RIAA legal brief claims ripping music CD is piracy

“Converting music CDs to audio files on a computer is unapproved and therefore illegal, the Recording Industry Association of America has said in a brief ahead of a crucial Arizona lawsuit. Hoping to support the arguments from group member Atlantic Records in its complaint against the Howell family, the RIAA contends that ripping CDs leads to ‘viral’ copyright infringement,” MacNN reports.

MacDailyNews Note: The RIAA is a trade group that represents the outmoded music cartels who are currently in a desperate and futile search for relevancy as their business undergoes radical and rapid transformation at the hands of Apple Inc.

“The statement partly contradicts the RIAA’s previous stance on the subject. Although the group is careful in the current case to make a separation between illegal file sharing and ‘space-shifting,’ or accessing a user’s own songs to a different device for listening outside of a regular location, it argues that any transfer of songs that has not been explicitly approved is illegal,” MacNN reports.

Full article, including link to the RIAA’s legal brief (PDF), here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only way to effectively compete with piracy is to offer DRM-free (or unobtrusively DRM’ed) content that can be played anywhere for a reasonable price. Then people will buy. It’s a simple solution that most of the world’s content providers have yet to understand.


  1. I can’t wait to see them try to enforce this:

    Knock, Knock.

    Who’s there?

    RIAA, ma’am, we have an anonymous tip that you’ve been copying CDs to your computer. May we come it and inspect your PeeCee please?

    Get a warrant, bozo.

    Can they really think this will be good for business?

  2. Um, did anyone at RIAA ever hear of a Supreme Court-supported legal doctrine of FAIR USE? None of the physical media music that I have ever purchased, and this dates back to vinyl phonograph records, 8-tracks, pre-recorded cassette tapes and Compact Disks (CDs) has contained an End User License Agreement (EULA) that inferred or stated that music purchased could not be copied or transferred to any other media.

    I can only conclude that RIAA wants to make this a test case to take away any rights that consumers have over the the music they have previously purchased. By fiat after reading the article (and I am about to dive into their legal brief), everyone who has purchased recorded music and transferred it in any way, shape or form to another form of physical or digital media are pirates.

    My conclusion: this is absolutely brilliant! RIAA obviously wants a street fight with guns and knives. If the RIAA ever thought they’d seen mass piracy, they haven’t seen anything yet. I can only say, beware of the unintended consequences of your actions, you frickin’ comb-over scumwads. Apple really tried to help you, dense though you are in not understanding. If you try to take away the Fair Use doctrine in violation of previous Supreme Court rulings, I will gladly play my violin as your house deservedly burns. And the sooner, the better.

    What a bunch of arrogant pricks.

  3. If the RIAA win this then I think the music industry is over.

    CD ripping has being going on for over 5 years. If they suddenly decide to change the fair use rules it will piss off so many people that they will give up on music altogether.

    I really can’t believe that the entertainment industry is treating everyone like thieves. Treat customers fairly and they will come back and buy more. Make them jump through hoops and a lot of people will be turned off.

    Electronic distribution is really starting to take off. Now these guys want to poison the pot by getting too greedy too fast.

  4. Start a counter suit against the RIAA claiming unfair contract as the media chosen wear out and this is unfair termination of a listeners license to hear the music. There is no limitation of time in the rights associated with listening to a purchased CD or other media when used exactly as indicated by the RIAA and therefore they are in breach of contract by allowing such media to wear out and not in permitting backup for personal use under the original non-commercial terms.

    Rather than request damages request an order that the RIAA be required to replace free of charge all worn out CD’s and other media for a period of 75 years from date of original purchase or until one year after the expiry of copyright, which ever comes first.

    There is substantial case law in at least most Western Jurisdictions.

    It is worth noting that any law which becomes unenforceable by reason of mass public disobedience is in principle revoked by popular consent and can subsequently be argued against as an invalid statute.

  5. “@Captain Lou: “A one year pause in all music purchasing is needed. Bankrupt them out.”

    No. Just on CD purchasing.”

    To the Captains

    Recommend having a ban on NEW CD purchases. Let’s allow the sale, trade, barter and purchase of USED CD’s.


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