RIAA argues against legality of ripped MP3s | iLounge News


RIAA argues against legality of ripped MP3s

In a supplemental brief filed in the case of Atlantic vs. Howell, in which the defendants are being sued for sharing music over KaZaA, attorneys representing the RIAA have argued that music files ripped to computers for personal use, particularly in the MP3 format, are “unauthorized copies.” The brief states: “It is undisputed that Defendant possessed unauthorized copies of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings on his computer.  Exhibit B to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a series of screen shots showing the sound recording and other files found in the KaZaA shared folder on Defendant’s computer on January 30, 2006. Virtually all of the sound recordings on Exhibit B are in the ‘.mp3’ format. Defendant admitted that he converted these sound recordings from their original format to the .mp3 format for his and his wife’s use. The .mp3 format is a ‘compressed format [that] allows for rapid transmission of digital audio files from one computer to another by electronic mail or any other file transfer protocol.’” Previously, in the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys representing the record companies stated that “it’s perfectly lawful to take a CD that you’ve purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.” [via Gizmodo]

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Jeremy:  It’s apparent some folks are reading the Court Brief, then commenting…good! 

The RIAA, in this case argues for a definition of “unauthorized copies” which includes two components:  the act of creating .mp3 files and the act of placing them in a KaZaA shared folder.  This might be inadvertent but I don’t think so.

With this foundation, they then argue the Plaintiff disseminated these “unauthorized copies” using the KaZaA shared folder through a peer-to-peer network in violation of copyright law.

What I find interesting here is the RIAA is clearly making the point that where you put your burned .mp3 files on your hard is one factor in determining your intent to employ them for personal use (allowed under existing fair use practices) or for dissemination in violationo of copyright law.

A very interesting case with significant implications but not one which prevents you and I from burning legally attained music to .mp3 files for our personal use.

Posted by DaveJ on December 12, 2007 at 10:36 PM (CST)


“Similarly, in regards to software, if you buy MS Office, you in no way “own” MS Office. You have purchased the license to install said software on a certain number of machines..”

Maybe yes, maybe no. Softman Products Co. LLC v. Adobe Sys., Inc., 171 F. Supp.2d 1075 (C.D. Cal. 2001)

Posted by DJWakk on December 13, 2007 at 2:26 AM (CST)


Perhaps the RIAA can be as myopic as the Motion Picture Assoc. of America. 

In the greatest feat of irony, the MPAA appears to have violated the copyright terms of free open source software – which they used to police and defend their own intellectual property rights!


Posted by Scott on December 13, 2007 at 5:17 AM (CST)


DJWakk:  Yes, it would be pretty funny if I could buy an MS Office CD, and then could not “transcode” it by installing it on my computer.

Posted by otaku on December 21, 2007 at 1:30 PM (CST)

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