Oh, the Insanity!

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use – washingtonpost.com
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.


At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that “when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Copying a song you bought is “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ ” she said.

Wait, I am allowed to use a TiVo or similar device to record and time-shift a television program – the devices from Dish Network additionally allow a person to skip the ads – but I am NOT allowed to rip the CDs I bought in order to hear the music on an iPod or similar device? Maybe the RIAA should also sue Apple for enabling the iPod to play back music ripped on a computer, as literally everything ripped on that computer is deemed illegal by the RIAA. Or what about this?

Simply copy your CDs with one click to the OPUS’ internal hard drive and enjoy instant access to all your music, in spectacular quality.

Aren’t they advocating an illegal activity?

This is insanity! Both ends of the spectrum that stretches between P2P and RIAA, are clearly outside any common sense.

How crazy are these two extremes? Well, what comes to my mind are religious fanatics, arguing about the divine nature of a leader’s uttering… is the message human or divine? Who cares about that! Is the message any good should be the question!

One last thought: the RIAA should ask the heads of the corporations that fund the RIAA how they listen to music. Do they not use iPods? Do they not use components like the Opus or a computer? Do they really carry CDs between their office and home stereos and to their car? Or do they buy 3 copies of every CD they like, so they can listen to it at home, in their car and in the office? Somebody should make the RIAA attorneys hand over their iPods and check what’s on them!


RIAA not suing over CD ripping, still kinda being jerks about it – Engadget
Okay, so we’ve done some digging into the RIAA’s lawsuit against Jeffery Howell, in which the industry is claiming that ripped MP3s are “unauthorized copies,” and it turns out that Jeffery isn’t actually being sued for ripping CDs, like the Washington Post and several other sources have reported, but for plain old illegal downloading. As we’re all unfortunately aware, that’s pretty standard stuff; the big change from previous downloading cases is the RIAA’s newfound aggressiveness in calling MP3s ripped from legally owned CDs “unauthorized copies” — something it’s been doing quietly for a while, but now it looks like the gloves are off. While there’s a pretty good argument for the legality of ripping under the market factor of fair use, it’s never actually been ruled as such by a judge — so paradoxically, the RIAA might be shooting itself in the foot here, because a judge wouldn’t ever rule on it unless they argue that it’s illegal. Looks like someone may end up being too clever for their own good, eh?

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars
First, a definition of terms. What is it we’re talking about here? What exactly is being bought and sold? In the past, music was something you heard and experienced — it was as much a social event as a purely musical one. Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context. Epic songs and ballads, troubadours, courtly entertainments, church music, shamanic chants, pub sing-alongs, ceremonial music, military music, dance music — it was pretty much all tied to specific social functions. It was communal and often utilitarian. You couldn’t take it home, copy it, sell it as a commodity (except as sheet music, but that’s not music), or even hear it again. Music was an experience, intimately married to your life. You could pay to hear music, but after you did, it was over, gone — a memory.

Excellent piece for Wired by David Byrne. A couple of weeks old, but I had not gotten around to reading the whole thing. Highly recommended. Nice audio clips of David Byrne’s conversation with Brian Eno. He ends the article with this:

Ultimately, all these scenarios have to satisfy the same human urges: What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket? Really, isn’t that what we want to buy, sell, trade, or download?

Prayer of the Dragon

The old things meant to be passed down, they are the best things distilled out of thousands of years of experience. But somehow in the last century we decided our own lives were too important, that fast cars covered with chrome, and television, and computers made us better than our ancestors. That’s the lie that kills the great things.

From the book I just finished reading a little while ago. It was a perfect day for reading, very cold, mostly grey and fairly dark and with a little snow.