Backing up your CDs is now illegal

Written by Brett Thomas

February 17, 2006 | 14:39

Tags: #backup #cds #copyright #court #dmca #mpaa

Companies: #riaa

The love-fest with the RIAA continues with a new report caught by Eff.org. Brought to our attention by one of our forumites, OneSeventeen,
it appears that in recent court documents the RIAA has stated that backups, particularly those involving format changes, should be considered illegal in the DMCA.

This stance directly contradicts their statement in the RIAA v. Grokster case, where their attorney said that "The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."

Apparently, the rules have now changed. In their recent joint filing with the MPAA (as well as other smaller monop...er, groups) the organization has done a 180, stating that "submissions [of legal arguments to the court] provide no arguments or legal authority that making back up copies of CDs is a non-infringing use". The document goes on to say "Even if CDs become damaged, replacements are available for an affordable price," and "granting the requested exemption [for back up copies] would further weaken the industry's ability to protect its copyrights..."

Don't think it just stops there, folks. On Page 35 of the document, the MPAA chimes in about DVD Jon's activities for Linux:

"The balancing of incremental benefits of allowing circumvention for the purposes of watching a movie on a Linux based computer is outweighed by the threat of increased piracy..."

Oh, and let's not forget:

"...the philosophy behind the Linux platform is inconsistent with protecting copyrighted works, this is no way the fault of the copyright owners."

In fact, the whole thing can be surmised by this lovely middle-finger-to-the people:

"There is certainly no legal requirement that copyright holders make digital work accessible by way of every device the user may choose to utilize. The ability of copyright owners to tie the use of a work to a particular device is 'use facilitating.'"

Wow. Thanks for making our lives more convenient. We love you too, RIAA and MPAA! Hugs all around!

Of course, the RIAA doesn't decide the law, courts do that. It's worrying, however, that an industry with such huge political lobbying power can just do a total U-turn on its previous consumer position.

So, there you have it. I'd offer more of a writer's commentary, is there really any need? I don't think the stream of expletives would be pretty. So, got your own thought? Drop it in our forums.
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