U.S. representative questions the legality of copy-protecting CDs.
January 5, 2002 11:11 AM   Subscribe

U.S. representative questions the legality of copy-protecting CDs. A decade ago, record companies pushed through a law (the Audio Home Recording Act - summary or full text) that gave them a royalty on the sale of certain blank recording media; in return, they acknowledged the right for listeners to make some digital copies for personal use. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) is asking if new schemes blocking even legitimate copies are in violation of this law.
posted by pmurray63 (6 comments total)
As much as I dislike the move in the entertainment industry towards copy protection, I think Boucher is barking up the wrong tree. The AHRA provides an exemption from prosecution for individuals making copies, digital or otherwise, for their personal use. It does NOT provide that they have the RIGHT to make these copies. In other words, if the technology exists to make the copies, they may do so. If the copy protection can't be bypassed, however, tough luck. The DMCA, of course, complicates this picture by making breaking copy protection illegal.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:16 AM on January 5, 2002

no, sorry, record industry, you can't have it both ways. you can't get a royalty for all the cd-r's AND try to make an unrecordable cd (as if that's even possible).

which brings up a fascinating point: when has a corporation invented a product that couldnt be hacked or copied or blocked, ever? the hacker kids will figure out a way to crack the code the minute it comes out. it'll finally give them something worthwhile to do.

i say take the royalty away from labels for blank media, let the lables make this unrecordable cd, and then let them watch as the kids make a little program that defeats it all.

doesn't Congress have better things they could be working on?
posted by tsarfan at 11:52 AM on January 5, 2002

I think the point alluded to at the end of monju-bosatsu's post is important. Boucher has a history of advocating a strong principle of fair use and opposes the portions of the DMCA which make circumventing copy-protection--even to make legal copies--illegal (see for example http://www.house.gov/boucher/docs/fairuse.htm). Based on Boucher's previous stances on fair-use and the like (the above speech is an excellent example), I think he would (correctly) oppose the circumvention of the fair use principle which arises as a result of the DMCA + copy-protection technology, though it is unclear from the link whether that's what his letter is about.
posted by vimes at 12:27 PM on January 5, 2002

Boucher rocks, unforunetly, he seems to be the only one 'on our side'. Supprising he comes from VA, since they are one of only two states (I think) that actualy passed UCITA
posted by delmoi at 3:13 PM on January 5, 2002

"The labels are worried that the rise of home CD-burners has eaten into album sales, particularly after the worst year in a decade for the music industry."

Or could it be that the music they're selling is crap?
posted by normy at 5:28 PM on January 5, 2002

RIAA profits are going to continue to tank, no matter what they do as regards DMCA and copy-protection schemes.

At which point you can be reasonably sure that they'll be pressuring the government to just skim an additional 1% off your income, to be paid to them. You won't get any music out of the deal, sure... but, hey, it's not about music.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:54 PM on January 5, 2002

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