RIAA innocent? In no sense...

by Jason Gross

4 January 2008

 

Thanks to Art of Noise for that title.  In a series of articles for CNET, a former Washington Post writer rips a current WP writer for taking shortcuts in an RIAA story, which claimed that the hated music industry scourge was saying that customers ripping CD’s is illegal.  While Marc Fisher’s original story did seem to cut corners about what the RIAA was claiming was legal or not (ripping is illegal if it’s then shared on a P2P service), I also wonder about the vitriol the CNET writer levels against Fischer while letting the RIAA have as much say as it likes to defend itself.  Note this segment in particular:

“Here was an opportunity for (RIAA prez Cary) Sherman to declare once and for all that copying CDs for personal use is lawful. He stopped short of that, saying that copyright law is too complex to make such sweeping statements. He did state that there is one full-proof way of discovering the RIAA’s policy on personal use: check the record.” 

For the rest of the article, the RIAA gets the benefit of the doubt while Fisher is hung out to dry but note that Sherman has to still weasel his way around this issue as if to say that in fact, the case ain’t closed about this.  That would even go back to Fisher’s original claim that the RIAA is not in fact cool with ripping or at least they refuse to go on record to counter that.  The CNET article notwithstanding, the RIAA’s rep is still in the mud, even if they cry about being misquoted.  They have themselves to blame for suing thousands of people in questionable lawsuits.

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