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Everything posted by Seeker

  1. When you say it "explicitly defines personal use", that is not true. It does not say "personal use, defined as copying copyrighted CDs to computer, is permitted". That is how you are understanding it (and that's what the RIAA is relying on to have its cake and eat it, too), but such a conclusion is belied by the relevant context and is not believable. I urge you to re-read my reply to RationalBiker. Copying to personal computers is not exempted by the law, and that's what matters. Senate reports only (sometimes) come into play when the law is ambiguous. The AHRA clearly does not exempt
  2. I am well aware of that statement. I acknowledge that mistaking it for an actual grant of permission is understandable. But my (and hopefully your) knowledge context is larger than that one statement. What that statement signifies is the RIAA's lack of clarity. As David notes, the statement does not say that personal copying is permitted, though that is what most people will understand. I think that the conclusion that personal copying is permitted is belied by the relevant context, including RIAA's other statements, the express reservation of the right to copy by copyright owners, th
  3. But they haven't said that. For my views, see the following posts: Post #18 (the RIAA's online statement does not actually describe a grant of permission) Post #54 (the copyright holders have explicitly withheld permission to copy) Post #59 (copying isn't necessary to use a CD) Post #60 (RIAA's failure to sue does not amount to permission) Post #103 (a sizable market exists for digital copies, and the copyright holders have not relinquished their rights in the wake of technological advancement) Post #111 (the RIAA's conduct is unprincipled pragmatism and its inconsistent statements ca
  4. Of course not. In the "Music Rules!" program, they tell kids that "personal use is permitted". If it is permitted then it is not a violation of copyright law, so you can't get from there to " the recording industry is telling kids it is ok to violate copyright law and they should feel free to do so". For my opinion of whether such copying is in fact permitted, see my posts above.
  5. The Audio Home Recording Act did not grant the right to copy; it took the more limited step of prohibiting infringement actions as part of a calculated legislative effort at the advent of the digital media revolution to bring a "truce" between the record industry and manufacturers of digital audio recording devices (including the imposition of royalties on such devices and media to be paid to the record industry, a requirement for such devices to employ a copy protection scheme to prevent second-generation copying, and legal immunity for first-generation "noncommercial" copying on such devices
  6. Which is the more fundamental distinction: the distinction between the RIAA and its members, or the distinction between the individual and the collective? I think the latter. Some cooperative actions are legitimate, i.e. those that generally serve to promote the interests of the music industry as a whole, such as creating and distributing educational materials to promote respect for intellectual property, and helping enforce copyright laws. The authority to take other actions, such as granting permission to copy vis-à-vis the original terms of trade (substantially altering what customers have
  7. Taking "proxy" to mean "spokesperson", I understand that companies have spokespersons to say various things on their behalf under a variety of circumstances, but I don't get that it is "within the realm of the purpose for joining the membership" to give the RIAA authority to announce grants of permission. The authority to grant permission is an individual right. Joining an organization so that you can have a collective spokesperson announce what is (usually) your individual decision would be quite odd. Here, the oddness is underscored by the fact that the intended audience of the statement is
  8. Even accepting this conclusion based upon the RIAA's general structure -- a conclusion which is debatable -- I don't see how it can possibly be squared with Title 17, Section 106, U.S. Code, which states: "... the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following: (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work ..." (emphasis added) In other words, "the authority to speak for them explicitly" so as to authorize copying is generally non-transferable. The law doesn't allow such proxy to be given, with the very good reason that the rights of creator
  9. The RIAA gives varying, range-of-the-moment answers regarding personal use copying on its web site, in court rooms, and in the educational programs it sponsors. Its conduct is inconsistent, reprehensible, and unprincipled pragmatism. In the Howell litigation, copying was theft. In the "Music Rules!" program, copying is "permitted" because, it seems, that's what people do. That's the prevailing standard, so it must be right. On its web site, we are told that copying (though presumably wrong) "won't usually raise concerns". The RIAA is not a trustworthy exponent of the actual man-made facts
  10. It happens that I have bought a copy of Atlas Shrugged three times. The first was the small paperback version when I first read it (and my eyes nearly bled from the tiny type). The second was the large paperback version, because I was unsatisfied with the small type in the first one. The third was another copy of the small paperback after I had worn out the first, because I wanted to have a small convenient copy to take on the go. No one is going to argue, I presume, that I ever had the right to any of these for free. Note that the issue of convenience for portability on the go was neatly solv
  11. The RIAA's failure to sue for contributory infringement doesn't amount to a grant of permission by the copyright owners. As we have already seen, the RIAA is not the most reliable watchdog when it comes to protecting the rights of the copyright owners it represents. Their inaction doesn't alter the plain fact that making unauthorized copies for personal use violates the rights of the copyright owners. Ripping music is not a prohibited activity per se, making unauthorized copies of copyrighted works is. Tools have legitimate and illegitimate uses. A hammer can be used to smash somebody else
  12. First, convenience copies do not fall under the law's Fair Use provisions given any non-evasive reading of that statute. It is just making things up to say that whatever one rationalizes as "fair" qualifies as "Fair Use" under the law. That's not what the Fair Use law means. Second, making unauthorized convenience copies isn't "fair", nor is it necessary. Having the same music in a computer/portable music player is often possible through legitimate online services such as Apple's iTunes music store, which sell copies for that purpose. It is also possible to play CDs directly in a computer'
  13. Okay, here's a counter example for you. I went to my CD collection and picked out a disc at random. At the bottom it says quite clearly: "© 1983 A&M Records Inc. All Rights Reserved". All rights to make copies were reserved by A&M Records in a statement on the very disc, thereby explicitly denying permission to copy that disc. I looked at several more discs, and they all have the same or similar statements explicitly reserving all rights to the respective copyright owners. Where permission is explicitly denied, implicit permission cannot be inferred.
  14. I'll give you a helping hand here. You need to say what this evidence is you're talking about, because it has not been offered up in this thread so far. For example, if you have a pile of written letters from various record labels all saying that you have their permission to make personal copies of your CDs of their music on your computer and portable music player, and all of your friends have similar piles of letters, then you might not realize that that is by far and away the exception, that the vast majority of people do not have such permission. In the context of this discussion, there is
  15. Your conclusion, that you have permission, is arbitrary because there is no such evidence (saying that you are certain because "all of the evidence points to" a conclusion when there is no evidence is contrary to Objectivist epistemology), and because permission does not exist unless it has been granted (which is to say that permission is not the "default"). Nowhere was permission granted to make personal copies. Since permission was not granted, it does not exist, and you do not have such permission.
  16. No, because Title 17, Section 106, U.S. Code, states: "Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following: (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords; ..." The grant of "exclusive rights" to the copyright owner is the denial of such rights to you.
  17. The most pertinent online statement from the RIAA that I found is here: (boldface added) So, the RIAA's current statement (which is significantly different from its statement as of February 10, 2007 as I posted here), merely asserts that making copies to your personal computer hard drive or portable music player "won't usually raise concerns" provided the conditions are met. This statement is frustratingly murky -- e.g. the "no legal 'right'" language prefaces "onto a CD-R" only -- the phrase "transferring a copy" seems grossly inaccurate -- the limiting word "usually" invites the que
  18. Change occurred for all time. This is not a mere assumption, it proceeds from the concept of time being logically dependent on change. There is no time without change -- to suppose time without change is to combine in one's imagination two mutually contradictory attributes, change and non-change, in the same context applied to the same thing. It takes the limited experience of observing relative constancy in some limited thing over time, and attempts to apply that notion of non-change in an absolute sense to everything over time, which is an error. Change was always.
  19. Your mistake is in confusing the manmade fact of the author's choice in presenting an ideal character with the metaphysically-given fact of a person in real life who is saddled with an unpleasing physiognomy through no fault of his own. You cannot justly impute to the person in real life the author's responsibility. A heroic character can be made an example of ideal beauty through writing, and it is completely proper to hail the author's work in this respect. A real person sometimes cannot be made beautiful even with the best surgical techniques available to modern science, and it is wholly im
  20. Facial characteristics are largely determined by genetics. If by "squashed" you are referring to the proportions emanating from his craniofacial structure, then this is plainly a form of genetic determinism every bit as pernicious as predestination, and you ought to reconsider it. The human body can be shaped to a certain degree by the force of man's will, but only so far, and it is monstrously wrong to impute moral dimensions to it beyond that point.
  21. They most certainly do need protection from the political philosophy that he represents, one application of which is that it is the proper role of the beloved leader to provide direct instruction to the school-aged children of the dictatorship, and to have them write essays about how each of them can help him succeed, what parts of his speech were most inspirational, etc. Castro's Cuba could hardly have done a better job exemplifying the principle. The message is not what the address says, but that it is being delivered at all.
  22. If time=change, and the singularity=non-change, then it is contradictory to say that "non-change existed for some change". So, the singarity couldn't have been non-changing. Just as the universe was "always", change was always, i.e. for all time, i.e. for all change (a nice example of A=A). You can't combine change and non-change in the same contextual frame - it is a contradiction to do so (btw, to turn to God as a way to explain the contradiction is another nice example of A=A, namely, God=contradiction). To say that all change must be preceded in time by some other change is a truism, so it
  23. Not to quibble but ... who cares? One of the things that is most troubling about this whole fiasco is the utter disregard of the long-term trends in favor of such questions as how many tenths of a point has the Dow lost this second? If you believe, as I do, that markets ultimately self-correct, then you can't take seriously momentary volatility (by which I mean, anything up to and including a total collapse of trade this minute, or today, or this week, heck for even this whole month assuming you've got a decent survivalist kit). You know how Rand talks about emotions as kind of a computer that
  24. Here's a retirement strategy for everyone: don't. Don't retire, don't stop being productive. Manage your funds to maximize returns but don't count on them. Too many people are in trouble, not because the market fluctuates but because they're counting on those savings so they can stop working. With all due respect, no productive achiever worth his salt would ever retire. He'd be pulled from his office or factory on a gurney or in a wheelchair. So yeah, save up for if you're too sick to work but plan on working as long as you can, not retiring, and you won't have to worry so much about what the
  25. On the radio I heard UK's Gordon Brown say something like, "what we need is a new way" and the liberal commentator jumped in and said, "that sounds like 'New Deal'!" Which is exactly where we're headed. Of course 401(k)'s are going to lose value. The reality of demographics cannot be denied or evaded; America is set to retire with the baby boomers; common sense tells you that this means a massive reduction of productive activity at the same time 401(k)'s will suffer withdrawals in excess of additions. In other words, those suckers are headed south, and the latter years of the baby boom generat
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