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If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you are stealing. They break the law and could be held liable for thousands of dollars in damages. Now, some people justify all this illegal behavior in different ways. For example, some people think that record companies are just big conglomerates ripping off artists. These people think it`s not unethical to rip off a big company because they`re just ripping off artists in one way or another. MR. FISHER: You know, the bottom line is that the record industry continues to use the courts as its primary arena in its fight to protect the business model of its industry. It`s a business model that, like all the old media, is collapsing. It is a real struggle, a real struggle for the future. And yet, instead of innovating, they pursue students and others with legal things. If the RIAA is really behind it, it would mean that the audio ripped is illegal on my PS3 and Xbox 360, not to mention the music on my PSP and most of the files on my iPod. This © means that the music on the disc is protected by copyright. Someone owns it, and they own the rights.

If you purchase the CD by exchanging your money for the CD, you agree to comply with copyright laws that govern the use of copyrighted music on sound recordings. It happens all the time. Take the hottest issue: abortion. Those who oppose abortion believe they have the moral superiority to do so. But those who think abortion is acceptable have legal superiority. Moralists can protest, complain, lobby, write letters and hold signs to change the law. But they can – they are not allowed – prevent a person from having an abortion. Because the law says abortion is allowed. The law may not be just or just, but it is the law.

Until it is amended, it is the law. The situation with stealing audio tracks belonging to someone else is the same thing. The law states that you cannot take it without permission. We don`t have to like the law, we don`t have to accept the law, but it`s the law, and if we break it, we`re doing something wrong. Is it illegal to make copies of legally acquired digital music for personal use? Millions of people do this every day when they rip a CD to their hard drive, copy audio files to their iPods, or burn a backup to CD – a practice that respects fair use settings. But as a recent Washington Post article pointed out, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) doesn`t necessarily agree. Of course, hackers have always existed and will always exist, and nothing prevents a person from stealing a CD. I often hear people write an email and say, “I really liked the tape for your new album.” One problem: I never sold cassettes of my recordings, I only made CDs. There is no way to “watch” the world to prevent this. Artists rely on the goodwill of the public to “do the right thing” and not steal their work. The problem with so-called “file-sharing services” is that they are so “in your face” and inherently encourage large-scale theft of assets.

The most problematic thing for me (and other artists) is that a lot of people seem to think it`s okay. But this is not correct. Theft is theft. To fly is to steal. Sin is a sin. Evil is evil. Not very popular concepts, I agree, but that doesn`t detract from their truth. MR.

FISHER: You know, Neal, these are not isolated cases. This is not a reporting error. It`s all over the RIAA website – all their public statements. Here`s another one from their own website: There is no legal right to copy copyrighted music from a CD to a CD-R. They do – and they continue to be ambiguous and say, well, it usually won`t raise any concerns if you transfer a copy of the legally acquired music to your computer. But they are not prepared to go all the way and say that it is a legal right. And it is. It seems that not a day goes by without the news containing a story about an Internet program or service that is in a courtroom on the issue of copyright and “ripping” CDs to MP3 files for “file sharing.” The problem with the reason behind stealing a copyrighted music track is that the person who “tore” and “shared” the file unilaterally decided that the law was wrong. Because he feels that the record company is unfairly charging money for a CD, because he feels that the company is only ripping off artists, he feels perfectly fine if he takes them without paying them. But that`s theft, of course.

Why is it okay to steal a song with Kazaa if you don`t think about going to a record store and putting a CD in your pocket? What`s the difference? Is it just that you don`t get “caught”? What does it say about our society if one of us has done something illegal until we get caught? According to a Washington Post article, the music industry is looking for music collections on computers and labeling MP3s made from legally purchased CDs as “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings. This is clear from the legal documents of his federal lawsuit against Jeffrey Howell, a man from Scottsdale, Arizona, who kept a collection of about 2,000 on his computer. If you click Yes, the computer starts copying all songs that have their names on the check mark. So, if you prefer to live without a song on the album, check the box to deselect it. That said, there is something more. If you are a person who illegally copies music – recorded or printed – and your conscience begins to bother you, there is something you can do. Perhaps you are beginning to realize that the protection of concrete and intellectual property is an important issue. You may see that copyright is a law like any other that must be enforced in order to maintain a just society.

You can see that if the problem is customized, and you start to see that ripping a CD is no different than putting your hand in my wallet (or a cash register at your local CD store) and pulling out $15.00, you feel a little uncomfortable. Maybe, just maybe, you see that what you are doing is wrong and not pleasant. If so, is there a way out of that itchy feeling you have? If multiple tracks from your CD are found on the Internet after inserting them into the drive, you will be prompted to confirm which one you want to use. Sign up today and save 25% off the standard annual rate. Get instant access to the discounts, programs, services, and information you need to benefit from all areas of your life. I`m a modern-day Rosa Parks – she thought segregation was wrong, so she broke the law by not giving in.

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