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Now that iTunes4 is DIRECTLY hooked to the internet, and Apple being all lovey-dovery with all the big labels (and the RIAA, by extension), can iTunes be used to report back what music you have on your hard drive? Sort of a report card on what's been downloaded?

I know, sounds like a MicroSerf move, but something to think about…
 

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Wouldn't bother me a bit because I don't have any stolen music in iTunes or on my iPod!

John
 

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An interesting idea. Would this "reporting" be a form of legal or illegal "search and seizure"? Will this have to be decided in the courts, which will take years? Yes, a most interesting notion of privacy and responsibility.
 

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Cassettes? Nah...that's not dated. I've got a basement full of LPs! Now there's a relic.

To answer your question, US copyright laws are written (or interpreted) such that a consumer never has the right to duplicate a recording in any way. When you buy a cassette, you never own the recording, just the plastic case. Remember, I used the word interpreted for a reason.

Canadian copyright law ( as it currently stands) allows for copying for private use.
 

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PG, how about a basement full of 78 LPs from the 1940's ??? (mostly classical and swing from my father's collection).
 

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Patrick,

Actually, consumers in the US do have the right to duplicate recordings for limited, non-commercial use (it's called fair use). So, as a consumer, you're allowed to make copies of CDs if they're for your own personal use.
 

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Apple is not in a position to "sqeal" on anyone. They have no way of determining which music was ripped from your personal CD collection from those that were illegally downloaded as far as I know. I have ripped a great number of my own CD's to MP3's. This music was bought and paid for.

Good points are raised here however. If I have "Pink Floyd the Wall" in Album format, is it wrong to download it for free somewhere? Legally it probably is a no-no. As far as I'm concerned, Pink Floyd were paid when I bought the original album, I see no need to pay them twice simply because I choose to listen to my tunes on my computer. I support the artists/record companies in getting paid - just not twice.

B
 

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I wouldn't worry about Apple "squealing" on you. The methods that they would have determined the information would be at best "questionable" in the courts. I also wouldn't think they would do that from a PR standpoint, either.

As for the cassette-mp3 question, I would have to think under "fair use" you would be legally permitted to have the mp3 if the casstte wasn't being played at the same time.
 

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You are not required to own any music in order to download/copy/record it in Canada. Any music, from any source, is perfectly legal, for your own personal use.

The RIAA does not represent copyright holders in Canada, and any prosecution based on "illegal copying" provided it is for personal use, is frivolous in Canada. It is important to note that this applies to music only; laws regarding movies, books, etc are different.

You may not lend, give away, or otherwise distribute your copy. In order to lend a disk/cassette/LP in Canada, it must be the store-bought variety (or otherwise legally aquired from the copyright holder).

[ May 01, 2003, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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It's legal to download from any source? Including sources like people who don't have the right to distribute it? Interesting
 

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Who's killing the music industry?

According to Hit Charade - The music industry's self-inflicted wounds by Mark Jenkins in Slate, it's the music industry. Short term quarterly profits, reliance on a handful of monolithic blockbusters, the refusal to encourage innovation and industry consolidation are the reason they are in trouble. Remember "home taping is killing the music business"?. Short term business decisions, bad marketing and willful ignorance of their customers are to blame.

The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the five major labels that dominate CD retailing, would like to blame much of the slide on Internet music-file swapping. Yet there are many other causes, including the fact that the big five are all units of troubled multinationals—AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal, BMG, EMI, and Sony—that are focused on short-term gain and have no particular interest in the music biz. There's also been a recession, of course, and resistance to CD prices that have grown much faster than the inflation rate. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is the major labels' very success in dominating the market, which has squelched musical innovation.

One word dominates the music business when it comes to artists ...recoupables. Artists have been screwed by the labels for years.
 

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" ... It's legal to download from any source? Including sources like people who don't have the right to distribute it? Interesting ..."

The way the law is written, it clearly states that the source of the music is not an issue. Uploaders (as it works in real life, eg an mp3 file is by definiton a copy) are breaking the law.

This is an important distinction; you cannot share copied music but you can make copies. It is the uploader who breaks the law, not the downloader. Downloading of shared files (without regard to whether they are legally shared or not) is expressly allowed, but making them available to share is not.

Also, you can share retail CDs in Canada. Exactly where the line is drawn between a retail CD and a copy is a bit vague; it appears that posession of a physical disk or tape is required though (ie from a library of a friend, but not as data over a network).

This is in contrast to the US, where downloading is illegal if you do not own a retail copy of the song, and uploading of music even directly from retail CDs is illegal as well.

However, few nations are as strict as the US (copyrights and patents are part of the original Constitiution, which is how and why the stricter US laws have evolved); generally most nations allow some form of copying more similar to Canada's approach.

It's almost impossible to get a real handle on the numbers (music contracts are closely guarded secrets) but based on the total sales of retail CDs in Canada in 2002, the payouts to SOCAN under the media levy, and a little hunting around lawyers who advise budding musicians, it seems to me that SOCAN in Canada may be getting more money from the levy than they get from sales of their members' CDs from the record companies. In other words, as it's set up in Canada, it may well be that allowing copying is more lucrative than selling CDs.

It's difficult to say exactly who is getting the money; though. SOCAN won't say, and it may be the record companies (owners of the copyright) get the cash instead of the musicians themselves. It would be interesting to find out exactly what is going on with the cash.

Certainly few, if any, songwriters/artists are sharing more than a dollar a CD for a retail sale (typical contracts are reported to pay about 5~8 cents per song of 5 minutes or less; a lot of musicians don't get that much. Eg: the Eagles just recieved a court-disputed payment based on 2.5 cents US per song).

[ May 01, 2003, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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The uploader is breaking the law? Humm...

I own the copyright to music that I've (fictitiously) written. Can't afford the production costs of CDs, album artwork, etc, but I can't upload my music (either by a website or a p2p server) so that others can sample it?

Sounds like the rocket scientists on Parliament Hill have it wrong.

It's both parties (up and downloader) that are breaking the law - seems like common sense.

John
 

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If you own the copyright, you can do anything you want, here or in any nation on earth. It's the essence of copyright.

It's only illegal if you have not cleared the upload with the copyright holder.

Since parliament discovered (way back in the late 70's) that practically everyone made copies of music, that the law as written then was essentially unenforceable, and in consideration that criminalizing the entire population in general is a poor legal practice, they took steps to insure it could continue (ie be made specifically legal) while at the same time coming up with a scheme to compensate copyright holders for use by consumers.

It might be a good time to point out that even though copying is severely restricted in the US, the practise is so widespread as to be essentially unenforceable there as well.

A few charges here and there does not constitute enforcement. Charging nearly every person stopped for traffic tickets, or homes entered for unrelated warrants, for burned CDs or cassette copies found in posession, would constitute enforcement.

As US law is written, the onus is on the individual to prove in court they are legal copies; therefore the simple existance of any copy is grounds to lay a charge. Technically, US police officers can simply arrest anyone seen on the street with a visible mp3 player in posession. The indivdual would have to prove later, in court that s/he had the legal right to make a mp3 file.

[ May 01, 2003, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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+1
 

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" ... I would gladly pay an artist 50 cents (Cdn) to copy his/her (product) that is to the artist. People who hold the proprietary right to music really don?t make my heart go pitty-pat. But how would we ever know the difference? So I would pay the fifty cents. ..."

Most (2/3) of the money is going to the copyright holders. As annoying as that may be to some, the fact remains that the law gives them the right to charge whatever they want. Although Apple is getting around 32cents, they have to provide the software, the infastructure, the bandwidth, and the advertising. The record companies provide a digital copy (essentially free) of something they already own. I'll let you decide who's gulity of setting the price too high, if that's how you feel.

This is a very new thing, and (as usual) the industry is perfectly satisfied to let Apple test the waters with their own money and reputation.

We may well see the price altered somewhat, if it doesn't achieve the (supposed) goal of reducing file sharing in the US. Certainly they could be making money at even $0.50/song (32 for Apple and 18 for the labels) on a per-song basis, but the RIAA members don't really like the fact that consumers used to have to buy a whole CD (ie netting a buck or two for the label) and now they can d/l indivual songs.

To a record exec, one hit song should be worth what a whole CD makes, 'cuz that's the way it's worked 'till now. So, I'm pretty sure they've built in quite a bit of "extra" profit into single-song sales. They see it as hurting the bottom line if they can't get 10 songs worth of royalties out of a given top-10 hit.

I'm a bit suspicous of the label's intentions, however; I'm not sure they actually care how well it works, as long as they get a cheque from time to time and they still control the distribution chain. I certainly haven't seen much from the labels themselves promoting or otherwise encouraging it.

As to whether Mac users are overcharged, if that were true you would expect to see some evidence of that in the bottom line. Apple barely turns a profit; were it not for bank interest (not part of business operations) they would have lost money for the last 2 years straight.

I suppose there are many ways to determine what something is worth, but since Apple is essentially selling everything at a small loss, I can only conclude that they're trying to be as competitive as the whole shebang allows.

[ May 02, 2003, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 
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