John

So is The RIAA Going Nutso or What?

In News on January 3, 2008 at 2:52 pm

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The big story before New Year’s Day–not that it matters much to us folks in Malaysia–is that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America, or Ridiculously Insane Association of Assholes, whichever way you wanna look at it) has started going ballistic by suing Jeffrey Howell, of Scottsdale, Ariz., for owning 2,000 songs ripped from legally purchased CDs.

According to The Washington Post, the “industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer. The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.”

But it turned out that later in engadget that the RIAA wasn’t suing Howells for ripping CDs, but for ripping and then putting them in his Shared Folder, which was available to fellow KaZaa users. Still, argues lawyer Ray Beckerman, the case is a flimsy one, with the RIAA doing some dirty underhanded tactics in misinforming The Washington Post. Bah. I dunno. I’m confused. Can any lawyer help me out?

At the end of the day, in simple speak, Dvorak summed it up in his PCMag column:

This sort of suit, besides costing Howell real money simply to mount a defense, is a crapshoot. And on the off chance that the RIAA wins, its new partner, the MPAA, could take things to a further extreme by going after TiVos and DVD burners with crapshoot lawsuits of its own. While these seem like ridiculous targets, they are indeed targets, especially TiVos and DVRs.

They just wanna cause a ruckus so that other people will fear them. The Moral of the Story is: The RIAA are a bunch of lost, greedy people who are clinging on to old media revenue model for dear life. I hope they lose the case.

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