Music Firms Still Dont Get It
Back more than a few years ago, in the dark ages before digital technology, a roommate of mine used to buy a record album and play it only once.Back more than a few years ago, in the dark ages before digital technology, a roommate of mine used to buy a record album and play it only once. In playing it, he would record the pristine vinyl onto a brand-new cassette tape, thereby saving any wear and tear on the record and prolonging its life. The record went onto his shelf and the cassette went with him. Todays version goes like this: I buy a CD. The first thing I do is pop it in my computer and extract the songs into MP3 files. I store them on my hard drive, catalog them with some software and then take them with me in my portable MP3 player.
This is what is called, in legal parlance, "fair use." For years, consumers have practiced it and enjoyed its benefits, making tapes of music or TV shows for later use. The concept became a dirty word to recording companies in the past few years. And indeed, many Napster abusers perverted the concept into a rationale for distributing music without a license.