Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.OK, Les, it seems, is not the real stupid evil bastard here (but we knew that, of course).
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.
The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. 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.
What utter rubbish! And what a slap in its customers’ collective face. The recording industry seems determined to destroy itself, taking as many customers as it can with it. I’m certainly ready to say that I’ll not buy any more music from any of the major record labels. Let’s all do it. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”
And then write to the RIAA and tell them so.
The WaPo doesn’t shy away from offering an opinion on this either:
The RIAA’s legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only “created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies,” Beckerman says. “Every problem they’re trying to solve is worse now than when they started.”Yea, verily.