PDA

View Full Version : Breaking and Making Laws...


Ozzy
15th Sep 2005, 14:43
So it seems there is set of folks who think it is okay to steal music because, well it's different from stealing other stuff like software or cars.

Anyway, you have been granted full and total legislative powers. What would you legislate from:

1. Illegal to legal
2. Legal to illegal

Ozzy

colmac747
15th Sep 2005, 14:45
1. Able to drive at 12 years
2.Stop pensioners driving at 60 years

:p :8

djk
15th Sep 2005, 14:49
1. being able to duplicate music cds at will and give them as presents to my loved one.

2. total silence ban on any OAP waiting in queues at the Post Office when they're collecting their pension :D

Grainger
15th Sep 2005, 15:40
Don't be silly, Ozzy - a compilation tape or CD for the girlfriend is worlds apart from file sharing or illegal downloads.

Letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law and all of that.

Biggles Flies Undone
15th Sep 2005, 15:46
Musicians write, produce, advertise and publish their work on the internet. Saves them all those dreadful agent's commissions, the good music gets bought and talked about and the rubbish music dies.

Hey that solves all of Ozzie's problems in one go (other than the fact that the majority of current acts are as under-talented and over-paid as the average footballer). :p

Ozzy
15th Sep 2005, 16:03
Don't be silly, Ozzy - a compilation tape or CD for the girlfriend is worlds apart from file sharing or illegal downloads. Wrong thread Grainger. I'll take that as a vote for djk's 1.

In any case, yes it is worlds apart and is still illegal. That is both the letter and spirit of the law.

Ozzy

Grainger
15th Sep 2005, 16:17
Sorry Oz - wrong thread then. So if you're not after the compilation CD makers*, who are you cross at now? Who do you mean this time by the:set of folks who think it is okay to steal music ?

*for some bizarre reason, all I can think of now is the sermon on the mount scene from Life Of Brian (tm) :

"Blessed are the Compilation CD-makers... for they shall not be prosecuted"

djk
15th Sep 2005, 16:18
Ozzy

It actually depends on the artist. Folk singer Rory McLeod actually encourages people to rent his CDs from their local library and copy them and pass them around as much as possible. If people can afford to buy the CD then they will go ahead and do that.

The law clamps down on those that make copies of the album and sells the copies for their own personal gain. Likewise with bootleg recordings. It's not illegal to record a concert, however it is illegal if you use the artists logo or copyrighted photographs and try to pass it off as an official release

Ozzy
15th Sep 2005, 16:28
It depends on *both* the artist and the license. The license dictates what a consumer can do with the CD. The artist, e.g. The Grateful Dead, can welcome bootleggers to record a live show. However, most acts you go see live will specifically warn you on the ticket if sound or video recording or picture taking is allowed or not. That warning forms part of the contract you make when you buy the ticket.

Believe me, I know copyright law like the back of my hand.


Ozzy

djk
15th Sep 2005, 16:40
Ozzy,

so if some one made a cd of all your favourite tracks as a present or just as something to help cheer you up, would you report them to the authorities?

stagger
15th Sep 2005, 17:20
Way off topic here but....

Ozzy - the people who tape and exchange recordings of Grateful Dead shows on a strictly non-commerical basis are generally known as tapers or traders. The term bootleggers isn't really appropriate since it implies they're doing something wrong.

Anyway, it's not just the Grateful Dead who allow this sort of thing.

Here's a list of trade friendly bands (http://wiki.etree.org/index.php?page=BandAbbreviations) who allow non-commercial exchange of some of their music (usually live recordings).

Much of their music can be downloaded from the the Internet Archive: Live Music Archive (http://www.archive.org/audio/etree.php)

Wedge
15th Sep 2005, 17:39
well it's different from stealing other stuff like software or cars

Well, yes it is very different from stealing cars.

There appears to be a lot of confusion about what the letter of the law and the spirit of the law are.

Unauthorised downloading of music from the internet is not theft, it is breach of copyright (which is technically a criminal offence).

The same applies to unauthorised copying of software.

I readily plead guilty to unauthorised music downloading and occasional software copying. I am guilty of breach of copyright, not theft.

I do not steal cars. That is a ridiculous comparison. Stealing a car is theft ie the 'dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it'. Downloading a song from the internet is not depriving anybody of the property, it may deprive a greedy record label and an overpaid musician of a royalty payment. Oh dear.

Any copying or downloading of material that you already own in another form (eg on CD/tape etc), for personal use, is perfectly legal. By extension making a compilation CD for a friend is arguably legal as there the law does not stretch as far as to say that once you own the copyright to a CD you are the only person legally entitled to listen to it. That would be silly, wouldn't it?

So please don't define internet downloading as 'stealing', because it quite patently is not. The music industry are realising, far too late, that they can do nothing at all about it and are beginning to realise that they must embrace the internet technology to allow people to download legally. I still don't lose sleep over the fact that I live a life of crime by downloading songs I like illegally.

Presumably you never allow your car to travel at 1mph above the speed limit Ozzy? That would be an equally heinous crime.

Onan the Clumsy
15th Sep 2005, 17:48
Have to say the industry are way off on this one. All the stories you hear of blind, one armed harmonica players writing smash hits worth hundreds of millions of dollars and getting a pair of shoes for it or something make it hard to take it seriously.

What makes it harder though is that if they embraced modern technology - which they eventually will do - they will actually make more money and the whole problem of illergal copying will simply go away.

Methnks they need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the nineteenth centuary.

Ozzy
15th Sep 2005, 18:15
Oh Wedge, where do I start? You have such a distorted view of reality!

AS for copyright not being theft, the courts have shown that they do indeed regard copyright as theft. See here. (http://www.itc.virginia.edu/security/copyright/facstaff/faq.html) So it is no different from stealing a car in the eyes of the law. You are depriving an artist of his or her income by copying material and giving it to a third party.

Copyright infringement is indeed a crime with attendant penalties. (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01852.htm)

I readily plead guilty to unauthorised music downloading and occasional software copying. I am guilty of breach of copyright, not theft. Nope. In the view of the courts, you are a thief. That's not my intepretation, that's the law's.

You seem to have a beef against "greedy" record companies and "overpaid" musicians, so you of course are not being objective. This taints your arguments.

compilation CD for a friend is arguably legal as there the law does not stretch as far as to say that once you own the copyright to a CD you are the only person legally entitled to listen to it. So many bits of confusion here!

1. The law does stretch to cover copying material and giving it away, see the above references.

2. Of course many more people than you can listen to a CD you own. But let's not get into a discussion on performance rights, it would just get you more confused.

3. You never ever ever own the copyright to the CD. The artist or record company does. You have simply bought a bit of plastic (that you own) that holds music, which you have a license to. Big difference.

So please don't define internet downloading as 'stealing', because it quite patently is not. Yes it is. See above references.

The music industry are realising, far too late, that they can do nothing at all about it and are beginning to realise that they must embrace the internet technology to allow people to download legally. I agree, the industry was slow of the mark in figuring out how to make money from the online music, but now it has, e.g. iTunes, the new Napster etc. However the RIAA and the BPI will and are prosecuting individuals for illegal downloading - but only the ones that are blatent about it. So, no, if you make a copy for a friend you run very little risk of being prosecuted. If you made thousands of copies and sold them down the market then you would run a higher risk of prosecution. However, both acts are illegal.


And, given the
US SC Grokster decision (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1831715,00.asp) that says that P2P providers themselves can be held liable, the days of highly organised file downloading for free are numbered.

Ozzy

djk
15th Sep 2005, 18:19
I shall now keep all my cds under lock & key in a secure cabinet within my house

Wedge
15th Sep 2005, 18:22
Nope. In the view of the courts, you are a thief. That's not my intepretation, that's the law's.

Is it? Which 'law's' view is that? Can you cite your source for this assertion please?

In which courts, and when, has illegal downloading ever been construed as 'theft'?

I've already explained why it isn't so I won't go over it again.

1. The law does stretch to cover copying material and giving it away, see the above references.

Yes thankyou, I am well aware of that, my point, that you have missed, is that it is an arguable point as to whether copying it for a friend or playing it is in reality any different.

2. Of course many more people than you can listen to a CD you own. But let's not get into a discussion on performance rights, it would just get you more confused.

No, let's. I'd like to hear all you know about this, you appear to be an expert.

3. You never ever ever own the copyright to the CD. The artist or record company does. You have simply bought a bit of plastic (that you own) that holds music, which you have a license to. Big difference.

Wrong again. Once you own the CD, you own the right to make as many copies as you wish for personal use. That is the law. You have bought the right to own the music. I'm surprised that as an expert you don't appear to know that.

You also haven't told us whether you have ever broken the speed limit. :rolleyes:

djk
15th Sep 2005, 18:25
Wedge ,

on that part, Napster ran into trouble the first time they were opened up until the copyright bit had been sorted out as to which tracks were permitted either by the band agreeing to have their music downloadable from a large database or it a certain royalty fee had to be agreed.

I'm still with you on the aspect that even though it's deemed "illegal" to make a compilation cd for a friend that it's not on the par of car theft

I joint-owned a market stall many years ago upon which were unofficial live recordings from concerts that my partner and I had recorded ourselves, made the inlay cards and also duplicated them for sale.
We owned this stall quite happily, even the occasional uniformed police office would purchase from our stall during their coffee break.
One day however we got careless / lazy and used a band\'s logo on the side of one of the cassettes and were told that we would have to stop trading, my friend was given 100 hours community service and was fined 500GBP (the fine I paid on his behalf)
The charge when it came to court had nothing to do with the recording, duplicating or selling of the audio recordings, but more to the point of the copyright of the logo and a few photos that were used as covers for the tapes

Ozzy
15th Sep 2005, 18:38
Wedge. I cited references, you did not read them.

I see from your profile you are a law student. Keep on thinking your way and you will continue to be a law student. For a rather longer time than you expected.:ok:

Ozzy

419
15th Sep 2005, 18:43
Wedge, Will this do for you.
The UK copyright law fact sheet outlines the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the principal legislation covering intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom and the work to which it applies.

"Sound recording
may be recordings of other copyright works, e.g. musical and literary."

Restricted acts
It is an offence to perform any of the following acts without the consent of the owner:

Copy the work.
Rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public.
Perform, broadcast or show the work in public.
Adapt the work


UK Copyright law (http://copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law)

And before anyone says it, I know that I've broken copyright law by copying that article!

Wedge
15th Sep 2005, 18:44
Ok I will ask you one more time, I thought the question was perfectly clear but there you go.

In which Court, and when, has Copyright Infringement been construed as theft?

Yes I am studying the law, and with respect you don't appear to want to accept that you have misunderstood the legal definition of 'Theft', which is the point, and the reason that copyright infringement is not theft.

I am also well aware that Copyright infringement is a crime, which is what I said in my first post. So is breaking the speed limit, but you've gone all coy on that question. ;)

419, see above, and my first post: "Unauthorised downloading of music from the internet is not theft, it is breach of copyright (which is technically a criminal offence)."

hemac
15th Sep 2005, 20:58
You are depriving an artist of his or her income by copying material and giving it to a third party.

If the third party never had any intention of buying said CD, how are you depriving the artist.

More to the point Ozzy, you are depriving all the 10% hanger onners of their cut.

I wonder who is more concerned about copyright infringement, the artist or the 'marketing professionals'?

H.

djk
15th Sep 2005, 21:02
If the third party never had any intention of buying said CD, how are you depriving the artist.

The short answer is. you're not depriving them at all.
What you're actually doing is introducing the artist / band to a wider audience and therefore leading to a possible increase in sales of their records and a larger capacity at future concerts

Send Clowns
15th Sep 2005, 21:07
Ozzy

Hint: the definition of theft includes the term "...with the intention permanently to deprive...". By unlawful use of intellectual property one does not deprive the licence holder of that property, so it cannot be theft.

Are you this much of a killjoy and jobsworth socially and at work?

Record companies operate under a monopoly. That is the way intellectual property is protected and sold, artists being signed to a label. However the record companies abuse that monopoly to overprice their product (little of which money goes to the artist, who has the moral right ot the intellectual property). When CD came out prices were higher than tapes and records, despite lower costs of production and ddistribution. In spite of reducing costs the price is held high. The same has happened with DVD.

Do you not think that abusers of monopoly positions lose the moral high ground?

patdavies
15th Sep 2005, 21:31
The short answer is. you're not depriving them at all.
What you're actually doing is introducing the artist / band to a wider audience and therefore leading to a possible increase in sales of their records and a larger capacity at future concerts

This is why Microsoft never energetically prosecuted people for copying early Windows and/or Office.

Once the market was hooked, then you clampdown when marketing the successors.