August 30, 2006 3:36 PM PDT

RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say

The music industry's educational video about copyright law is full of baloney, according to several trade and public interest groups.

The Consumer Electronics Association and Public Knowledge are among the groups to issue a joint statement condemning some statements on the Recording Industry Association of America's video, which the RIAA has plans to distribute to the nation's universities.

The RIAA's video, a copy of which can be found on its Web site, suggests that students should be skeptical of free content and that it's always illegal to make a copy of a song, even if it's just to introduce a friend to a new band, said Robert Schwartz, general counsel for the Home Recording Rights Coalition, one of the groups opposed to the video.

The RIAA has feuded often with groups representing companies, such as CD-burner manufacturers, that have a stake in music sharing. They claim the music industry tramples over the rights of individuals as it fights music piracy. The RIAA has aggressively litigated against people who share music files on the Web for the past several years. The RIAA's strategy now is to launch a campaign to educate young people of the consequences they face when they download music illegally.

"First, we were told we should not enforce our rights," said an RIAA representative responding to critics of the video. "Now we are told education is wrong, too. We won't accept such a do-nothing approach. We'll continue to work with respected higher-education groups to engage students to think critically about these issues."

The RIAA says that more than 350 universities have expressed interest in the video.

In the RIAA's seven-minute video, the narrator attempts to explain copyright law and some of the other hazards with downloading music from the Web, such as being sued or arrested. At one point, the narrator tells viewers it's okay for them to make a copy for themselves "as long as it's for you."

"Making copies for your friends, or giving it to them to copy, or e-mailing it to anyone is just as illegal as free downloading," the video narrator says.

This appears to contradict a statement made in the Frequently Asked Question section that accompanies the video, Schwartz claims.

An FAQ-section question asks whether someone who has bought music has the right to ever upload or download music. The RIAA's answer says that it's okay for productive or scholarly works. The video's critics say the response makes no mention of allowable uses for home recordings, even for individual use, which the law allows.

"The RIAA seems to be making up the rules instead of citing any consistent interpretation or precedent as to the law," Schwartz said.

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Nobody believes anything the RIAA states anyways
so they can go ahead with their propaganda bs all they want.

Share and share alike!!!
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
and no one should
in fact the contradictory nature of this video is no different to the law they paid congress to create for them.

The DCMA allows for fair use copies of your music and DVD collection - then takes it away by making it illegal to circumvent copy protection software or hardware (which you'd have to do on all DVDs, even if you intend to employ analogue copying methods).

So I agree, as the law apparently contradicts itself, it's more or less giberish and I see no reason to follow it.

Besides if they can make stuff up - so can I, and I now declare all copying is legal, no matter what the content or who owns it.

If their statements are not a pack of lies then neither is mine.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA says copying for yourself is OK?!?!?
Wow, that is news!

And how, exactly, are we supposed to do that if every CD has copy protection schemes up the wazoo?
Posted by paulreid99 (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In that case it's illegal
More contradiction.

While it's fine to copy ANYTHING under fair use clauses of the DCMA, if you circumvent the CD or DVDs copy protection you're breaking the law.

Effectively they're saying it's fine to copy a CD, unless it has copy protection software in place.

Even more controversial - you are allowed to make backup copies of DVDs, so long as you don't circumvent the mandatory copy protection placed on the DVD and within the DVD playing hardware.

In fact a company that was sued by Hollywood over its DVD copying software lost because the presiding judge thought it was possible to copy DVDs using analogue outputs from DVD players - ignoring that the macrovision copy protection hardware prevented this, and circumventing it was no different to circumvent the copy protection software placed on the DVD itself.

So effectively if the music industry places copy protection software on CDs your fair use rights have been eliminated by a deliberate clause in the DCMA. For that you can thank the congressmen who were paid off by the RIAA to create a law that is in direct conflict with the interests of those that voted for them. This isn't a partisan thing - Democrats and Republicans are responsible.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
Not exactly.
The RIAA says that its ok to "copy" if its for scholarly work.

That is to say that if you're a music major, its ok to take copies of songs as examples in your presentation. (Assuming that its a multi-media presentation.)

But they are still saying that its wrong for you to make a copy for your own personal use. (Like uploading a song to a digital jukebox, or your i-pod.) This is patently false.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Link Flag
I am glad that RIAA feels that copying for yourself is OK. I guess that means that if I copy the entire Napster, Yahoo Music and AOL music libraries "for myself" that is OK. This is easy to do now that the Windows Media DRM crack FairUse4WM is widely available.
Posted by grangerfx (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
People like you are as much to blame
as the RIAA. 'Fair Use' is a wonderful concept, until the people is it designed to protect treat it like crap.
Thanks to people like you, DRM is the future.
Good job
Posted by catch23 (436 comments )
Link Flag
Reminds me of those old Sex Ed videos
If you're not laughing now, you will be in twenty years.
Posted by sborzy (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
John and Jean realized they had a decision to make...


Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Link Flag
That's the RIAA using scare tactics again, in the media, in the
courts and now in our classrooms. The only thing the RIAA is doing
is leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouth over the whole music
industry. And they wonder why CD sales are down..
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow, novel concept...
I though we came to the conclusion that making videos telling kids not to do something and threatening them with legal reprecussions didn't work back in, oh the 1950s or so?

I knew the RIAA was out of touch, but...
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dont buy music...
Just dont. Wait until the artists sell the music directly without the help of record companies which continue to deprived people of fair-use; including suing minors that have not committed any crimes.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Buy music from local bands.
Support local bands and let the major labels rot.

The RIAA is why I no longer purchase big label music. In the past I purchased a lot of music. The MPAA is why I have not yet purchased a Blue-Ray player.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Education is not wrong..
Claiming to be educating while you misrepresent the facts is
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The RIAA has changed my mind on this issue.
The RIAA has changed my mind on the issue. In the past I was a strong believer in content owners rights. I would get very mad at friends who pirated music or movies. Now I make a point to drop off spindles of blank CDs and DVDs to the friends of mine who download. I also make sure they have good AV software and a hardware firewall.

Let the RIAA and MPAA rot.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bully tactics changed me too
When they started suing grandmothers who didn't own computers,
and even dead people, well, I decided they could go to H*LL.

Posted by canubelieveit (17 comments )
Link Flag
They stole my idea
I always thought it would be better for the RIAA to educate young people, explaining why it's wrong to simply download music off a p2p service. I just wish they would stop the fear tactics where they basically threaten young people by telling them that they will be sued or arrested if they even attempt to violate copyright law.

Doesn't it make more sense to explain the whole process of how music is made and why it's important to pay for the music you listen to? Doesn't that make more sense. I think you'll get more of a response from young people wanting to support their favorite musical artist that way. Simply telling them, "Buy your music or go to jail" makes them want to rebel against the establishment and do the opposite. It makes the RIAA look like the bad guys.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Because the RIAA *ARE* the bad guys! Let your colors shine
through and many more people will come to the same conclusion I
have - the RIAA isn't producing anything I want anyway.

Pirate away folks! (Or better yet - do what Ralfthedog suggests
above and only buy from local bands. That way your money goes to
the people you want it to go to, instead of your money going to sue
grandmothers, children and dead people!)
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
I'm pretty sure
I'm pretty sure that people who sue preteen girls for tens of thousands, and families that never even owned a computer, are the bad guys.

The "ends" (ending unlawful downloading, which more than likely will not result in an increase in profits) do not justify the means in any case.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Good article
I found a good article for anyone who just doesn't get the internet.
This should be required reading for everyone who wants to access
the internet (and especially for anyone who wants to CONTROL it):

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Weasle wording by the RIAA
I just read the FAQ that the RIAA has posted.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

While IANAL, I have spent too much time working with them on contracts.

What I notice is that the RIAA's lawyers are attempting to mislead consumers by saying things that in the context of their FAQ are patently wrong, however outside of the context of the FAQ are correct.

Take the following:
Doesnt the "Fair Use doctrine" give me the right to download and upload copies of music Ive purchased?
No, it doesnt. In certain instances, the use of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research might not constitute infringement, depending on (1) the purpose and character of the use, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work has a whole, and (4) the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. However, courts have rejected the notion that uploading and downloading copyrighted sound recordings without permission constitutes "fair use."
Points 1-4 are correct when talking about the fair use doctrine when it pertains to using copyrighted works within an educational context. However, their last statement, while technically correct, in context of the FAQ is wrong.

The fact that the last statement is extremely general and is taken out of context, is very disturbing....
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You know you pay a tariff on Audio CD-R...
RIAA needs to be sued, daily. For frivalous cases and coercion of PC owners. For wasting taxpayers dollars and the judicial systems resources (that are taken away from trying real criminals).
For using intimidation and extortion for $3200 a person per offense. And likely for entrapment and seeding the internet with trojans, spyware and malware to track and thus actually induce the very problem they are trying to sue for.
The music industry missed the boat on music downloads and instead of being innovative, they resort to using the legal system to protect their greed. They are saying to teens, the internet is communism. Repent!
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get Data, not Audio CD-R and RW disks
They only get the money from disks labled for audio use. There is no difference betweene audio and data CDs other than the RIAA tax.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Why Pay? Radio is Free!!
I rairly buy music, most of what ths companies push i find objectionable, so i stay with my radio and the 60's to 80's station.
Posted by Direwolf5[M] (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why Pay? Radio is Free!!
I rairly buy music, most of what these companies push i find objectionable, so i stay with my radio and the 60's to 80's station.
Posted by Direwolf5[M] (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why Pay? Radio is Free!!
I rairly buy music, most of what thesse companies push i find objectionable, so i stay with my radio and the 60's to 80's station.
Posted by Direwolf5[M] (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RIAA's MisEducation
I should mention I am a Working member of the Entertainment community as well a Member of ASCAP.

The RIAA is so full of Crap and has totaly gone OVER the legal line and this Education is a way to cover there butts. However after viewing the Previews I can say ALOT of the information is Typical of RIAA and MPAA as its not 100% true.

Many Artist and Entertainers are so fed up with this Money Hungry group, they are starting to take the Consumers side in these issues. I think someone needs to Educate everyone on what the RIAA is, does, can do and has the authority to do.

(Take a visit to <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> )

I can say as a member of ASCAP I hold partial Copyrights to a handfull of songs like other composers, songwriters and publishers do. In some cases I hold Copyrights and NOT the artist, however many Artist do hold them as well.

What continues to baffle me and **** me off is RIAA DOES NOT hold Copyrights to ANYTHING Directly other than the "Recording" that the Member Record Company may own. This is one of the many reasons ANY ARTIST rolls there eyes when they hear the RIAA Claim they are looking out for Our interest.

ASCAP and several Artist have also been involved in litigation over Copyright issues however settlements have usually been what most call Fair.

There actions of mass and unfounded litigation is coming to a slow halt since most recent Court Cases have been dismissed and many Judges have started throwing the book at RIAA. This I think is why they are pushing the Education issues now or as I call it MisEducation.

YES us songwriters and Artist do loose money but the RIAA has been stealing from us for years.

I hope this helps show just how Dishonest and Contradictory the RIAA is and has been for years.

{i do not expect any replies to this post as its part venting and part information)
Posted by muzikdudenc (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
ASCAPs (Member) Mis-Education
As someone else who has vented here on occasion, I can sympathize with having to get an opinion heard now and again, but I think a lot of *your* "information" is not 100% true.

You assert to be a member of ASCAP, and claim to be associated with the entertainment industry in some fashion.

Since you revealed a bit about yourself, its only fair that I reciprocate.

I am no one of any importance, I web-crawl for fun and entertainment, and the occasional diversion from reality. I am as far removed from the top (of anything) as the earth is from the sun. I am a consumer of all sorts of entertainment, and I guess that makes me one of the bottom feeders on the entertainment food chain.

I believe that artists of all sorts should be fairly compensated for their works, however experience has taught me that most artists (and the organizations that represent them) have a somewhat slanted view on what fair is.

You know, I almost bought your comments, particularly these lines -

Many Artist and Entertainers are so fed up with this Money Hungry group, they are starting to take the Consumers side in these issues. I think someone needs to Educate everyone on what the RIAA is, does, can do and has the authority to do. (Take a visit to <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> )

ASCAP and several Artist have also been involved in litigation over Copyright issues however settlements have usually been what most call Fair.

YES us songwriters and Artist do loose money but the RIAA has been stealing from us for years.

- Quotes from comments by: muzikdudenc

I did as you suggested, and poked around at the ASCAP site. It was only then that I was reminded of some of the strong arm tactics that your organization has used. Such as the lawsuit against Karaoke operators, for a cut of the action.

I suggest you look here:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

This page lists the general view of ASCAP regarding digital technology, P2P, copyrights, etc., and a list of legal victories.

Or better yet, here:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

That page reveals that ASCAP as an organization, is no different than the RIAA, when it comes to twisted views of the internet, and indeed, consumers of entertainment.

Heres a hint from a consumer about the views expressed on that page: Consumers and Creators ARE NOT on the same page when it comes to the public interest, and copyright. A quick read of anything related to the RIAA/MPAA and copyright issues show this.

I follow all of these types of stories with great interest, because the types of money and power grabs that the industry is making are sickening, and at the same time will have long-lasting implications for consumers.

So, I am left three distinct possibilities when considering your comments.

1.) Your views stand at odds with ASCAPs, which makes you a something of a dissident.
2.) You are deliberately misleading others in regard to ASCAP.
3.) You are not familiar with the views of ASCAP.

I dont know which one of those categories you fall into, but I hope that its category #1, because it seems to me that the disconnect between artists and consumers will only widen while the industry regards its target audience as an enemy. :(
Posted by Ghost Spider (27 comments )
Link Flag
I Dont buy your comments.
As someone who occasionally vents here, I can sympathize somewhat, but ASCAPs goals look like crib notes from the RIAA/MPAA

As evidence I site this page:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Which is from ASCAPs site, and shows the same sorts of twisted views, with regard to the internet, consumers, and copyright issues.

If you disagree with these views, then you are not in line with ASCAPs own position on the subject.

You revealed a bit about yourself, so I should reciprocate.

I am no one of any importance, I crawl the web for the occasional diversion from reality, and I am on the other end of the spectrum from you, as I am primarily a consumer of entertainment. I follow all of these kinds of stories, because the types of money and power grabs that the industry is making are both sickening, and contain far-reaching implications for consumers.

A quick read of any comments to do with the RIAA/MPAA here, or anywhere, shows a *big* disconnect between the industry and consumers.

As long as the entertainment industry treats its consumers as enemies, this divide will only grow.

So if youre fed up with money-hungry groups, remember that you belong to one.
Posted by Ghost Spider (27 comments )
Link Flag
I'm not copying, I'm recording.
In the beginning, the music was broadcast over the radio, and recording it for your own use was okay. Anytime you did this and the generated a profit, that was a copyright violation. I do the same thing, only over the internet. I connect to my local jazz station that streams audio, bring up the Creative Smart Recorder and save it on my hard disk. I can also access VH1, XM, Sirious and just about any radio station that streams over the WEB. All for free. You are confined to what they play, just like over the air. I do understand that the RIAA did put pressure on those sites streaming over the web to pay a fee for what they play. So the fees are paid. I derive no income from this unless my enjoyment is considered income. FREEDOM. In a sense they are trying to tax you for using the music for your enjoyment. RIAA sounds like hoodlums not protectors.
Posted by mjd420nova (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
These guys...
The RIAA is so greedy it's not even funny. Every time a new
media type comes out (i.e. - 45, LP, 8-Track, Casette, CD, etc.)
these guys (the record labels) make tons more money from the
same people buying the same songs on different media.

It's ridiculous.

Now that there is technology to allow us to transport our legally
purchased music to different formats without having to pay
them for it yet again, they're angry. How horrible for them.
They may only get paid once for the music - as it should be. I'm
not shocked that they'de omit the facts.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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