More in the Continuing Series...

L. Bird pkeets at
Fri Feb 17 22:09:34 CST 2006

Repost from Whochat Forum:

>RIAA: Copying Your CD's Onto Your Ipod is Illegal.

RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use
February 15, 2006

It is no secret that the entertainment oligopolists are not happy about 
space-shifting and format-shifting. But surely ripping your own CDs to your 
own iPod passes muster, right? In fact, didn't they admit as much in front 
of the Supreme Court during the MGM v. Grokster argument last year?

Apparently not.

As part of the on-going DMCA rule-making proceedings, the RIAA and other 
copyright industry associations submitted a filing that included this gem as 
part of their argument that space-shifting and format-shifting do not count 
as noninfringing uses, even when you are talking about making copies of your 
own CDs:

"Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular 
circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that 
the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that 
authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for 
copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about 
authorization, not about fair use."

For those who may not remember, here's what Don Verrilli said to the Supreme 
Court last year:

"The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's 
been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take 
a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your 

If I understand what the RIAA is saying, "perfectly lawful" means "lawful 
until we change our mind." So your ability to continue to make copies of 
your own CDs on your own iPod is entirely a matter of their sufferance. What 
about all the indie label CDs? Do you have to ask each of them for 
permission before ripping your CDs? And what about all the major label 
artists who control their own copyrights? Do we all need to ask them, as 

P.S.: The same filing also had this to say: "Similarly, creating a back-up 
copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use...."

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