Does the RIAA Really Claim Rips Are Illegal? (Part II)
Threat Level (Wired). Recording Industry Tells Court (Again) That MP3s Are a Crime. Dec. 11, 2007. The blogosphere has been all over this story, and it seems based on the assertions of Ray Beckerman, whose work we respect. We have to say, though, we’re not seeing what the big deal is. What we read was this: “It is undisputed that Defendant possessed unauthorized copies of  copyrighted sound recordings on his computer. … Virtually all of the sound recordings … ‘.mp3’ format. … Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs’ recording into the compressed .mp3 format and they are in his shared folder, they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by [plaintiff recording companies].” If this is the quote to which Beckerman is referring, we see that as RIAA arguing the as yet untested “making available” theory, not necessarily that converting CDs to .MP3 files is de facto infringement. Don’t get us wrong: RIAA likely thinks CD to MP3 transfers are illegal, even to iPods. It just wants to be mealy-mouthed about it so as to preserve any remaining shred of public credibility it retains.
(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in the Dec. 18, 2007, edition of Copycense Clippings.)
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