RIAA gets hardcore

This is a disturbing move, although also understandable to a degree. I know plenty of folk who use it for perfectly legitimate reasons. [Moderated]

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Breaching copyright for “circumventing DRM” reminds me of the cassette wars of the eighties. The humble cassette tape was a double edged sword for the industry, presaging digital issues in many ways.

There have been persuasive arguments to drop accessorial liability for copyright infringement in the UK entirely. That now seems very unlikely given the desire for a free trade agreement with the US.

When dual cassette player/recorders first hit the market, a chill wind blew down the backs of the recording companies. The British Phonographic Industry Ltd (BPI) wrote to the manufacturers, Amstrad, claiming they were authorising a breach of copyright. Amstrad sued, seeking a declaration that they were not acting illegally. The trial judge found they were acting illegally and refused the declaration. The Court of Appeal disagreed and set the initial judgment aside, but declined to make a declaration on the basis that the advertising could actually amount to inciting a criminal act.

Armed with that decision CBS sued Amstrad and the case went up to the House of Lords, where they famously lost.

The dual cassette deck may not have been great for the recording industry, but it was a wonderful boon for the legal industry.

To persuade me I’d have to comprehend it. By page 3 I found myself wishing I was reading something easier going, like the PDF specification.

I grew up taping music from the radio. The fact that you could only copy in realtime and tape to tape copies sounded so poor meant it was never anything like as serious a threat to the recording industry as digital presents. Cassettes weren’t a long life media either, stretches and snaps were commonplace. Many a favourite ended up unfurled around the interior of my car, victim of the near psychopathic tape chewing machine masquerading as my car stereo. In fact the only thing I miss about them is the strangely beautiful sight of cassette tape streaming from roadside trees.


Yeah, it’s fairly turgid, but the gist of it is that there is no good reason why copyright should have accessorial liability, but patents and other IP regimes do not, it just grew that way historically. They look at the Australian position, where accessorial liability was extended to other regimes, and conclude it would be simpler and more consistent to just leave things on the basis of joint tortfeasor liability.

Now, however, UK copyright will probably develop along US lines, which can be summarised as follows: what the Mouse wants, the Mouse gets.

I used to make tapes for friends at school. We had our 40th reunion the other year. A number of my old friends said that their musical tastes had been moulded by those tapes and they still listened to those artists and that music. I told them they were pathetic old dinosaurs who needed to get out more.


From that House of Lords ruling, a typically droll comment

Without the facilities provided by the electronic equipment industry, the entertainment industry could not provide entertainment in the home, and could not, for example, maintain orchestras which fill the air with 20th century cacophony or make gratifying profit from a recording of a group without a voice singing a song without a tune


This kind of summary is certainly more my legal speak speed :joy:

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I thought one of the other links was scary

Difficult to press like given the content but you’re right. Daniel Ek’s comments suggest he sees recording artists as his sweat shop workers…

Bring it RIAA! I’ve got a VPN, just try and find me…

I WOULD download a car…

And of course…

:rofl: :+1:

In general, don’t believe this (because they can)… any vpn provider is just another isp.

Many boast that they keep no logs. And many allow you to pop out in a different country, so it becomes an international affair.

It’s worth noting here that GitHub (ok, it hurts but that’s also Microsoft) stood firm here and got the takedown rescinded, is that a put up?