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Reports of the RIAA suing over CD ripping prove to be unfounded

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 03 Jan 2008 17:06 User comments (15)

Reports of the RIAA suing over CD ripping prove to be unfounded Despite an erroneous article in the Washington Post, the RIAA is not suing anyone for copying CDs to their hard drive. The story, copied by a number of websites, including Afterdawn, stated that the RIAA was suing Jeffrey Howell both for the music he shared on Kazaa and the additional songs he ripped to his computer's hard drive but didn't share on any P2P network.
As it turns out, simply reading the legal documents in the case shows that this is not true. The confusion apparently stems from a misreading, or more likely a partial reading of a document filed by RIAA lawyers at the request of the judge hearing the case. The document, which can be viewed freely online, sets the legal groundwork for the RIAA's case.

It includes language indicating that "Other courts have also concluded that placing files in a “shared folder” available to other users for download constitutes a distribution of the files" and "files in a KaZaA user’s shared folder, including Defendant’s shared folder, are “available to other people” for download."

Later in the document is the passage which was misinterpreted in the Washington Post article stating "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 Plaintiffs." Since the document only mentions a total of 54 MP3 files, rather than the thousands allegedly ripped from the defendant's legally purchased CDs it's pretty clear that the RIAA's position, or at least that of their lawyers, is that only those files in the defendant's Kazaa "shared" folder infringe RIAA members' copyrights.

A RIAA spokesman has since come out to publicly deny the claim made by Marc Fisher, the Washington Post columnist who wrote the original piece. Of course this shouldn't really be necessary since the legal documents clearly don't say what Fisher claimed they do. Neither Fisher nor anyone from the Washington Post has commented since the article was first published 4 days ago.

You can read the document for yourself on the Internet Law and Regulation website.

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15 user comments

14.1.2008 0:10

===---00----Crazie=\----------

24.1.2008 0:58

Although I despise the RIAA and what they do to their consumer's, this just proves the general public needs to yank their heads from their butts and stop taking media's bs for the truth. Just because you write for a newspaper does not mean you know your head from your arse....do some research and come to your own conclusions people.

34.1.2008 7:34

Although not just as I thought, I knew that there was something wrong with the article. And even though it doesn't go into fair use, I think basic laws say or at least imply that we can do what we want with purchased media as long as the copy right isn't infringed upon.

44.1.2008 9:49

what a bunch of liars they are...

Originally posted by RIAA web site:
If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you’re stealing. You’re breaking the law, and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages
it doesn´t say sharing or uploading, it says making copies...

and they also say...

Originally posted by RIAA web site:
You make an MP3 copy of a song because the CD you bought EXPRESSLY permits you to do so.
the keyword here is "expressly"... if the CD doesn´t say anything about ripping it to MP3 then you may (and will...) be sued by the RIAA...

54.1.2008 10:12

Who does the RIAA think they're kidding. Hell, they'll sue you if you even whistle a song without their consent.

64.1.2008 11:04

Dosen't matter if they did or not they are so anti consumer they could ave planed it out but never went though with it.

74.1.2008 14:18

So here's what probably happened. They let the preliminary documents slip, caught wind of the unholy spitstorm that would ensue and submitted a modified public brief just in time.

84.1.2008 14:25

Originally posted by mspurloc:
So here's what probably happened. They let the preliminary documents slip, caught wind of the unholy spitstorm that would ensue and submitted a modified public brief just in time.

No, the document I linked to is the original. Once it was entered into the court record they couldn't just retract it.

94.1.2008 17:21

This is nuts. If only they left things in simple English then people would not misunderstand what they are on about.

104.1.2008 20:19

Originally posted by vurbal:
No, the document I linked to is the original. Once it was entered into the court record they couldn't just retract it.
vurbal, your link shows a document called "supplemental briefing" from december, 7th... is there a link to the original suit, from last august?

114.1.2008 22:21

Originally posted by xempler:
Who does the RIAA think they're kidding. Hell, they'll sue you if you even whistle a song without their consent.
lol.

them or Prince for that vid with the baby on youtube that made headlines. you all remember that.

Id like to see an entire shift. Like Radioheads "free or pay" idea. Id happily pay for music knowing all of the profits are going to the artists.

125.1.2008 11:50

Originally posted by xempler:
Who does the RIAA think they're kidding. Hell, they'll sue you if you even whistle a song without their consent.
LMAO!!! My God....dude I haven't stopped laughing for the past 7 mins. Now thats funny!!!

135.1.2008 20:27

'Reports of the RIAA suing over CD ripping prove to be unfounded'

Full of shit, full of shit, full of shit, full of shit, FULL OF SHIT.

146.1.2008 13:56
ali2007
Inactive

'Reports of the RIAA suing over CD ripping prove to be unfounded'

Full of shit, full of shit, full of shit, full of shit, FULL OF SHIT


true that , they know how to manipulate words

156.1.2008 14:13
ali2007
Inactive

Later in the document is the passage which was misinterpreted in the Washington Post article stating "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 Plaintiffs." Since the document only mentions a total of 54 MP3 files, rather than the thousands allegedly ripped from the defendant's legally purchased CDs it's pretty clear that the RIAA's position, or at least that of their lawyers, is that only those files in the defendant's Kazaa "shared" folder infringe RIAA members' copyrights.

read carefully

so we can convert the file from .mp3 to any other format distribute and share it

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