Tue Jan 01, 2008 16:16
effrey Howell of Scottsdale stands accused of placing 54 music files in a specific ?shared? directory on his personal computer that all users of KaZaA and other ?peer-to-peer? software could access ? pretty standard grounds for an RIAA lawsuit. However, on page 15 of a supplemental brief responding to the judge?s technical questions about the case, the RIAA?s Phoenix lawyer, Ira M. Schwartz, states that the defendant is also liable simply for the act of creating ?unauthorized copies? ? by ripping songs from CDs. ?I couldn?t believe it when I read that,? New York lawyer Ray Beckerman told the Washington Post. ?The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.?
In other words, according to Schwartz?s logic, every single person who?s ever ?ripped? a CD for portable listening on an iPod or other MP3 player could be liable for astronomical damages. Apple itself estimated earlier this year that only 4 percent of music on iPods worldwide had been purchased through iTunes, implying that most of the rest had been ripped from CDs. In October, Jammie Thomas, a Minnesota single mother, was ordered to pay the record companies $220,000, or $9,250 for each of 24 songs a jury found she?d shared online. Are these twats totally out of their mind? Putting a lawsuit against someone who legally bought a CD and then ripped it to mp3 so he can listen the songs on his mp3 player, that?s the last proof of how idiotic this bloody company is?