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The RIAA president speaks on fair use

I resist the urge to title this entry as "The monster speaks". Knowing the history of RIAA as of late and their actions, you can barely get yourself to even read what its president has to say. Should you need a reminder just think of all the not-so-rich families which have been sued over their heads for supposed copyright infringement even without proper evidence and a transparent process. And indeed, if you do get yourself to read what RIAA's Cary Sherman has to say you'll see an attempt to twist the universally accepted meaning of fair use into something acceptable only to the RIAA conglomerate and attacking those who campaign for Digital Freedom. Indeed, he tries to downplay the motivations and intents of CEA (Consumer Electronics Association), the initiator of the Digital Freedom campaign, to something as supposedly "selfish" as exploiting the topic of consumer rights in order to make money.

Let's see how succesful he was in painting them with that color. He says, and I quote:

"The CEA's primary concern is not consumers, but technology companies--often large, multinational corporations which, like us, strive to make a profit. A moneymaking mission is perfectly acceptable. After all, it is this funding that enables progress in technology and opportunities for creativity. But to seize the mantra of "consumer rights" to advance that business interest is simply disingenuous."

Apparently it has now become a bad thing to link business with consumer rights, as if the two cannot coexist. This slightly reminds me of the way Microsoft used to downplay Free Software and Open Source initiatives as anti-business. I know it may not be directly related, but there is a common theme in trying to separate everything that concerns human rights from business or at least imply that when the two do correlate, that there is some sort of exploiting going on. The latter is the implication that Sherman makes.

What I can say to this is the following: please do exploit it, not only with words, but through actions as well. Please do make business which respects consumer rights. If CEA corporations do indeed have it in their business interest to respect consumer rights than I wholeheartedly applaud them and want them the best success in the world.

Contrary to that, what seems to be in RIAA's business interest is just the opposite, muddying the meaning of fair use rights, then eliminating them through various legislations and DRM. Respect of consumer rights apparently are not in their business model, and they have shown this through their actions time and again.

In addition to this entry I refer you to the response ArsTechnica posted to Sherman's article: RIAA: we love fair use. No, really!.

Thank you for reading.

Danijel Orsolic


I wonder if the RIAA will

I wonder if the RIAA will allow us to play privatly our own CDs more than once in the future...

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