EFF: DeepLinks | RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use

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.

That is to say, it’s not lawful because the law says it is, it’s lawful because the RIAA says it is. In the RIAA’s view, they have graciously granted permission for consumers to rip CDs into their iPods, because they’re such nice people. Fair Use has nothing to do with it.

On the other hand…

This is Really Not It | The undertaker is measuring the Big Four record labels for a wooden overcoat

The time will come when the artists will find they have an option. They can sell record their music themselves on cheap equipment, or hire independent studios. They can distribute their music directly to their fans over the internet or via contracts with small print shops. Fans get their music without them needing to manufacture more than a few bytes. And in the future, promotion will open up to them too. Advertising companies may decide to cut out the middle man. Online communities like myspace are opening up new possibilities. The all conquering TV may even begin the serve the artist. And then the record labels will rue the day they served their shareholders over their artists and customers.

The day has come. Artists have options now. The RIAA may or may not have figured it out: They’re either willfully ignorant or in denial.

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