PDA

View Full Version : iPod legality question


Chuck
Mar 15, 2003, 06:46 PM
This is a question I've wondered for quite a while now...

If it's illegal to reproduce music - even when you own the CD - I can't figure out how Apple manage to get away without any courtroom dramas with the success of iPod & iTunes...

I know they have the little fineprint that says you should only copy material that you own the rights to (owning the CD does NOT = owning the rights)... But then in some of their ads they have pictures of CDs piled up which include all sorts of popular CDs etc...

I just don't figure it out. Surely someone in the music industry would have a decent case.

Personally I think iPod / iTunes are a great hardware / software combination, but I just don't understand how the legal issues are sorted out.

:confused:

Chuck

PS - Edit was to include iTunes in with iPod

Chaszmyr
Mar 15, 2003, 07:01 PM
I believe the reason it is legal hinges on the fact that you can't (or atleast you arent supposed to be able to) transfer data from the iPod to the computer, and therefore you cant use the iPod as a means of distribution.

Bear
Mar 15, 2003, 07:03 PM
Actually, you can make a copy of music you own for your own use. Part of the presumption is that you will only use one copy at a time.

What is not legal is borrowing someone elses CD's to put on your iPod.

nuckinfutz
Mar 15, 2003, 07:04 PM
The iPod does not record nor does it allow you to sync with another library without overwriting your own existing library. I don't own an iPod(yet) but that's what i've heard.

Chuck
Mar 15, 2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Bear
Actually, you can make a copy of music you own for your own use. Part of the presumption is that you will only use one copy at a time.

What is not legal is borrowing someone elses CD's to put on your iPod.

That must be a USA thing, because I checked and in Australia it's even illegal to copy a CD that you own yourself, (urban myth says the same as you in Australia, but the reality is not so).

I guess each country deals with it's own laws, but that does make it much simpler in the US, if that's the case.

Chuck.

rideahyperLite
Mar 15, 2003, 07:17 PM
there are also legal mp3s like ones put out for distrobution.. like mp3.com

MrMacMan
Mar 15, 2003, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
The iPod does not record nor does it allow you to sync with another library without overwriting your own existing library. I don't own an iPod(yet) but that's what i've heard.

Nah you can copy songs to the iPod without it syncing.
What you didn't hear me say a thing. (http://www.crispsofties.com/)

I have no idea how to do this though... ;)



On a legal note... If you own a CD and transfer files onto your iPod this is legal in the U.S.

Distrubting files to friends or getting files from friends is illegal though.

mkubal
Mar 15, 2003, 09:17 PM
The most important thing to remember is that nothing is illegal until you get caught.

Matt

hugemullens
Mar 15, 2003, 09:54 PM
In the U.S. you can make as many copys, on as many different formats as you like, of anything you own. This includes movies, dvds, software. It is obviosly illegal to distribute this. But you can have as many copys for yourself as you'd like.

zio1
Mar 15, 2003, 10:19 PM
If you're interested in following up on these "time shifting" issues, you should read up on Lawrence Lessig and the Elcomsoft case -- for those of you who are tech-lovers but not so technically inclined, or perhaps are better with law and policy studies, this would be an extremely interesting area of study for you.

One of the scary things is, time shifting was a term coined in the Betamax v. US Supreme Court case (means you are allowed to make a copy of a TV show, for instance, on your betamax tape, for viewing at another time), which was a 5-4 decision....... quite close.

Part of the reason copying was allowed was not only to protect our rights to free use, but because copying analog formats onto media devices necessarily included a degradation of quality (the more times you copy a song on a tape, for instance) the more the sound quality sucks. And the tape is affected by age, too. But with MP3 or all the other digital encoding formats, no matter how many times you copy it, you have an exact replica of the original. This is why they are so draconian in their enforcement of the laws for illegal copying.

Check out how much the entertainment industry in the USA donates to Congress, while you're at it. Sony Bono, for instance, had Disney as his biggest campaign contributer. There's no coincidence that the Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (which Lessig just lost the argument for in the Elcomsoft Case) granted Disney an extra 25 year copyright on Mickey Mouse.

Chuck
Mar 15, 2003, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by mkubal
The most important thing to remember is that nothing is illegal until you get caught.

Matt

I hope that was a joke... But then again - maybe Someone actually catches you every time. *eye's looking up*

:eek:

Chuck.

Gus
Mar 15, 2003, 11:29 PM
But why is the Sonny Bono Copyright extension bill bad in your eyes? The artist(s) and their families have every right to profit from the work that they did.

As I understand the copyright law, you may not "make as many copies as you want for your own use". You may make one, "archival" copy for your own use. Now the Feds generally won't have a problem with multiple copies if they do indeed stay with you. As someone pointed out, the iPod remains legal because as it is designed and sold, it does not have the capability of recording or transferring music to your Mac once it's on there. Now, true, there is software from 3rd parties that allows for this very thing to happen, but Apple is not liable for this any more than Cassette Tape companies were responsible for people recording the radio and listening that way.

Just my 2

Regards,
Gus

Sun Baked
Mar 15, 2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by hugemullens
In the U.S. you can make as many copys, on as many different formats as you like, of anything you own. This includes movies, dvds, software. It is obviosly illegal to distribute this. But you can have as many copys for yourself as you'd like. A reasonable number of copies, end up with too many of one format -- and it would be hard to prove you are not a pirate.

A couple hundred copies of the same video stacked against the wall, along with a vcr pirating rack making copies would look a little strange if an officer walked through your house.

patrick0brien
Mar 15, 2003, 11:46 PM
-All

The provision in the U.S. Copy and Trademark code that you are all referring to is the "Fair Use" clause.

It's an amendment made to the copyright code in the 1970's. It's what allows one to copy copyrighted works from any medium (LP, Tape, CD) to any other medium for the purpose of self use.

Warning, exceedingly dry Legaleze lifted from the U.S Copyright Code:

TITLE 17, CHAPTER 1, Sec. 107. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors

hugemullens
Mar 15, 2003, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
A couple hundred copies of the same video stacked against the wall, along with a vcr pirating rack making copies would look a little strange if an officer walked through your house.

True....but LEAGALLY, you can make all the back ups you want. But yeah, i'm sure they would wonder why you have 100 copies of Monsters Inc (great movie btw)

MrMacMan
Mar 16, 2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
A reasonable number of copies, end up with too many of one format -- and it would be hard to prove you are not a pirate.

A couple hundred copies of the same video stacked against the wall, along with a vcr pirating rack making copies would look a little strange if an officer walked through your house.

Acually I haven't heard of many cases where normal cops taking people away for piracy... dunno why but I have only heard of federal forces.

ollywilson2003
Mar 16, 2003, 01:09 AM
Even though the iPod does not allow you to store more than one iTunes library, this is enterily irrelevant since as you can use it as a Firewire HD you can simply copy the music on to it manually. This isnt really Apples fault as to stop this would mean you would not be able to use is an external HD.

filipp
Mar 16, 2003, 06:41 AM
To add some information, here in Sweden it's legal to give away backups of your stuff to your relatives and your close friends... Now, this sounds very strange, I know, but that's the way it works.

So, if you make a copy of your Monsters Inc. and give it to a friends, it OK with law. If you send it to someone you dont know, it's illegal.

Funny, the feds will need to define who's your friend and who's not :D

KingArthur
Mar 16, 2003, 12:15 PM
Just watch out for companies such as Microsoft and some major music companies to alter their liscense agreement to prohibit any copying for archival purposes. When you buy software of some sort, you are not actually buying software, but rather the license to use it, and you agree to abide by the license agreement. Watch for CDs to start including a license agreement to prohibit copying, too. Sure there are laws that give us the right (in the US) to make a back-up copy of our software and CDs, but software and entertainment companies have the best lawyers in the world constantly finding loopholes to get what they want.

law guy
Mar 16, 2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by KingArthur
Just watch out for companies such as Microsoft and some major music companies to alter their liscense agreement to prohibit any copying for archival purposes. When you buy software of some sort, you are not actually buying software, but rather the license to use it, and you agree to abide by the license agreement. Watch for CDs to start including a license agreement to prohibit copying, too. Sure there are laws that give us the right (in the US) to make a back-up copy of our software and CDs, but software and entertainment companies have the best lawyers in the world constantly finding loopholes to get what they want.

Yes - I've found this troubling with Microsoft's new licensing scheme. If you have a laptop and a desktop, they'd like you to buy two copies of the software for two licenses. This, of course, has bugged folks who thought of software like, say, a CD, which you buy once and then use in your car, maybe a copy of tracks on a mix-tape, etc. I've seen a really funny version of a Microsoft license agreement on the net somewhere - so many restrictions and conditions requiring altered behavior, but it made a good point. I'd be interested to see a suit challenging the MS license agreement. If someone could show that they did not really have an even bargaining position, was in need of the software (say for a business compatibility reason), and that MS was the sole producer of the software, I wonder if the license might not be found to be something along the lines of an adhesion contract, or at least unenforceable in part on other grounds.

There are all sorts of agreements printed on invoices that are generally unenforceable. Even those "consent" forms one signs at hospitals have been found to be worthless. Granted, the MS license agreement is not like someone holding a piece of paper in front of you and telling you to sign if you want treatment for that gun shot wound, but it would be interesting to see how it played. I think the monopoly finding against MS would add an interesting dimension to the arguments.

KingArthur
Mar 16, 2003, 05:15 PM
An interesting thing that MS has done. I got a computer through my college and the licensing for windows says "Windows XP Professional 1-2CPU." Now, I have half a mind to call up tech support and ask them what the hell that means. Does it mean it is licensed for one computer with up to two processors, or just two processors, which means I could install this copy of Windows on another PC?

The thing is, Microsoft treats its consumers as though they are businesses. It wants to have complete control of the system and such. But anyway, it is more than MS that is making people agree to controlling licensing agreements, and I think soon enough, we are going to be having to agree to about everything we buy.....CDs, DVDs, etc. Well, I just hope the courts will keep this from happening.

AdamT
Sep 15, 2003, 10:08 PM
So I bought an iRiver, but the question seems germane to the discussion at hand. The iRiver 390-T can record the radio while you listen - just as the old boom boxes could record onto tape. However, this is a digital recording with no eventual degredation of quality. Therefore, it seems that under BetaMax I can create MP3 files and legally keep them on my computer as long as I taped them from the radio.

Now a second question. If I legally downloaded the music, can I legally share it?

Why/why not?

:confused:

patrick0brien
Sep 16, 2003, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by KingArthur
When you buy software of some sort, you are not actually buying software, but rather the license to use it, and you agree to abide by the license agreement. Watch for CDs to start including a license agreement to prohibit copying, too.

-KingArthur

Well, this is already true when buying CD's - it's a license to play the music, you don't own it. You already agree to this very thing when buying a CD - it's that little print on the back at the bottom. There is a lot of weight behind the little (c) symbol.

You are prevented from making copies of the music except Fair Use reasons - backups, media change (you have a cd, but need it on tape for your car), etc. The line is very solidly at the point where you give another person that copyrighted material. That is known as redistribution - and patently (like the pun?) against copyright.

You can contact the copyright holder for permission to redistribute, but they will insist on a fee and a new copyright label on the copied material - PITA.

Originally posted by AdamT
The iRiver 390-T can record the radio while you listen - just as the old boom boxes could record onto tape. However, this is a digital recording with no eventual degredation of quality. Therefore, it seems that under BetaMax I can create MP3 files and legally keep them on my computer as long as I taped them from the radio.

Now a second question. If I legally downloaded the music, can I legally share it?

Why/why not?


-AdamT

Hey now! I had one of those "old" boom boxes! Still do, has a little TV in it. :D

Yes, you are correct. Radio stations can play copyrighted material because they pay BMI and/or ASCAP "blanket rights" fees to do so - it's one of the income streams for the RIAA and the artists. So yes, you can record, playback, burn to disk - it's all Fair Use.

Can you legally redistribute it to friends? Well, not without jumping through the hoops mentioned above.

As for redistributing dowloaded music, what do you think my answer will be? :D