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I came across this article from Sound & Vision online and I'm somewhat appalled at what the author is telling readers to do. He is recommending that everyone steal music by checking it out from a public library and ripping it! Not cool in my book.

 

from soundandvisionmag.com

 

"Been to the library in your city lately? They've gotten pretty hip. Even where I live in the not-quite-third-world of South Carolina, our library has free Wi-Fi, computers, DVDs and…a fairly large CD collection. And just like those ancient things filled with pages and words – I think they’re called books, but they won’t play on my Kindle – you can rent these CDs and take them home for your listening pleasure. But, unlike a book, CDs allow for a whole new set of the 3 R’s: Renting, Ripping and Returning."

 

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I agree with you Chris but my feelings about copying music in general have mellowed a little. I am all for the artist getting paid for what they do but I was appalled when I discovered how little they make off of CD sales. On occasion I will give someone a sampler of music and make them promise that if they like any of it they will buy the disc.

 

I had dinner with Janis Ian and a group of people a couple of years ago. I have always been a fan of her music and she told us that the internet is the best thing that has ever happened to her. She is certainly not a commercial act and between low sales numbers compared to chart toppers and the miniscule amount she is paid, she is much better off doing her own distribution from her website. She is totally independent, doesn't have to deal with the corporate guys and makes a better living. Makes a case for not copying, right?

 

The one I have been pondering recently is buying used. I think you mentioned it a while back. I do the same thing. Much of the music I buy is available through Amazon's used sources. OK, so I pay for the music I get, I am totally legal, but the artist doesn't see anything at all. I know, they got paid for the original sale, and I certainly don't lose sleep over a Clapton or Stones disc, but a lot of the music I listen to is done by people who are struggling to get by. Just a thought.

 

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Simply another example of how our culture ignores ethics and looks to get something for nothing.

 

This is nothing but theft and is absolutely wrong. Whenever we steal from our artists and their distrubution networks we help to insure that less art will be available to us in the future.

 

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I likewise agree that this is wrong. Plus, the author's 'tude is just sort of annoying, which doesn't help. (Also makes it sound like he hasn't read a book, possibly ever.) Referring to earlier comments, I also plan on buying used CDs, which is a bit of a paradox, but my game plan is to buy used for anything I already have in another media (vinyl or cassette) and wish to rip, thereby rationalizing to myself that I already paid the artist a royalty once. Anything brand new I plan on buying retail. For one thing, that gets me unblemished packaging which is kind of nice.

 

TheOtherTim

 

 

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I was just thinking a bit more about the used CD "issue."

 

Assuming the Labels aren't going to give anything away for free, I can only guess they factored used resales into the price of the original CD. Then, maybe the artists is actually compensated through the higher CD price? I know this is a huge stretch, but it's a thought anyway.

 

I do realize how little artists are compensated and it is pretty little.

 

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If you go to the library and get a book to read, is the author getting the shaft? All seems perfectly legal.

 

If you go to an art gallery and look at a picture is the artist is getting screwed? Again, it seems legal.

 

The same seems to apply for used art, music and bookstores. That's not to say I support copyright infringements, which to me, seem to be a different issue than buying "used media" of whatever sort. The infringment would seem to be a seller, not buyer risk.

 

Software handles the issue when they choose to specify single user, non transferrable, etc.

 

Do people have stronger opinions as it pertains to music than written or art mediums?

 

 

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Hey innertuber - I think checking out a book, making an identical copy of it and bringing it back is another story. The same goes for art. I think we should only consider mass produced art in this case. If you view some art at a local store that you could purchase, but instead you take it home and make an identical copy, this seems wrong to me.

 

There is no way authors would let their material be available in libraries if readers could create an identical copy in less than five minutes while sitting down on one of the chairs in the library. I think the same goes for music artists and labels. If the problem got bigger I think they would address it. There may also be some sort of Government subsidy or Copyright issue involved that allows this content to be borrowed or rented at a library.

 

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I agree with the point, but it still boils down to somebody choosing to infringe. That is different than it being sold, or loaned, at least to me. The book is protected as is the music. One media form is a easier to copy, but you can scan art I suppose if that's your bag. To me, saying you can't resell a cd is like saying you can't resell a painting. I could be wrong if you read the fine print of the rights I suppose.

 

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  • 3 months later...

I've encoded nearly all my CD's to my computer's hard drive, yet none of my 300+ albums which I later purchased the CD version of. I bought them all. I feel there's nothing unethical about this, but what if I rip a borrowed CD? It's unethical since the artist isn't compensated, right?

 

I think I have a good sence of what's ethical, but how can we find out what's legal and allowed by artists?

 

Randy

 

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I've often wondered about the real legalities of this type of thing. There are many rumors and a lot of myths about what is and what is not allowed. In fact there are probably tons of different models based on the artists, label etc...

 

If anyone knows this or has some time to look into this one we would all greatly appreciate it!

 

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You're right, there are tons of different models on ethics and legalities. Is it ethical and legal for labels to rip off artists? Is it ethical and legal for consumers to rip off labels? Are ethics and laws absolute or are there factors and conditions that must be considered? Do you have the right or duty to disobey an unjust law or are there no exceptions to the law? Are we a nation of laws or are we a just nation?

 

One of the first things they teach you in law school is that it doesn't matter whether you're innocent or guilty - you have a 50/50 chance of being found innocent or guilty.

 

But back to the specific query - my personal opinions on the subject tend to favor those opinions or rulings that favor limited and fair use for the consumer that is not involved in a profit generating or stiffling enterprise. Examples would be if I record from the internet or radio - okay for personal use. If I buy a downloaded song from the internet and distribute it on the internet - not okay. If I buy CDs, rip them to my computer and then sell the CDs but keep the songs on my computer - not okay. If on the rare occasion I rip a borrowed CD - okay. If I share my entire music library with someone else - not okay.

 

I'm sure folks here may agree or disagree with many of my opinions here. I do not condone blatant theft, but I am sometime receptive to limited, occasional sharing and those things that I really like I always wind up buying my own copy anyway. I have thousands of albums and hundreds of CDs so the thought that I may deprive someone less than $50 for every $1000 that I spend does not weigh heavily on my conscience. My experience over the past few years, largely due to the internet, has been a significant increase in my financial outlay towards music and audio equipment.

 

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Hey audiozorro - Wow, I am amazed at how much we agree on. Fair use to you and I appear to be the exact same.

 

"One of the first things they teach you in law school is that it doesn't matter whether you're innocent or guilty - you have a 50/50 chance of being found innocent or guilty."

 

Not one of the first things I learned in law school, but certainly a valid point when using a jury system as we do in the U.S.

 

 

This whole discussion may take some very wild turns when we consider the CA readership come from over 130 countries!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

maybe this is being over-thunk a little.

 

I mean, the guy refered to in the first post is strange because he stands to make money out of selling music. I suppose i commend his perverted honesty tho.

 

But as to the morality and legality; it should be quite easy to find out the legal situation (it differs between the US and UK though, i think, so probably differs in other places too).

 

The morality, on the other hand, is up to you individually.

 

As for me, i used to have lots of music downloaded in variable quality from places i pehaps shouldnt, but never distributed it. I have to admit it was only the discovery of how easy and inexpensive (a very relative term, lets remember - theres a lot of you here with much higher end systems than me) it is to have better sound. And part of this involves having the original CD. So now i buy the CDs second hand. How this differs from stealing it - in the sense of how much the label and artist gets, ive no idea.

 

i realise that some will say that the CD was originally bought and paid for, but i dont think thats the point. Surely i still dont have the license to use it, strictly speaking...? And the label are still missing out on money they would have had i bought it first hand.

 

Some illegal downloaders will say "well, the record label are not losing anything because i either steal it and have it, or i dont have it".

 

This is a very difficult attitude to comabt, and its and example of why the industry needs to drastically change their business model, and stop threatening people with litigation. They do this, of course, because its easier than targetting the cheap knock-off CDs in some countries, and those who download and distribute to extremes - in much the same way that its easier to punish drug users and small time dealers than to attack the source.

 

Anyway, the upshot of my change in standrds (in music quality) is that i now think that most legit downloads are not of sufficient quality anyway, so id rather buy the CDs. As well as the superior quality, you have a backup (technically illegal in the UK i think), and can experiment with encoding in different encoding direct from the source.

 

Plus, i personally dont rip entire albums, just the tracks i consider worthy of repeat listening (im discerning me hey what?). But having the CDs means i can think "some of that dylan album might be better than i gave it credit for", then i can rip it and listen til i decide whether to keep it on th hdd.

 

Now, in the light of my first sentence, i apologise, because i appear to have turned over-thinking into something of a challenge!

 

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Thanks ;)

 

Maybe i should write for a living.

 

EDIT - i also made a factual error i think. I indicated that this sound and vsion chap was in the business of selling music, hence my confusion about his enthusiasm for copyright theft. I've just re-read some of the OP and realised i probably "miss-remembered" that "fact".

 

Apologies.

 

My, I'm on fire today!

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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I do this all the time.

 

Last weekend, I burrowed 35 classical and jazz CDs from my local library. I ripped all of them to my local HD as Apple Lossless.

 

In some cases, I was 'upgrading' from 256k mp3s I had purchased, but in others I was simply acquiring new music. It wasn't entirely free to me, as I put a library hold on each of the discs to make sure I reserve a copy at a price of $.75 for each. Of course, that money went to the library, not the artist.

 

I give back in several ways. One, by donating CDs I've previously ripped to the library. Second, by supporting artists by attending live music events.

 

In many cases, after an initial exposure via library listening, I've gone on to purchase additional works that the library doesn't have.

 

If one believes that all artistic consumption should result in a monetary transaction with proceeds going to the artists, I suppose we should replace all libraries with Borders stores to stop the 'theft' of people borrowing books, instead of buying them.

 

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I also agree very closely with audiozorro's most recent post. There were some great points raised in the last few postings since then but I guess I still take the harder line with paying for my music. I really am trying to understand the more "liberal" point of view. I guess for me it comes down to two main points. First, copyright laws and license agreements are usually broken when most piracy of any volume happens, and I feel that companies have the right to sue anyone they feel is breaking those agreements. And if they win their civil case in a court of law with a jury, that's completely fair. I have to say that if I was on such a jury and there was piracy with proof of some sort of personal gain or breaking of a contract, I would vote guilty. Second, I feel an obligation to compensate the artist for creating something that I enjoy. I've heard some arguments rationalizing against this, but I haven't found any that are valid. There's the "I either steal it or I don't" argument, the "everyone is doing it" argument, the "record companies make too much money" argument, and the "it's just bits and bytes so it should be free" argument. None of those hold water to me. Short of mailing a check directly to each artist I enjoy, I don't know how else to at least attempt to get them paid. If anyone has other points of view on this that might make sense to me, I am very willing to listen.

 

And I feel that copying from the library or buying used CDs, without already having paid for the content in another way (owning the vinyl, a purchased download, etc) is wrong. Not necessarily burn in hell for eternity wrong, but maybe a light singe to the eyebrows in hell wrong.

 

As with everything in the law and human behavior, there are no absolutes, and this is a topic that even the biggest law firms and corporations on the planet are trying to figure out. It'll be fun to see it all play out.

 

TheOtherTim

 

 

 

 

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'the "record companies make too much money" argument' reminded me that thats another way record labels bother me. They whine about protecting their artists but the artists make a tiny proportion of what the labels make.

 

some are honest and admit that "we're just protecting OUR copyright, like it or not", but many do'nt. Many bands would be better off without them.

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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How is buying a used CD different from buying a used book or used vinyl? I don't get it. When you buy a CD I'm not aware of any consensual or conditional agreement prohibiting ownership transfer. Ditto for cassettes, VCR, DVD, etc. I can see your point about ripping from the library, but I don't follow the buying used CD w/o prior ownership. In fact, owning the vinyl, I would think is no basis to rationalize ripping a CD from the library.

 

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That it would, Chris!

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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Way back in 1984, the US Supreme Court, in Sony Corp of America vs Universal, decided that the use of Sony VCRs to record tv shows for personal use was legitimate "fair use" and did not infringe upon the copyright of Universal.

 

If not used for file sharing or profit making purposes, and limited to personal use, one could make the case that copying CDs from the library is similar fair use.

 

Also, for what it's worth, I once had the librarian ask me if I was "burning" the CDs. I told her that I was actually ripping them, instead, and proceeded to have a conversation about the difference.

 

At no point did she look askance or suggest the library frowned upon such activities.

 

 

 

MacBook Pro -> AppleTV ->Rotel RSP-1570 -> Martin Logan Electromotion[br]MacBook Pro -> Icon HDP -> AKG K701[br]Apple Lossless all the way

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When I first read your comments about burning v. ripping I took it too literally. I started laughing about you explaining how different ripping is compared to actually lighting a disc on fire (burning).

 

Maybe I've been at the site too long today :-)

 

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of course, would be really something to see. dont do it in the library tho. you can get thrown out and charged for that stuff, believe me.

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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