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Congress subsequently stated the "purpose" of the law.
That is not correct. This so-called "purpose" is contained in a Senate committee report, one which is not voted on by anyone. Historically speaking, the Senate report substantially predates the passage of the law. The Senate report only represents, at best, the personal opinions of the majority of one Senate committee. By the mechanics of how American law is created, it is not possible for either house to accept or reject this statement, and therefore we have no idea what portion of the House or of the Senate agrees with that statement. Furthermore, in the US, law requires the agreement of both houses of Congress plus the President (with an exceptional mechanism if the President disagrees). So it is simply false to say that because some statement exists in a Senate committee report, that Congress therefore agreed to that statement and that this statement is part of the "intent" of the law.

The point of the Scalia and Smith essays (among other essays) is that the law must be objective. That means not just "is justified by reference to objective facts of reality", but -- as Rand, Binswanger and Smith especially emphasize -- that is is to be stated objectively. It must be "rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power" (Rand, CUI at 331). This is done in our society by clearly defining what the law is. At the level of the federal government, this is assembled into the US Code. Other documents, such as floor speeches and Senate or House committee reports are not part of the law. As Scalia correctly states, men may intend what they will; but it is only the laws that they enact that bind us. That is the essence of the concept "rule of law", as opposed to "rule of man". Smith, IMO, does a particularly thorough job of showing the irrelevance of "the wishes of those who passed a law".

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This statement was from the RIAA, not the law.
This statement nevertheless has relevance to the law. The reason is that part of what is at issue is whether the owner of the copyright gave permission for certain kinds of copying. This same kind of question arises with contracts -- what exactly did the company explicitly agree to do for you, in exchange for money? You may have a belief that the company agreed to paint your house and garage, because you believe that they said that they would paint your house and garage, but in actual fact they only actually said that they would paint your house. Under the law (at least, under objective law), a man is held to what he actually says, not what others think he said or wish he had said. That is, what has standing under the law is what the statements entail, and not implications of statements.

Of course it is a fact that under modern subjectivist social-justice theories of law, "what you say" becomes irrelevant to deciding how any type of agreement is interpreted. For this reason, it could well end up being decided in court that because RIAA made some statements that could be understood as granting permission to copy, that indeed they have given permission to copy. Even though judges are trained in classical objective law, they also get a massive dose of policy-based judicial law-making which minimizes the importance of objectivity.

Seeker's summary in this post, where he points to the evidence as to what RIAA has done (or could do), does IMO sufficiently address the question of whether the requisite permission has been granted in a cold, hard literal sense. It is also clear (as I say in the post that follows his) that RIAA has exploited the common tendency of people to go beyond what is actually said, to interpret statements in a fashion that will most benefit them. They are counting on people thinking that this is permission, thus they reap the PR benefits, without necessarily paying the legal price (they maintained literal deniability). In an objective legal system, men would be held to what they actually say, not what people thought they said.

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That is not correct. This so-called "purpose" is contained in a Senate committee report, one which is not voted on by anyone. Historically speaking, the Senate report substantially predates the passage of the law. The Senate report only represents, at best, the personal opinions of the majority of one Senate committee. By the mechanics of how American law is created, it is not possible for either house to accept or reject this statement, and therefore we have no idea what portion of the House or of the Senate agrees with that statement. Furthermore, in the US, law requires the agreement of both houses of Congress plus the President (with an exceptional mechanism if the President disagrees). So it is simply false to say that because some statement exists in a Senate committee report, that Congress therefore agreed to that statement and that this statement is part of the "intent" of the law.

The point of the Scalia and Smith essays (among other essays) is that the law must be objective. That means not just "is justified by reference to objective facts of reality", but -- as Rand, Binswanger and Smith especially emphasize -- that is is to be stated objectively. It must be "rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power" (Rand, CUI at 331). This is done in our society by clearly defining what the law is. At the level of the federal government, this is assembled into the US Code. Other documents, such as floor speeches and Senate or House committee reports are not part of the law. As Scalia correctly states, men may intend what they will; but it is only the laws that they enact that bind us. That is the essence of the concept "rule of law", as opposed to "rule of man". Smith, IMO, does a particularly thorough job of showing the irrelevance of "the wishes of those who passed a law".

Good quotes, good points... but yer killin' me...

Upon further reasearch, straight from copyright.gov:

§ 1008. Prohibition on certain infringement actions

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.

There is no other use for these devices other than what we are discussing!

The RIAA's statement is from a brochure being distributed to teenagers, college students, parents, and teachers. Do you suppose their next move is to sue a teenager for copying his CDs to his MP3 player? Do you have any doubt that the case would never make it to trial?

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[edit] Digital Audio Recording Device defined

The AHRA's statutory definitions of "digital audio recording device" and "digital audio recording media" are crucial to understanding the implications of the Act. The distinction between covered and non-covered devices or media dictates whether or not royalties are paid and whether the SCMS copy control technologies are included. The language of the act protects all noncommercial copying by consumers of digital and analog musical recordings regardless if the copy control technology is present or the royalty has been paid.

The statutory definition states:

A "digital audio recording device" is any machine or device of a type commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine or device, the digital recording function of which is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use.[8]

The definition of "digital audio recording medium" is similar:

A "digital audio recording medium" is any material object in a form commonly distributed for use by individuals, that is primarily marketed or most commonly used by consumers for the purpose of making digital audio copied recordings by use of a digital audio recording device.[9]

In each case, the principal distinction between what is and is not covered by the AHRA is determined by whether or not the device is marketed or designed (or in the case of media, commonly used by consumers) to make audio recordings, not the device's capabilities. A CD-R recorder included as part of a personal computer would not be a digital audio recording device under the Act, since the personal computer was not marketed primarily for making copies of music. The same recorder, sold as a peripheral and marketed for the express purpose of making digital audio recordings, would fall under the Act's definition of a recording device.

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Do you suppose their next move is to sue a teenager for copying his CDs to his MP3 player? Do you have any doubt that the case would never make it to trial?

It depends. Some MP3 players, like the Creative Zen Nano Plus have the ability to record directly from a CD player through a line-in connector, and such copying (if "noncommercial") would apparently be protected under § 1008 while copying using a personal computer would not be.

Anyway, § 1008 does not limit the exclusive right granted by § 106, so you still don't have the right to copy without permission. At most, you could get away with violating someone's rights without getting sued for it. That's not exactly a ringing moral endorsement.

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Does anyone have information related to personal copies in Canada? I heard one could legally save their DVDs and CD's to their computer for personal use and back-up reasons.

Also, if that is the case and the law says so, is there any reason that it would still be wrong to save those CD's to your computer? For example, the law says it is legal yet the CD has some kind of protection on it that prevents you from saving it.

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