Sony BMG lawyer: making backups of CDs is stealing

“Testimony today in Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas quickly and inadvertently turned to the topic of fair use when Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, was called to the stand to testify. Pariser said that file-sharing is extremely damaging to the music industry and that record labels are particularly affected. In doing so, she advocated a view of copyright that would turn many honest people into thieves,” Eric Bangeman reports for Ars Techinca.

“Pariser has a very broad definition of ‘stealing.’ When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own,” Bangeman reports.

“Gabriel asked if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy. Pariser replied, ‘When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.’ Making ‘a copy’ of a purchased song is just ‘a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,” she said,” Bangeman reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “twilightmoon” for the heads up.]

We have a burning (pun intended) desire to whip up an Automator Action that infinitely duplicates Sony BMG tracks and continuously sends them, uh, “elsewhere” (as in, many, many, many “elsewheres”) for “backup.”


  1. Is it no longer legal to BackUp your Purchase?

    Software, Music (even converting Music to MP3)
    and/or DVD Movies that I buy?

    Come on?

    Besides… I ain’t selling them.
    And my INSURANCE will not cover me if I do not backup my files and software.

    If so… I WISH to VOTE to have COMPANIES to PROVIDE 2 COPIES of every purchase. Yes, 2 Adobe CS3… so I do not need to back it up.

  2. Seriously. This is the attitude that will defeat them. If its the intellectual property that’s so important, and you can’t backup the cd, than the cd youbought should instead be a licensing agreement that entitles you to restore its information from the company indefinitely. IOW, Sony should provide the lisenc-ee with access to the music for the life of that consumer. Because this would never happen, what it really is is a scheme to get you to buy the same music over and over again.

  3. well, lets just boycot sony, like when they released thier virus (protection), and had to indemnify victims.
    I myself have purchsed more than 1000 CD, and they are all backed up at losless, for my home apple TV, if they consider me a thief then I wont consider them as source for my music.
    it ripping my CD is THE SAME as LIMEWIRE, then Why give them money for the crime, go straight to LIMEWIRE.
    sorry for my english (its my 2nd language)

  4. What next – is BMG going to bring lawsuits against public libraries for allowing CD’s to be checked out? Imagine all the money they must be losing. A bunch of ‘tards that have only their greed to blame for piracy.

  5. So.. in other words and in the spirit of things, and this might be stretching it, when I buy software (Final Cut Pro, Aperture), it would be considered stealing when I go to copy it to my machine because in essence, that is making a backup.

  6. The lawyer isn’t really going to say anything else. Can’t say it is legal on the stand cos that would be precendent.

    It used to say on LPs that copying of a record is prohibited. Why isn’t CDs the same?

    I personally don’t care becuase there is no way to enforce that copyright for the billions that have ripped CDs for themselves.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.