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The RIAA has a major problem with music pirating, mainly because they perceive that they may be losing money. They have been against music pirating ever since it was discovered, back in the 80's, that home taping is killing music. People could tape a song off the radio and (*gasp*) listen to it when they wanted, instead of when the radio played it.

I believe that the copyright laws say it is okay to copy a recording that you own, for your own personal use, such as making a mix tape. After all, no one loses any money because you want to listen to only certain songs that you own, rather than the entire album at once.

Here's where we get to a few gray areas. Radio is free. If you want to tape a song from the radio, which is free anyway, just to listen to it at another time, shouldn't that be legal? After all, the major selling point of VCRs was that you could tape stuff from tv to watch later. Isn't taping from the radio the same thing?

The next gray area comes from used CD's. I have to assume that it is okay to buy used CD's. Otherwise, Al Bum's and any other store that sells used CD's would be shut down. However, how does the artist, or the RIAA, see any money from it? I guess they figure that *someone* paid for it, who listens to it afterwards isn't their business. It wouldn't make a difference if someone bought it and threw it out. Selling it back is the same thing.

That leads to an interesting point, though. If I buy a used CD, the artist and the RIAA don't make any money...the person who sold the CD to the store recovered a small percentage of what they spent on a CD that they didn't like. The store makes a profit too. I get my music on CD, cheap. So what if I want to save my money, bypass the used CD store, and download the CD for free?

The last issue is replacing CD's that I legitimately paid for. I have a scratch on a CD single that is no longer in print...you can't even order it directly from the artist. I already paid for it, why isn't it legal for me to download the songs on it and burn them onto a CD? Why must I put up with skips? Also, last year, my apartment was broken into and 70 of my CD's were stolen. If I didn't have them backed up on the computer (which fortunately, I did), would it be wrong for me to download them all? After all, I *did* pay for them originally. No, the RIAA would have me spend the $700 or so to replace each disc at the store, because some asshole stole all my shit.

Personally, I think the only reason the RIAA shut down places like Napster and Audiogalaxy was just because they could. It's not possible to make tape recorders illegal, or CD burners, or any software that converts CD's to mp3s. After all, these things have plenty of legitimate uses as well. Any sites where you can download music, however, can't legally justify themselves because we *know* people are using them primarily for illegal purposes.

...Then there's every anime fan's favorite Gray Area in the Copyright Laws: Taiwan, DBA the Republic of China. Taiwan is most famous for its bootleg DVD's, which you've probably seen being hawked on the street or on eBay. Thanks to the mechanisms of international commerce, it's easy to buy stuff that's "Made in Taiwan," even if that stuff happens to violate intellectual property laws.

"How?" you ask. Take a seat, kimosabe.

Nobody can agree on whether Taiwan is a part of the PRC or not. Until the 1970's, the general assumption in the West was that the PRC wasn't legitimate. "Dick" Nixon changed all that by cutting off American recognition of the ROC's legitimacy, and opening up relations with Beijing, leaving Taipei with a simple commercial relations office.

Even nowadays, no government is allowed to recognize Little China without pissing Big China off. That includes the USA and Japan, the biggest entertainment producers in the world, and also two of the PRC's biggest trade partners. Since they can't formally recognize the Taiwanese government, they have to turn a blind eye when copies of Lord of the Rings and Spirited Away show up in Los Angeles with Mandarin subtitles.

After all, what are their options?

Now, while this practice is pretty much limited to Taiwan, there's no reason that another country with iffy relations to the West couldn't take it up. Couldn't copyright infringement save the North Koreans from starvation, and get some lights for that big concrete shell of theirs? Is this the economic savior that could bring modernization to Bhutan? How about the Conch Republic...?

In the USA, the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) law expressly permits, and excludes from infringement, the manufacture and use of an analog or digital Audio Home Recording device by Individuals. The Betamax decision is slightly weaker but allows the same for Video Recording. I say slightly weaker because individuals may get in trouble for modifying a video descrambler, while it is not illegal to modify a radio to receive Muzak and other paid audio radio services (except NOT for commercial purposes). The satellite radio service XMSirius lost an AHRA defense on the "sale" (rent) of MP3 recorders because the recorders were bundled with their service and were designed to be Napster-like, with the ability to request specific songs for recording without collecting royalty like iTunes does. A general-purpose user-owned and user-operated equivalent device would be AHRA compliant. Tape decks and CD recorders may be connected to radios or included in boom box stereos. Mixtapes and MixCDs are permitted by the AHRA. CD Recorders are legal for duplicating CDs but generally require blank CDs marked for MUSIC which have a higher royalty levy. (Many CD players fail to play music on CDs that are not labeled as MUSIC CD-R). Libraries full of copyrighted books are also full of copying machines to copy them, and borrowing books or other media is free. Patents offer commercial exclusivity of an invention in exchange for instructions for making inventions available. Libraries and Patents are for Public Education, for which Literacy and Science is very important. An individual may build a patented machine as well as buy and disassemble one for the learning of science, but not build the patented inventions for sale or commercial gain.

The purpose of Patents and Copyrights are for "limited times" incentive to profit from inventions in exchange for making them available to the public and "to promote the arts". Dead authors don't need 70 year copyrights in this fast paced world if live ones got only 14 years in 1789 on their letter presses, which were invented by a monk to make more copies of the bible.

Conclusion: An individual cannot possibly infringe or Pirate in isolation; the RIAA and Madoff didn't even do those things as individuals. An individual could not even commit a solo act of Piracy if he had tried to steal a Nuke Sub. NOBODY EVER STOLE A SINGLE CD FROM A STORE BY USING NAPSTER. MP3 is not a copy of a CD, but a lossy compression code. Piracy and Infringement of Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights are inherently Corporate Crimes only. Charging individuals for a corporate offense is illegal, as is industrial espionage against individuals, which is Wiretapping.

In other words, what Business do the entertainment industry clowns have, by modifying my private home machines to advertise and SPAM and malfunction by means of Microsoft's Virus-Prone Defective and Expensive Invention, especially since I have not signed a EULA nor agreed to indemnify them for damages caused by their willful sale and distribution of a known hazardous product. Nor do I indemnify SONY or RIAA for rootkit virus damages by also selling and distributing hazardous products which are Trojan Horses in the form of MUSIC CDs, such as XCP, Specific Harm Music and Lid Rock.

I have a literal ton of Vinyl, but I haven't bought an RIAA product since before 2005, and I do not download MP3s even though there is nothing wrong with doing that except for the unconscionable EULAs and malware that prevent me from accessing them. Instead I practice unique music synthesis techniques which I had completely designed and even used before I had ever heard of anyone using a computer to play songs other than myself. All rights reserved, including the right of free speech which even includes singing Happy Birthday in Public.

Amateur Muzak Decoders
Audio Home Recording Act (summary)
Audio Home Recording Act
Sue the hell out of SONY
RIAA wants to hack all my (band's) music off my computer(and they did, too!)
SONY rootkit (google search)
SONY still makes rootkits in videogames...SPORE
Spore rootkit controversy
New York Times rates SPORE in top ten Christmas Gifts (down the Memory Hole) Don't believe in NEWS(tm)Entertainment Product
NEWS(tm):Actel chips article 100% solar radhard (really N-bomb) proof chip compared to Brand-X failures by Actel Marketing Manager, so it must be true! (drifting off topic)
XCP Rootkit

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