Sunday, December 30, 2007

Steve Jobs vs RIAA?

From today's Washington Post, in an article about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) using the federal court system in an attempt to stop digital music sharing:

" . . . in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer."
CDs sales are down and consumers--and some artists--are looking for ways to avoid these traditional (aka: old) media companies altogether. So the answer is to sue the pants off of college students and now people who are actually purchasing the CDs and copying them to their own computers? Brilliant.

So when does Steve Jobs enter the picture? If the RIAA wins this suit, will they then claim that, once a song or album is purchased and downloaded through a service such as iTunes, the consumer is not legally permitted to then transfer that song or album from their computer to their iPod? Maybe, but I'd put my money on Steve and the 100 million or so of my fellow iPod users.

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