Author Topic: Downloading Music and Rights  (Read 40950 times)

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #100 on: April 22, 2009, 02:28:21 PM »
I would bet that there's not one person involved in this conversation who has not made a copy of a disk (or made a mix-tape) for a friend, downloaded some rare obscure out-of-print LP, or otherwise broken copyright laws.  We've all broken a law at one point or another, some of us more often (and severely) than others.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try aspire to a higher standard.

I got arrested as a teen for shoplifting, you guessed it, Fax records CDs from a local chainstore.  I like to think the revenue I've sent Fax (and almost every other damn ambient label on the block) since has made up for my few youthful mistakes.

The problem is not so much buying and selling used hard copies, the way I see it.  In the magazine business we always imagine that a single copy of the magazine makes its way into several more hands than the original purchaser's or subscriber's.  I suppose it technically cuts into possible profit, but we prefer to think of it as a kind of promotionómaybe that person given a used copy might be more inclined to purchase stuff from us in the future if they liked what they saw.  I think people have a kind of right to share their hard copies of things like books and DVDs, etc.  Perhaps it's less of a right and more of a case of knowing that it will happen and being comfortable that a single copy can't propagate as furiously as a digital file will.

The trouble with P2P software and the like is that it's so far beyond the second-hand markets, or record stores selling promos used, or people lending each other books and music, that the two ideas almost can't be considered in the same sentence.  I mean, look at the shit they were offering on that Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams blog a few months back.  And that's just one of many hundreds of such sites!  If just 200 people downloaded each releaseónot an unreasonable number to assume, and perhaps even an understated figureóit's an incredible amount of piracy and clearly there has been an equally incredible impact on labels and artists because of it, with no original sale to back it up.  Half the time these albums are leaking onto the 'net via promos, etc., and the labels/artists could be losing thousands as a direct result.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 02:30:37 PM by Brian Bieniowski »

judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #101 on: April 22, 2009, 02:29:31 PM »
I'm wondering how many people who say "taking something from me that I did not freely give to you is stealing" also disapprove of the income tax?   ;D 
Oh wait that's right... that tax money just goes back to help the poor people of society... right. 

Sorry Judd, not really following you on this one.  The analogy I would make is the person who sneaks into a concert that others paid for.  The logical extension of your argument would be that that's OK, too.  But why stop there?  Why not sneak onto a flight that others paid for?  No harm, no foul?  Sounds like way too much relativism for me.

Well it's another topic altogether, but when your labor, the money that you earn, is taken in the form of a tax and applied to someone or something else, let's say to fund a war, or support "mandatory pre-school for all", subsidizing the oil industry, or something you generally don't agree with, can that be called fair?  Could it be called stealing?  I think many of the founders of our country thought so, and reading their quotes on taxes in general is pretty enlightening- we didn't have an income tax before 1914 if my history's correct.  I'm not trying to veer the conversation in the direction of taxes or government anyway.

You say the "logical extension of my argument" is that sneaking into a theatre is okay, and I've gotta say, I'm not sure I follow you either on that one.  What part of my argument extends to that?  When you say there's too much relativism, that's what in effect I'm asking you guys.  To what extent can one share one's experience when one purchases music, and what is it that I own?  I'm asking how relative is burning a cd for a friend to uploading music to the anonymous user?  

It is interesting that people are putting most of the responsibility on the downloader here.  It's like they know it's a grey area when someone purchases the music as to the extent of what they can do with it once they buy it.  

The thing about sneaking into a theatre or an airplane:  If I purchase a ticket to go to one of these, it's not like buying a cd.  I cannot share that ticket, otherwise it's "sneaking", not the same with music.  Forrest, when I allow others to share or partake in the music experience that I have bought, let's say invite them into my living room where we enjoy the music, I have not "snuck them in" to my experience, have I?  Yet I'm the one who bought the experience, and it is easily shared with others.  That's why I see this as a very grey area as to what extent the musician, or the government can mandate how I share what I purchased.  

As to the doctor selling the "intangible" advice:  yeah, no question information can be sold, but it can just as easily be shared.  Same with intangibles too- Vegas wouldn't exist if it weren't for selling intangibles  :P I can buy a cookbook and share a recipe, I can obtain info. from a doctor that could generally help anybody- in fact my chiropractor has given me some invaluable exercises during doctor's visits that I in turn have shared with my massage clients- does anyone think this is stealing?  What if I posted some of that information online to help someone?  

I believe that conscience and goodwill is and should be very alive and well- this forum is the perfect example where people are stressing the importance of compensating the musician to the benefit of us all.  There is a model of complete donation or compensation that is controversial, but it has worked before... anyone ever heard of Patch Adams?  If everyone took advantage of his "free clinic", he wouldn't exist, but it does.  I'm sure someone could tell Patch one of these hypothetical vacuumed ideas of "well if you didn't charge for your services, and no one paid or donated, then you couldn't continue to run your clinic...", and well I guess they'd be right.    



LNerell

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #102 on: April 22, 2009, 02:53:31 PM »

it is now cheaper then ever to create your own music, since the digital studio almost everyone can afford and home studio. People like me can't afford nothing, no cds at all almost, and no software. So in my case I would not be able to record any music at all if it wasn't for piracy.


You contradict yourself here, you say its so cheap but then claim that you can't pay for it so the only way to get it is to steal it, there is another alternative. When I was your age (I am assuming you are in your early 20s) I also could not afford all most anything, CDs, musical instruments, etc. So what did I do? I took classes at the local school to learn and use the instruments they had. I went to our local library to listen to music that I couldn't afford. Finally I did what many others have done, I got a job to buy the gear with money for said job. You obviously had some money as you have a computer to run the software on. If you continue to steal software and not pay for it then myself and others who do pay for it will have to pay more for our software in the future to make up for your selfishness. Or, the software might come with some form of dongle device (like a big hardware box) that requires it to work. In other words you'll have to buy hardware again like I had to when I was your age.


And when we are talking about pirate copies and financial losses, it is very important to clearly we are talking about an POTENTIAL loss,


You seem to be assuming that all downloads are from people who would not buy a CD in the first place. If this was the case then CD sales would not have tanked like they have with the introduction of high quality downloads. There is enough empirical evidence to indicate there is a connection between the two. As a personal example, when Terraform was released on CD the sales were much lower then expected based upon previous sales of my own releases and Steve Roach's normal sales for a new release. We found shortly after the album was released that someone had made high quality mp3s (320kps) of the tracks, had scanned all the artwork including the front cover, inside foldout, the extra postcards, and the CD itself. All were then zipped into a file and uploaded to a bittorrent site. This was the first case any of us has encountered of this kind. You could argue that no one was interested so they didn't buy the CD, well thousands of people were interested enough to at least download it. I won't argue that all of those thousands of download were potential sales, but sales have been so low that the label has yet to recoup its costs, and this has made it difficult for me now to release any new material.


I have tried to explain to you that to live and survive on making independent music is very hard and for 99,9% only a dream.


Itís always been hard but that's no excuse for being selfish and making it harder then it needs to be. Downloading at artists music and not paying for it turns that dream into a nightmare.


I have not interest to support labels in the future, we need to get rid of this middle hand, since the money gets in the wrong pocket, the artist is the one who should get the most part of the profit.



I think getting rid of labels is a bad idea, not all labels are bad. Good labels work with the artist, they provide services that help them and work more as an artist collective then a monolithic machine. One thing they can provide is a cheaper way of producing product. If they come to a replicator with several projects they can get a cheaper rate. If they have several artists they can get better distribution, etc. I think the irony of this whole free download thing is itís made the large labels even bigger. They have slowly bought each other out to the point their are only 2 or 3 big labels which in the long run has hurt music with less competition. Less competition means less chance for interesting music to be heard. Its also forced the large labels into a corner like posture, which has fueled the whole attack on p2p sights. I think the piratebay people are seeing this first hand.


We have about 15% unemployment in Sweden, but that is already changing, since the young generation do not want to work at all, they all want to live in freedom.


Freedom to daydream all day long, to daydream about all the great art they could make if they weren't too busy daydreaming.


However, as I said, unless you have talent like Roach and do not own your own label, these is no way you can survive on cd sells, that is the reality. Some pocket money from cd sells will not help. If you have your own label and release many cds


Just so you know Steve's label is actually a joint project with Projekt Records for many of the reasons I stated above.


I advocate copyright, in the sense that if a person have done something he or she should be associated with the work and no on else, I see this is an fundamental right and important. This protection is important since it gives you the right to own the rights to your work.


If you believe this then you should allow the artist to control how they wish to have their art consumed. If artists wanted to have their music downloaded freely then their is nothing stopping them from putting it up on a website and letting any one download as they wish. Since most artist don't do this, or do this on a limited basis then they have made a choice that they do not wish to have unlimited access at such a high level.


I would rather see something like PROUT http://www.prout.net/ in the future, http://www.thevenusproject.com/ have a lot of interesting ideas as well


In my youth I had a great interest in utopian societies, I've read quite a few books on all kinds of utopias (including a few distopias), had endless debates, some friends and I even considered the possibility of starting a small commune. I should also point out that I am not a strong believer in that capitalism is the best of all worlds and am open to the possibility that their maybe something better. Having said that most of the utopian projects that are currently out there will probably never see the real light of day in our lifetimes. They are at best --  like the Venus project -- centuries away from even a remote possibility of reality. So I think its very unfair to us musicians (who make the most affordable of all the arts) to have to bare the burden of dragging everyone into these utopian dream worlds. Its not going to happen in one little corner, itís going have to happen in a broader forum.
Take care.

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #103 on: April 22, 2009, 03:22:49 PM »
I would bet that there's not one person involved in this conversation who has not made a copy of a disk (or made a mix-tape) for a friend, downloaded some rare obscure out-of-print LP, or otherwise broken copyright laws.  We've all broken a law at one point or another, some of us more often (and severely) than others.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try aspire to a higher standard.

I mean, look at the shit they were offering on that Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams blog a few months back.  And that's just one of many hundreds of such sites!  If just 200 people downloaded each releaseónot an unreasonable number to assume, and perhaps even an understated figureóit's an incredible amount of piracy and clearly there has been an equally incredible impact on labels and artists because of it, with no original sale to back it up.  Half the time these albums are leaking onto the 'net via promos, etc., and the labels/artists could be losing thousands as a direct result.

Or some ones could be actually winning! I'm well aware of that blog, and in fact (hold deep breath now...) I have even sent them an album we've released! (of course, with the agreement of the artist) I know it totally sounds absurd, but this is a perfect example of an alternative internet promotion that I wanted to point out. I did this at a time when sales of that particular album were totally frozen, and weeks had passed without any order. As a result, the album had been download by over 300 people just a couple of days (probably much more, not all bandwith provider websites show stats and it was uploaded in many sites) and I got three new orders in the following days. So, it seems that not only the downloads did not negatively affect the sales of the album (it still sells, although ahem very slowly as the rest of our stuff) but it gave a wide exposure to the artist, and essentially did promotion and helped him reach an audience that might be interested to check out more future works of him, and as we all know, all promotion is essentially cashes-in sometime.

Now, I'm not trying to be smart and say that something like this can apply to labels as Hypnos as well (it probably doesn't). In fact, there are just two ways, you either try to bring down any kind of file sharing thus not allowing the album to "leak out" to the internet and relying just upon the artist and label's name and promotional appeal in order for it to reach its audience, or you can go along with the tide and allow this whole situation and even use it. I can't provide a definite answer about this right now, but personally I find much interest in this new way of things, and I suggest everyone, musician or producer to study it in order to understand it, and see how it can help him or not, accordingly to each one's situation.

ffcal

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #104 on: April 22, 2009, 04:43:07 PM »
I think reading the comments is here is making my head spin...We do currently have taxation with representation (gripes from the right notwithstanding), so I'm not sure I'd put that it in the same category as the decision of an individual to copy or upload his CD for his friends without the consent of either the artist or the record label.  I think the notion that "if is on the internet, it must be free" is what is causing newspapers and other traditional media to go out of business, or at the very least, be starved for cash.  If I read a story on the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal website that is subscription only, I don't the legal right to copy that text for someone else to read, any more than I would have the right to convert a Kindle novel into a text file and post it on the internet.  Even a recipe is not necessarily free if it comes from a subscription-only website.  I don't think anyone is taking the position that playing a CD for your friends or including music on a mixtape or podcast is piracy.  Making a copy of a entire CD freely available in digital form to be enjoyed on another person's iPod or to be burned to CDR, though, is a different kettle of fish.

I agree that the discussion should gradually move towards trying to develop a sustainable model.  Clearly, what has been in place has not been working.  One thing I plan to try as an experiment is to make freely available a standalone track created from raw elements of my upcoming CD as a form of promotion.  I thought that what rock musician Jill Sobule did with her last CD project was kind of cool; she had enough of a fan base that she was able raise money from her fans to record and press her CD.

Forrest

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #105 on: April 22, 2009, 05:18:56 PM »
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #106 on: April 22, 2009, 05:36:27 PM »
So are we saying that it is actually illegal for me to sell a cd to my local record store? Or just illegal for me to copy it before I sell it?

What about the guy who runs the cool used record store? He is making a living, and promoting the music as well. I've found out about a lot of labels and artists that I otherwise would not have, if not for some of the fine record stores here.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 05:41:49 PM by 9dragons »

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #107 on: April 22, 2009, 05:37:37 PM »
No its just illegal to copy it and then sell it. In theory if you sell it and want it again you need to re-purchase the cd again or buy the download.

PV
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9dragons

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #108 on: April 22, 2009, 05:45:45 PM »
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold. This really cuts to the heart of the matter: what is the cd? the object, the data, both, or neither?

9dragons

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #109 on: April 22, 2009, 05:49:52 PM »
And that is one of the main reasons I like to buy an actual cd. If I don't like it, I can at least sell it and make back a few bucks. When you pay to download an album, you don't have that luxury, and are basically left with air that you don't like. I like having that escape hatch. Plus the money you make from selling the cd usually makes up for the difference between price in the hard copy and download.

I have spent a lot of money on music...

LNerell

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #110 on: April 22, 2009, 06:00:40 PM »
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold.

If you don't like the CD enough to keep then why would you want a copy of it? ??? From my understanding when you purchase a CD and you make a copy of it to another format you are media shifting, which is legal. The idea is you make a copy so you can play it in the car or your ipod. If you then sell the CD or vinyl, or cassette, then you are not entitled to have that shifted copy of it because you no longer have the original media.
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judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #111 on: April 22, 2009, 06:48:29 PM »


In order to more clearly illustrate the problem, imagine a situation where a CD is released and Citizen #1 buys one CD, duplicates it, and sells the original to Citizen #2, who also duplicates it, and sells it to Citizen #3, and so on. 

Eventually, every citizen in the country has a copy of the music, and every single one of them can say "but I paid for a copy," and yet only one copy has been purchased new, generating revenue for the artist, label or rights-holder.  Does this make clearer how duplicating the music before passing it along is just as detrimental to the artist, as if everyone just downloaded it illegally and never bought anything?

Assuming that the intention of citizen 1 is to have a copy, and recoup part of his money, if he can't duplicate it, then he probably won't sell it.  Hell would he even buy it then in the first place?   And if he can't sell it, what makes citizen 2, who's obviously looking for a bargain, buy the new cd? 

What about this cool used record store 9dragons mentions... how many cd's and labels would he have found and consequently supported if people decided to keep that music rather than sell it, knowing they shouldn't copy it? 

What if I buy a new Hypnos cd, copy it, resell it so I can use that recoupped money to help finance the purchase of another new Hypnos cd?

It looks like if anything downloading is much more detrimental in that people aren't going to wait for the used cd they want to come down the pike.  Unlucky citizen # 2000 is probably just going to download rather than wait for that process to unfold...maybe you're talking about if this existed but the other didn't kind of hypothetical here...


judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #112 on: April 22, 2009, 06:52:38 PM »
Very interesting. I guess that makes sense on a strict legal /copyright level. It somehow seems weird though. It feels (there is that word again) as if one should own the data for oneself if one legitimately purchases an album, even after the hard copy is subsequently sold.

If you don't like the CD enough to keep then why would you want a copy of it? ??? From my understanding when you purchase a CD and you make a copy of it to another format you are media shifting, which is legal. The idea is you make a copy so you can play it in the car or your ipod. If you then sell the CD or vinyl, or cassette, then you are not entitled to have that shifted copy of it because you no longer have the original media.

Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

michael sandler

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #113 on: April 22, 2009, 06:56:07 PM »
Is listening to some music that you're not going to end purchasing because you didn't find it good enough that much of a crime? It could be considered as a "spiritual crime" perhaps, but if some guy meets Steve Roach tommorow and tells to the man "Hey, I've downloaded most of your music and I was deeply affected by it, it changed the way I see music" do you think he'll be mad at him? I don't know, I can't speak for the man.

I can't really speak for Steve, but I feel pretty certain he would be shocked to have someone tell him this.  If someone told me they were "deeply affected" by my work, but they had never bothered to purchase a single CD, I'd think here's a pretty selfish person who not only doesn't purchase most of their music, but doesn't even support the work that really means something to them.

I honestly CAN see how people can rationalize pirating the newest Britney Spears album or whatever... she's already a millionaire, how much of a difference will it make if I buy one copy, the major labels are giant evil corporations anyway, etc. 

I can even see how people can take a "try before you buy" attitude, downloading a lot of material and buying legit copies of the stuff they like most.

But the idea that people can rationalize pirating the music of an indie artist or label that's bringing in so little money as to barely break even, one of their favorite artists or labels... how does that rationalization go, exactly?  The $12 is more important to me than it is to him, besides they didn't actually SEE me download it so there's no proof, anyway the record industry is so corrupt you have to fight against ALL commercial releases, or what?

I know you were just offering an example, but I'd say you probably shouldn't walk up to Steve Roach or anyone else and say "Your work deeply affected me but not enough that I was willing to sacrifice anything at all in order to obtain it."

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS

judd stephens

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #114 on: April 22, 2009, 07:05:35 PM »

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS

Nope, it's far more offensive that you compare The Magnificent Void with Fruit Loops... ;D

michael sandler

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #115 on: April 22, 2009, 07:16:34 PM »

I recall a fan asking Neil Peart a question in Modern Drummer magazine, and in the course of the question the fan said he had bootlegged a concert, and Neil blasted him with both barrels. He did answer the question though.

Just my 2cents on the meaning of art and what that has to do with any of this: nothing. Steve Roach's music is product. That's not a bad word. It simply means something produced with the intent of generating financial profit. So it is no different than a box of cereal. You have to pay for Froot Loops, and you have to pay for The Magnificent Void.

I hope no one takes offense that I refer to Froot Loops as "product."  ;D

MikeS

Nope, it's far more offensive that you compare The Magnificent Void with Fruit Loops... ;D

I knew I was gonna get it for that...

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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #116 on: April 23, 2009, 07:05:59 AM »
But what about Fruity Loops?   Oh - wait - they changed it to FL to sound more legitimate at some point... ;-)
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #117 on: April 23, 2009, 09:18:05 AM »
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #118 on: April 23, 2009, 09:32:55 AM »
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.


I would say no -- in Judd's example, he purchased a copy and owned the rights to it.  If the physical disc is lost or stolen but he still has the mp3 rip, I'd say he retains the right to keep listening to it -- even to burn an audio CDR from the mp3 files if he wants.  Why not?

That's very different from selling the CD used, but keeping a high-quality rip or a CDR copy.
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Re: Downloading Music and Rights
« Reply #119 on: April 23, 2009, 10:22:30 AM »
Hmmm, so if I lose the original copy or it's stolen, or wears out, then I have to erase the shifted copy?  Guess so...

Good point, I have no idea. Lots of gray area here.


I would say no -- in Judd's example, he purchased a copy and owned the rights to it.  If the physical disc is lost or stolen but he still has the mp3 rip, I'd say he retains the right to keep listening to it -- even to burn an audio CDR from the mp3 files if he wants.  Why not?

That's very different from selling the CD used, but keeping a high-quality rip or a CDR copy.

I am not a lawyer, but this is an area of some interest to me.

First, the RIAA has, in the past, argued that you don't have the right to "media shift."  That argument was moot -- they already fought and lost that battle in the '70s, with cassette recorders -- but a major part of their market was (re-)selling CDs to people who wanted to "upgrade" from perfectly good LPs, so they gave it a try.

In an interview on NPR last year (I think -- I can find it if I have to) they argued that if you had made MP3 or other copies of a CD, and the CD was subsequently lost or stolen, then you should have to destroy your copies.

I think that copyright law trumps them on this.  In this case it seems to me that "media shifting" is the same as making an archival copy.  The purpose of an archival copy is to safeguard your investment if the original is lost.

In the case of theft, it's even more clear.  You cannot lose title to property through theft.  If you bought the CD it's your CD -- even if it's stolen, it's still your CD and you have a right to the music.



As a hobby (which I haven't had time to pursue nearly as much as I'd like) I record LPs to digital files, clean them up, and burn them to CD -- and some songs wind up on my MP3 player.  I keep the source LPs safely in my basement, just in case.
Science News, Vol. 175, No. 9, April 25, 2009, page 1 -- "New mapping of the human genome shows none of us are normal."