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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 9th, 2007
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Default Legal Question: Can A Song Download Be "Illegal" If One Owns The LP/CD?

I realize that case law on P2P is unclear and the RIAA is using Gestapo tactics to bully P2P users into submission... and even trying to extort money outside the courts by charging fines.

But as I asked in another thread... Hey RIAA... what do YOU owe ME?
there seem to be moral issues of the RIAA gladly charging customers double/triple licensing fees when one merely upgrades from 45 to LP to CD.

So what is the "law" when one is merely trying to get better copies of songs through P2P of LPs/CDs one already owns? Granted CDs are easily converted to mp3 but LPs certainly are not. And even if one does, they contain all the defects of the original analog source.

This raises another question… given that under our system there is a presumption of innocence… is it up to the RIAA to prove one never owned these original 45s, LPs or CDs? My psychotic ex girlfriend stole some 25 CDs from me 15 years ago. What rights do I have to now re-establish that collection? Surely the RIAA would not begrudge me the use of P2P to do so... right? LOL
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Old March 9th, 2007
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Of course they would. As far as they are concerned you never owned
anything but plastic.

Home recording is legal. Since there's no digital restrictions on CDs and LPs,
even the DMCA can't stop you. The MAFIAA would tell you that downloading is
illegal and "stealing" but they dare not face a court with that line. The simple
reality is you are at home, recording (making a copy) with your computer, but
you are getting it from the internet instead of a CD in a drive or a turntable
plugged into the sound card.

The law comes in only if someone uploads music from your computer on the internet.
Even then, it is strictly a civil matter and they would have to sue or
leave you alone.
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Old March 9th, 2007
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Join Date: August 9th, 2006
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ZombieGak is flying high
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronWalkhouse
Of course they would. As far as they are concerned you never owned anything but plastic.
Which brings up the core issue. If the RIAA can claim X value per download in order to sue someone, then there has to be some real-world basis for that. What does an artist get per song on a CD? And if the RIAA can claim they are owed that from "illegal" copying... then there must be some implicit though unexplored legal right that 45/cassette/8-Track/LP/CD owners should NOT be charged over and over to listen to the same song just because they upgrade formats. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
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Old March 9th, 2007
AaronWalkhouse's Avatar
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The RIAA represents only record companies, not the artists, who get only pennies
from each CD sold, and even then don't get paid until their "debt" to the record
companies is paid off. The real world wholesale price the record companies get
is about 70 cents a track. The fantasy figures they are so fond of quoting in the
press are theoretical "statutory" (punitive) damages which they never will get in
real courts.
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Old March 10th, 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronWalkhouse
The RIAA represents only record companies, not the artists, who get only pennies from each CD sold, and even then don't get paid until their "debt" to the record companies is paid off. The real world wholesale price the record companies get is about 70 cents a track. The fantasy figures they are so fond of quoting in the press are theoretical "statutory" (punitive) damages which they never will get in
real courts.
Given how the RICO statute has been extended beyond the original target, it makes me wonder why there's never been a RICO suit against the RIAA. It might finally untangle this legal mess of whether file sharing is really illegal and raise the question of whether the RIAA has been repeatedly assessing licensing fees on the same songs just because a consumer upgrades to a better recording format. Same goes when consumers upgrade from VHS to DVD... and probably now to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Sadly much of what makes up case law has little to do with the merits of a case but may have more to do with the quality of attorneys representing either side.

For more on RICO:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rackete...anizations_Act
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Old March 15th, 2007
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Trying to do some more research I found this
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.c...royalties6.htm
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