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RIAA To Target CD-R 659

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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  • 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.


  • by angry_android ( 320134 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:12PM (#2209700)
    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 VP ( 32928 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:14PM (#2209732)
    My conclusion is rather that Napster was virtually shut down, and therefore the music sales of CDs went down... althought the economic slowdown is also relevant.
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:16PM (#2209756)
    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.


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

  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:18PM (#2209774) Homepage Journal
    If I am going to pay a 'tax' to the RIAA, because it is assumed that I am copying music music, (and this is in fact the justification for the 'tax') then is copying (pirating) music something I can still be sued for? I'm paying for the privlage to act in this fashion, so how could I then be sued for it?

    Granted if the RIAA suddenly has this new revenue stream, then a reasonable observer might comment that they'll stop threatening to destroy people who copy music, but given their past history, who really thinks they'll actually refrain from attempting to sue people for this?

    The RIAA would do well to consider the potential impact of attempting to tack a surcharge onto recordable media, because the mechanism they use to justify the surcharge will simply be used to define what rights they are granting the customer who pays the surcharge. Essentially a good defense atourney could argue that payment of the surcharge is de-facto entry into a contract with the RIAA, in which the customer is paying for the privlage of recording music.

    -- CTH
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • by silicon_synapse ( 145470 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:32PM (#2209893)
    If I am going to pay a 'tax' to the RIAA, because it is assumed that I am copying music music, (and this is in fact the justification for the 'tax') then is copying (pirating) music something I can still be sued for? I'm paying for the privlage to act in this fashion, so how could I then be sued for it?

    Not quite. Paying for health insurance doesn't give you the right to commit insurance fraud to get your piece of the pie back. The tax on cd-rs would not be for the priviledge of copying music, it is to cover the cost of revenue supposedly lost due to people copying music. Fair? No. Legal? Could be.
  • by shik0me ( 235948 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @03:44PM (#2209984)
    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. :\

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

    by farmhick ( 465391 ) on Thursday August 23, 2001 @04:28PM (#2210360) Homepage
    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.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan