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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Industry or (crumbling) oligopoly?

According to Podcasting News, the Recording Industry Association of America does not consider ripping a CD and copying it to your iPod or other MP3 player to be "fair use."

So. It seems the nice folks who control the music business in the U.S. would really like it to be illegal for their customers to copy songs from the CDs that they buy onto iPods and MP3 players (or blank cassettes for that matter) to listen to while on the bus, out for a run, or whatever.

No great surprise. RIAA members do, after all, "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate [sic] sound recordings produced and sold in the United States."

Furthermore, part of the RIAA's stated mission is "to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes its members' creative and financial vitality."

Wikipedia has some details on how the RIAA fosters that climate ... seems their strategy relies heavily on suing 12-year-old girls and deceased 83-year olds. Smart.

Oh well. In a way, you can almost feel sorry for the RIAA. A century or so ago, buggy whip makers likely were trying similarly desperate tricks to keep people from buying horseless carriages.

On second thought, maybe we should save our sympathy for those in their cross-hairs.

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