIAA crashes and burns... it will last as long as us humans have some sticks and rocks to bang together.
  • You're all wet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @01:52PM (#9317001)
    "No, they DO. I make my living as a "copyright holder" - I am an illustrator and a designer. I sell copyrights on my work to my clients, I have often had people "steal" my work, using it commercially without compensating me..."

    You proved him right. You said the magic word... "COMMERCIALLY".

    If a magazine publishes your work, they'll pay you for it. If I like the work, I'll rip the page out of the magazine put it in my scanner and copy it, making it my screensaver.

    That's okay. You may wish you could get money for it, and if you're clever (probably not), you'll convince me to pay money for it. But the fact remains that I can scan yout picture and use it for personal use without your permission.

    That's the way it works. That's the way its *supposed* to work.
  • by arminw (717974) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:36PM (#9317491)
    The moral key to copying or not it seems to me is whether or not the copier is getting some sort of financial gain by appropriating the fruits of creativity of the copyright holder. If the copies are given away without gain, then copying should be allowed.

    If a copy is given away, it does not automatically follow that a sale of the work was lost. If I invite friends over to watch a movie and it is a bomb, then there might be a loss to the studio, because those that saw the it will certainly not spend a dime on it. However, if it is a hit, some of my friends might want to buy it and some may ask me to make them a copy. At this point, the price of the movie will be a deciding factor for most of them. If the price is reasonable, then they will buy it, but if it is outrageously high then they would more likely bug me for a copy. If the price is too high, the studio has not lost any money since most of the friends would not buy it anyway, but just do without. So, the key to minimizing piracy is to find just the right selling price. It seems that for movie DVDs the prevailing prices are pretty fair, but plain music CD cost way more for the entertainment time they provide.

    AAW
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:45PM (#9318213)
    Correlation is not causation.

    So? It is better than asserting something that is contrary to the observations without any evidence.

    People have shared music for more than 50 years. Why the push recently? I think it is because after a price fixing scam, suing their own customers, wide bredth of available "old" music, lack of interesting "new" music, and other factors have led to a decrease in demand. Since the price for CDs remains artifically high, people are not willing to pay for it. They are looking for lower cost options. This includes iTunes, and free methods for getting music. Some of the free methods are the same as have been used for years. Some are new.

    Because of a general fear of the unknown (coupled with the lack of knowledge of the contemporary in D.C.), the RIAA has determined there is an opportunity to eliminate the ability to share music, whether shared in a legal or illegal manner. Yes, they are trying to make it illegal to exercise "fair use," a right guarenteed under law.

    Yeah--control over their own copyrighted materials. How dare they. The nerve!

    Yes. It is quite nervy of them. When the copyright runs out, I will still have a crippled copy. They do not "own" the copyrighted material. The IP is released into public domain. The material that carries the IP belongs to me. And they are telling me that I can not use my "fair use" rights guarenteed by law.

    Of course, anyone that wants reasonable laws and reasonable protection of property is instantly seen as a pirate. That is the first step to the total control. Everyone that disagrees with you must be acting illegally and wanting to protect their own interests. It'd be a sad lie, if it wasn't believed by so many nieve people with power.
  • by tfoss (203340) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:54PM (#9318311)
    What they don't seem to get is that you can't simply stuff the genie back in the bottle. If the only way to get music were to either buy the cd, or have a friend copy the cd, then this strategy of 'eliminate the casual copiers' might very well have a major effect. Yet until they find an effective way to deal with file-sharing networks, there is a major backdoor to obtaining music without buying the cd.

    On a grander scale it is interesting to watch the industry deal with a drastically changing landscape. Ignore, deny, sue, try band-aid solutions, begin to accept while still trying to do the rest... I really can't wait to see where we are 10 years from now.

    -Ted

  • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @06:45PM (#9320182)
    The UK is indeed an exception; there is no fair use clause in UK copyright law. Technically, I can't make backups or format shift my music.

    In reality, no-one is ever going to be dragged through the courts for ripping their CD collection to mp3/ogg/whatever, but that's not the point. A bad law is a bad law, whether it's enforced or not.

    For what it's worth, though, I assume that the poster was referring to a licence to use. Fair use or not, I can't believe that you're entitled to buy a single copy of software then install it on as many machines, for as many people, as you like. That would make a mockery of the concept of copyright.
  • Re:Uh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by psyph3r (785014) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:09PM (#9331900)
    Nicely put. They have declared war, with out considering more diplomatic means. As we have seen, the "children and elderly" are not beneath them. It is almost as if "**AA" are dying beasts thrashing around violently, trying to take down as many as they can before they colapse. (SCO anyone?) |be informed of the coming doom www.antitcpa.com|

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