Sony kills fair use

Sony believes that fair use, as it has been understood for several decades, doesn’t exist.

jennifer Pariser, Sony’s head of litigation, says:

When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song. Making a copy of a purchased song is just a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy’.

Long before personal computers, people were making mix tapes or copying their LPs to cassettes so they could listen to them in the car. If Sony has their way, even that would be illegal.

In light of this remark, the proclamations by NBC and others that most content on iPods is stolen makes sense in a perverse way. If you buy a CD or DVD and then rip it and put it on your iPod instead of buying another DRM protected copy, it’s stealing according to their standards.

Pariser’s statement that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise is especially telling. The artists themselves are still making money that way, cutting out the record labels. So the record companies don’t care whether the artist makes money, only that they themselves make money even though they don’t add any value to the music.

Artists like Radiohead who are distributing their music online are now proving that record companies aren’t necessary and add no value to their product.

It’s time for someone to start standing up for consumers. Supporting bands like Radiohead who create alternate distribution methods will send a loud & clear message to the RIAA & record labels.

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