Friday, July 29, 2005

Words of contempt

Gah. It's too soon to celebrate over the Blank Media Levy being effectively declawed, according to U of O copyright law professor Michael Geist: Of all the reactions to today's SCC decision to skip the appeal of the private copying decision, I thought the Canadian Recording Industry Association's was the most remarkable. I’ve obviously commented regularly on its high risk strategy of suing individual file sharers. I think this is a bad strategy for many reasons. Suing your customers (and we should be clear, file sharers are the industry’s best customers) is never a good idea. Further, the immense energy devoted to fighting file sharing, despite ample evidence that any industry woes have little do with the practice, is wasted time that could be spent actually responding to the market. Today's response represents an even higher risk strategy. CRIA is now going to war not only with its customers, but now also with its artists. There have been several indications of this in the past year, namely CRIA's opposition to artists on ringtone compensation and on satellite radio. [...] Further, today's decision represents a serious blow to the iPod, which has been an incredible boon to the music industry. Simply put, copying store bought CDs onto iPods, as CRIA’s own Graham Henderson has supported, may now be unlawful in Canada since it is difficult to find an exception within the Copyright Act that would permit that form of copying. While perhaps some in the industry may think this is a good thing as it transitions users to re-purchase the same music yet again as MP3 files from services such as iTunes, I think it will ultimately lower the value that consumers associate with music to the detriment of everyone in the industry. I can't believe any of the parties involved here - music labels, either industry association (CRIA or CPCC), or artists - would be so disdainful of customers as to bring a challenge to the premise of ripping store-bought CDs for the purpose of playing on an iPod. But, then, I couldn't believe that they'd be so disdainful of customers as to demand extortionate blanket levies on blank media, regardless of such media's many non-copyright-infringing uses. The beatings will continue until morale improves, and all that... (Via BoingBoing.)

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