AfterDawn: Tech news

MGM admits CD ripping is legal and OK

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Apr 2005 10:10 User comments (8)

Back in 1984 after the Sony Betamax case, American consumers now had many fair use rights which today would allow people to copy their own personally owned CDs, DVDs etc. After the Sony Betamax case, countries around the world also followed in giving consumers rights over their purchased goods. However, the entertainment industry has been quite unfair when it comes to fair use, trying to make it impossible for us consumers to copy something we paid money for. For example, CSS on DVDs was designed to stop DVD ripping and there have been many copy protections tested on music CDs.
So while the entertainment industry seems to dislike our fair use rights so much, what does it take for a company like MGM to concede that something like ripping CDs to MP3 to store on a portable audio player is legal and actually ok? Well, we now have that answer. It occurs when you are cornered by the Supreme Court. As you know MGM vs. Grokster is currently been fought in the U.S. Supreme Court and some are not convinced by MGM's claims.

A photocopier could be used for copyright infringement and it always is, but they are legal because of their substantial legitimate uses just like P2P networks, so why don't we see these cases against companies that make photocopiers? The same can be said to MGM in the case of Apple who do have a music store that sells DRM protected music but also has a hugely successful iPod music player than can be used to play "stolen music" as well as legit music. Could one not argue that an iPod looks like an excellent buy to a music pirate? Just like P2P software might look like a good download?

When these questions were put to MGM, the reply that was given suggested that an iPod is OK because it is clear it has legitimate uses like allowing its users to copy their CD collection onto the music player. Of course that is a massive legitimate use as it is fair use, if I buy a music CD then I am allowed to copy the music off it to whatever the hell I want. However, you can bet that at MGM there are a lot of people who believe CD ripping is not right and why exactly?

It all goes back to money. Lets take Norway for an example for a second. There are copyright laws being proposed in Norway currently that say it is fine to copy a CD to a CD but it's not fine to rip a CD's audio to MP3. The argument for that law is the protection on a CD couldn't be cracked (or bypassed somehow) to copy the audio to an MP3 player because such a device would not be seen as an appropriate for a CD. What they really mean is, if we can all just rip the audio we own on CD already to high quality MP3, then we have no reason to buy it again from iTunes to put it on our iPods. Like I said, it all comes back to money.


Thanks to tinfoil for submitting this news story to us using the News Submission form.

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8 user comments

15.4.2005 10:21

Is it jus me, or are these companies, desperately trying to get a strangle hold on the world. Seriously, now they are saying that it is ok to rip music from a cd. So, what now, because we can do that, Itunes will start to lose money, because if you have the cd, why bother going to itunes for the song d/l. Honestly, this is going to go on and on, and on, and on, and in the end, it is just going to come right back. They might as well embrace the fact, that no matter what type of measure they inplement, there will always be something out there to break the code. This whole p2p case is ridiculous too. It is not the technology that they should be worrying about, it is the people. If you give people the tools to do what they want to do, there is no limit to anything that they can do!

25.4.2005 12:15

if the corporations would just put out stuff worth paying the price for, then i'm sure their "huge piracy problems" (doubt they are truly that big at all, as music and movie sales have been going up)would lessen or almost totally disappear. the problem is the number of p2p users. if fewer people used it, it'd be less of an issue; if more people used it, acceptance would be forced. unfortunately, the numbers are right in the middle.

36.4.2005 00:01

lol, it's funner to break/rip the cd/dvd than listen/ watch it industry is just asking for it *salutes the alcohol bootleggers of early U.S.A.*

46.4.2005 03:33

we should all salute them; because of them, we have NASCAR and countless automobile safety innovations. i wonder if music/movie bootleggers will leave us with their version of anything like that?

56.4.2005 10:55

Guys and Girls, As the article states..."Its all about the money" The Entertainment industry is trying to survive and they are using every means possible to do it. They want to outlaw P2P because the independants (Musicians and Movie producers alike) due to technology (P2P and inexpensive production software and electronics) are taking a bite out of their pie and the independants are getting more of that pie every day. The Entertainment industry is trying to stop them by taking away their distribution model, which BTW, is free and doesn't need to use them. There are several articles out their that speak to the tactics the entertainment industry is using to slow this trend. In the end they will die or change their ways, we consumers are not all that blind, some take longer to realize what they (RIAA MPAA, etc.) are doing but we do and will eventually. Educating the public at large is what we must do to over come the propoganda machine the RIAA and MPAA is running to make the public think this P2P stuff is bad. The RIAA is even threatening the small businesses that are selling independant mucis CD's claiming they are selling pirated materials. Starcruiser

68.4.2005 10:30

Does MGM's "admission" extend to CDs infected with copy protection? Technically, ripping copy protected CDs is in direct violation of the DMCA. Just wondering.

711.4.2005 07:03

Alot more people are getting smarter like getting ip blockers from or bluetack they seem to do the work that is how people get away with p2p that is the technology issue more and more people are finding ways to stop the Anti companys like this article trying to run the world

812.4.2005 07:56

Greyarea, Doesn't their comment then promote copyright violation according to the DCMA and other related legislation? Darkmetal, I say stop buying/DL'ing their crap and support the independant artists F*ck the Recording industry, let them go under. They are trying to stiffle the independants, this is their real motivation, but then it all comes back to greed doesn't it?

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