Lawful until we change our mind

This piece of information may serve as a reminder that, even after years of painful bashing and declining profits, the music industry is apparently simply not able to understand the implications of digitization of content. It may also serve as a reminder to politicians and lobbyists, that “understanding the need for continued compensation for art in an era of a run-wild copying machine aka the internet” will likely be construed as support for further limitiations of the utility of products sold.

While the current proposal for the next amendment to the copyright law (UrhG) is widely considered to contain unreasonable burdens on consumers to make sure their copies are from a “legitimate source”, the RIAA is now claiming that – no kidding – ripping your *own* CDs is not fair use. “Fair use” is probably one of the most obscure legal constructions in American law, but its basic meaning is that you should be able to use a product you bought in the way it was intended, after all, not all contingencies of intellectual property rights usage can be predicted before signing the deal.

So, now, the RIAA says that owning a CD doesn’t necessarily give necessarily give you (if you’re in America) the right to put it on a mobile player. We’ll have to make sure the German committee dealing wit the proposed amendments hears this. Then finally they may have a chance to understand that even rights owners can attempt to steal…

(via Heise news (in German) and EFF)