Is All File Sharing a Crime?
Amidst college students opting for 'slap-on-the-wrist'
settlements from the RIAA and Michael Robertson's lamenting
the "multiple attempts to limit consumers' rights via DRM
(digital rights management) technology" since his tenure at
MP3.com ("These are schemes which add "big brother"
restrictions to what you can do with your own music
library"), I thought I'd share a short email exchange I had
with Bruce Iglauer from Alligator Records.
The discussion was in response to my April 30th editorial
"Music Industry Uses IM To Warn Pirates" where I wondered
what are a "significant numbers of copyrighted songs," which
would trigger copyright warning messages sent by the RIAA,
was anyway: "Should we expect a friendly 'warning' for
sharing 10 files? 50? 100? How about 50 files, but they're
from just 4 albums? And who's to ensure that individuals are
not harassed for exerting their fair use rights by
overzealous copyright holders?"
Bruce - "You ask a good question. The law defines petty
larceny and grand larceny. But both are crimes. How many
files is too many? From a legal point of view, you can't be
a little bit pregnant. All file sharing is illegal, which I
think you would agree on.
"The law works by prosecuting blatant criminals and hoping
the prosecutions will discourage petty criminals. That
sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Legally, all file
sharers should be prosecuted. Practically, they won't. I
suppose the answer is to start with the biggest you can find
and work downwards until the message is clear. If it were
up to me, I would prosecute some big ones and some small
ones, just to make the legal point."
My follow up query - "If I understand you correctly, sharing
my music files from my laptop here in Paris to my desktop
in NY is a prosecutable act? What about music professionals
that use p2p for professional purposes, such as a Jazz
pianist researching various renditions of a specific
Bruce's repose - "Are you asking me if I think that if you
possess a legitimate file, you should be able to send it to
yourself? Yes, I'm fine with that, as long as you either
paid for it or have it with the owner's permission. Of
course, you could create an MP3 file, attach it to an email,
and send it to yourself without making it available to
"I suppose somebody could use p2p for some kind of research,
though it seems a remarkably haphazard way to do that, as
vs. for example going to the BMA and ASCAP web sites and
searching for all recorded versions."
"So, do I think that 1% of p2p might be for legitimate use?
Yes, and probably 1% of burglar tools are used by the police
for people who are breaking into their own cars because they
forgot their car keys. But possession of burglar tools is
illegal even if you don't commit a burglary."
Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
Warning: mysql_numrows(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/virtual/site2/fst/var/www/html/mag/index.php3 on line 254
Related News from Mi2N:
» Drinker Biddle Announces Settlement In Record Industry Lawsuit Against 18-Year-Old Princeton University Student
» EFF On College Student Settlements
» Mixcloud Taps Gracenote for Advanced Music Recognition
» Copyright Royalty Board Increases Sirius XM Royalty Rate
» Live Entertainment Specialists Headliner Launch Premium Artist Booking Service
» Nordic & British Musicians' Unions' Joint Statement on Sexism in the Music Industry
» Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist
News Beat Directory
» [2017-12-25] MusicDish*China Presents 'Savage Guitarist' Todd Clouser In Beijing; As Part Of His #YouTheBrave Asia Tour That Includes 8 Shows Across Japan, Todd Will Be Giving Solo Shows At Laifu Livehouse On 12/27 And Temple Bar On 12/28
» [2017-12-20] Mixcloud Taps Gracenote For Advanced Music Recognition; Next-generation Audio Fingerprinting Helps Mixcloud Identify And Catalog Copyrighted Music Within User-generated Content
» [2017-12-18] Copyright Royalty Board Increases Sirius XM Royalty Rate; Judges Announce Royalty Rates And Terms For Satellite Audio Radio Services (SDARS) And Preexisting Subscription Services
» [2017-12-06] Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze At The Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017; Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys Competed With Bands From Belgium, Sweden, Armenia, Germany, Japan, South Africa, India, Norway, Poland, Italy And The UK As Well As China
» [2017-12-06] Live Entertainment Specialists Headliner Launch Premium Artist Booking Service; A Fully-managed Service That Simplifies The Process Of Booking Renowned Artists And Performers For Occasional Event Planners, Agencies And Brands
» [2017-11-27] Voice-Controlled Speakers & The Music We Listen Too; Music Is A Major Part Of The Way Amazon Echo And Google Home Owners Interact With Their Devices
» [2017-11-21] Nordic & British Musicians' Unions' Joint Statement On Sexism In The Music Industry; Discussions On The Issue Of Gender Inequality, Sexism And Sexual Harassment, The Scale Of Which Had Been Highlighted By The Recent #metoo Campaign
» [2017-11-13] Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist; Nearly A Quarter Of Those Named This Year Are Female, Proving That Music Production Is No Longer A Bastion For The Boys
» [2017-11-13] The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out; Sound Healthcare & Financial Announced The Formation Of A True Group Health Insurance Policy Plan For Musicians And Industry Professionals
» [2017-11-09] Streaming & Listening Diversity - Spotify Case Study; Will Artists Have An Easier Time Finding An Audience, Or Will Streaming Focus Global Attention On A Small Number Of Stars?
» [2017-11-09] Two-Sides Of Copyright Finance: Sound Royalties & Kobalt; Sound Royalties Unearths Millions In Undistributed Royalties While Kobalt Launches Fund To Invest In Music Copyright
» [2017-11-08] Career Moves: ROLI, Live Nation Sweden, Music Glue, BBR Music Group, Warner/Chappell Music Spain & Blue Night Soundscapes; ROLI Chief Creative Officer, Live Nation Sweden Managing Directors, Music Glue Global Head Of Business Development, BBR Music Group VP Of International, Warner/Chappell Music Spain Managing Director And Blue Night Director Of Music Clearance
follow MusicDish on