back to article UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

The British music industry has dealt a significant legal blow to the UK government – after the law was tweaked to allow Brits to copy audio CDs without another penny going to musicians and labels. Blighty's record industry, unhappy with these changes, today successfully applied [PDF] for a judicial review, meaning a judge will …

  1. Paul 28

    Who is unfair?

    I would have more sympathy for the music industry if, when they change formats, they allowed a low-cost exchange of media. After all, I have already paid the writer and artist royalties - all I want is to change, say, vinyl for CD. Same if I damage the media and want a replacement.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Who is unfair?

        If you aren't paying for the medium but just the rights to use the IP then you should be able to transfer the IP to whatever you want. You should also be able to get a replacement media for just the manufacturing cost.

        If on the other hand you are paying for the medium then you should be allowed to do whatever you want with it - just like you can with any other physical goods you own.

      2. Deryk Barker

        Re: Who is unfair?

        "Remember kids: It is, after all, the medium you're buying and absolutely not any of our intellectual property which might happen to be on it."

        Yes, this point of *our" IP is interesting: the record companies charge the full cost of recording against royalties, so the artist(s) have actually paid for the recording, yet the recording and its copyright belong to the record company.

        This is an industry that has got away with far too much for far too long.

    2. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Simple answer...

      Put a levy on blank recordable media, such as CD-Rs, cassette tapes and wax cylinders.

      Should be able to rake in dozens of dollars a year...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple answer...

        They did that already with audio cassette so everyone who used that format for something other that ripping music was paying the music publishers, not the artists.

        these leeches have already had decades of being paid because they managed to prove that all secondary storage infringed their propty rights.

        Not everyone is a music pirate and I already spent years paying a tax on my data storage because they managed to prove I was.

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Hang on a mo

    If I buy a CD and decide to rip it to MP3 so I can listen to the songs I like on my phone - why does anybody think they should get paid? I am doing this purely for me and purely for my own convenience (as even portable CD players are bulky and eat through batteries).

    I bought the CD. How I choose to listen to the content is my decision and ought to be counted as fair use.

    That we even have a situation where some outfit thinks they're entitled to sell the same product in different forms to the same person - that is what is aberrant.

    1. Dazed and Confused
      Flame

      Re: Hang on a mo

      Mr/Mrs Music Industry. It's simple, if you want me to pay for your output I want to be able to use it the way I see fit. I don't steal content, I buy CDs, but it's often more convenient to listen to music as MP3s so I rip them (or buy them from Amazon who rip them for me - even more convenient).

      Am I prepared to pay twice for the product? NO!

      Before the advent of MP3 players I bought very few CDs, since I didn't find it a product too convenient to consume. Since buying my first MP3 player I've bought a couple of thousand CDs. If you stop me using the content like this I can stop buying. It's simple OK.

      I'm OK with paying if you're OK with me listening to it the way that suits me.

      If I can't there is no place in my life for your product.

      Is that simple enough for you to get through your head?

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Hang on a mo

      > That we even have a situation where some outfit thinks they're entitled to sell the same product in different forms to the same person - that is what is aberrant.

      Up until the days of digital media, record companies would release multiple variants of popular artists albums in order to extract money from "completists" - I first read about this tactic in a book detailing Talking Heads history that was published about 1984.

      The thing is, they've been getting away with it for so long that they assume that it's their right to do so. Either the media is free and the material has a price or the material is free and the media has a price. The current situation is nothing short of double-dipping.

    3. swampdog

      Re: Hang on a mo

      Well if the govt thinks it might be about to lose I'd tweak the legislation slightly in that a small levy can be charged provided the industry distributes in that format. Thus if no mp3 distribution exists there is no levy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hang on a mo

        Well if the govt thinks it might be about to lose I'd tweak the legislation slightly in that a small levy can be charged provided the industry distributes in that format. Thus if no mp3 distribution exists there is no levy.

        Although I like that idea, you better specify a format that is (a) not patent encumbered and (b) high quality such as FLAC or you'll find the music industry will meet that requirement with the codec that was actually used for early generation GSM..

        I think the key issue here is that the music industry has been getting away with hitting us multiple times for the same piece of music for years. It was not uncommon to have the same record on single, an LP, a maxi single and a tape, each paid for individually whereas we are really only talking about 2 versions (single & maxi). Now consumers are getting a bit too smart to get away with triple dipping they have to come up with other measures to keep them in coke and starlets, but ironically, the one measure that would kill of piracy overnight is the one they are avoiding with all their might: making the prices more sensible and let the volume make up for it.

        I honestly don't think people want to deprive an artist of their income, but I do think that more and more people object of the idea that the artist gets such a stupidly small percentage. It never helps to accuse people of being dishonest if you're not exactly a paragon of virtue yourself..

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Hang on a mo

        The way it usually goes in countries that do this is that every writable format like CD or DVD and every device like MP3 player, computer, printer, tablet, or phone, has a tax imposed on it and the tax is given to the rights organisations to redistribute.

        Although whether or not that gives you the right to copy is still a matter for debate.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Hang on a mo

          There is a 30c levy on each blank CD here to repay the artists.

          However none actually goes to the artists because it doesn't (allegedly) cover the music industry's costs of administering the scheme. It does mean that small local bands have to pay a levy to print their own CDs to sell.

          They were proposing applying the same rate to MP3 players, which meant an iPod would cost about $5K but some gentlemen in blak polo necks went and had a word with them....

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hang on a mo

            "There is a 30c levy on each blank CD here to repay the artists."

            Where is "here"? In the UK and USA that's more than the cost of a blank CDR, never mind an add-on cost per unit.

            First few google links show Target selling 50 Sony CDR for $14.99 + taxes and Staples selling 50 TDK CRD for £9.16 + VAT

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Hang on a mo

              I can give you Spain's current prices - taken from Wikipedia and translated...

              https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_por_copia_privada_%28Espa%C3%B1a%29

              Group 1: Recording equipment

              CD recorder - 0,60 €

              CD/DVD recorder - 3,40 €

              DVD recorder - 3,40 €

              Hard drives, except those used to boot a computer - 12,00 €

              PVR - 12,00 €

              MP3 player - 3,15 €

              Video player - 3,15 €

              Mobile phone with audio player - 1,10 €

              Group 2: Blank media

              CD-R - 0,17 €

              CD-RW - 0,22 €

              DVD-R - 0,44 €

              DVD-RW - 0,60 €

              SD card/USB memory stick - 0,30 €

              Group 3: Multifunction printers* and photocopiers

              Multifunction ink printer less than 17kg - 7,95 €

              Multifunction laser printer less than 17kg - 10,00 €

              Scanner - 9,00 €

              Multifunction more than 17kg or photocopiers up to 9ppm - 13,00 €

              Multifunction more than 17kg or photocopiers 10-29ppm - 127,70 €

              Multifunction more than 17kg or photocopiers 30-49ppm - 169,00 €

              Multifunction more than 17kg or photocopiers 50-69ppm - 197,00 €

              Multifunction more than 17kg or photocopiers 70ppm or faster - 227,00 €

              * multifunction printer means something that can do two or more of copy, print, fax, or scan. Do they think people will be faxing Don Quijote to one another? Who knows.

              The taxes also kill the recordable CD and DVD market and is a quite a tax on external hard drives. I also like the way the Witchfinder general is weighing printers to find if they'll be taxed the lower rate or the higher rate.

              Later on in the Wikipedia page you can find out how much the different rights organisations (book publishers, music industry, and film industry) benefit from each device. Which is not the same as the writers, artists, and actors.

    4. scrubber
      Joke

      Re: Hang on a mo

      No, no, no. You are licensed to play the CD on a single CD payer through a single set of headphones or set of speakers. And change in device means you need to pay us more money. Any change in listening equipment means you need to pay us more money. Any change in interconnects means you need to pay us more money. Any change of listening location (e.g. room or address) means you need to pay us more money. Anyone else able to hear it makes it a public performance and you need to pay us more money.

      As Bob Geldof said: "Give us the money NOW!"

      Joke Alert, but worryingly it's actually what they want.

    5. streaky

      Re: Hang on a mo

      Don't worry about it, it's just a judicial review. Worst-case scenario primary legislation can be written and they can all gtfo.

      That said as a taxpayer I'm utterly livid.

    6. Graham Hawkins

      Re: Hang on a mo

      Just when you think the music industry might have dragged itself out of the primeval swamp onto the digital shores of the third quarter of the 20th century...

  3. keithpeter Silver badge
    Windows

    format shift?

    Is this copying CD to CD or is it about format shifting (CD -> mp3 so I can listen to the stuff I bought on my phone)?

    If latter, then Brennan et al are in trouble are they not? I recollect a promise to do something about format shifting something like a decade ago but still 'nowt.

    1. Andy Taylor

      Re: format shift?

      It doesn't matter if you are copying from CD to CD, tape, mp3, wax cylinder or paper tape, you are supposed to pay.

      No one worried about it before the law was changed apart from Gordon Brown who famously had to delete the Beatles off his iPod because at the time they weren't available on any digital delivery service.

      No one will worry about it now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: format shift?

      Good question, presumably any type of copy regardless of the media and format of the copy. Sounds like they are trying to fleece people who want to update their back catalog to more modern formats but aren't stupid enough to buy the same albums/tracks twice.

    3. streaky

      Re: format shift?

      The law as it technically stands is unworkable in this sense, it's not a criminal offence regardless and the music industry have no legal authority to demand to see the contents of your phone, aside from the fact they'd need to look at 10 million phones in the UK alone.

      That's why the change was sensible in the first place, laws that nobody wants and are unenforceable are a threat (directly) to democracy for the same reason slavery was never legal in the UK. They might have legislators in the US bent over a barrel but it's not going to happen here, even if they get a judicial review to agree with them (and they absolutely won't) parliament will just change the law directly like I said a few comments up and there's nothing they can do to stop that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The government has already vowed not to introduce a levy on copying music."

    For once, I have to say that I agree 100% with the government's position. Seems strange to be saying that, but they can be right at least once.

    I of course am only referring to copying for the sole purpose of converting one's own purchased material from one medium to another for personal use.

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: "The government has already vowed not to introduce a levy on copying music."

      Is it really impoverished musos behind this, or the industry that has already bullied copyright maximalism extensions every time the mouse is about to go public, and who already get the public purse to pay for enforcing their business model (arguably copyright violation is civil, not criminal, like any other contract breach)?

      Thought so.

    2. xslogic

      Re: "The government has already vowed not to introduce a levy on copying music."

      I can see somebody using it as another reason to leave Europe.

      Course, somebody else did make the comment that the music industry say they're selling us the licence to listen to the music, rather than the physical media, we should also be able to take in goods that have become defective, and indeed swap for other formats. (e.g. we should be able to hand in CDs and get something we can put onto our MP3 players - after all, we've already bought the licence to listen to the music...)

  5. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Why be a musician when you could be a lawyer?

    What a monumental waste of time, talent and dosh. Whatever the decision - does anybody seriously think it will make a figs worth of difference to people transcribing their CDs to some other medium?

    We have gone past the point when musicians (or rather the conglomerates who have acquired the copyrights) can press for a levy on 'blank media'. What USB drives, phones, SSDs and spinning iron?

    So why make a few lawyers even richer? I bet they rip too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why be a musician when you could be a lawyer?

      Songs lawyers listen to:

      "Money, it's a hit, don't give me that do goody good bull shit"

      "Money makes the world go around, the world go around. Money makes the world go around, that clinking, clanking sound"

      "The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds and bees"

      "I've got ninety thousands pounds in my pyjamas, I've got forty thousand French Francs in my fridge"

      All I can think of right now, but there's probably enough to make a compilation album. I can't imagine them tapping their feet though. Banging a gavel, maybe.

  6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    With any luck...

    ...the judge who reviews this will decide that "fair remuneration" in this case is "nothing". That would presumably put the issue to bed.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a minute

    Don't people already buy CDs, and import them into their iTunes (or whatever) library, every day?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Hang on a minute

      Yes, but they are supposed to purchase a licence from the PRS to do that. The cost works out at about 10p per track copied, and you can buy them in packs of 1000, so £100 for the cheapest licence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So presumably

        "Yes, but they are supposed to purchase a licence from the PRS to do that. The cost works out at about 10p per track copied, and you can buy them in packs of 1000, so £100 for the cheapest licence."

        Presumably something like an iTunes Match subscription also covers this?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The PRS

          The people who want me to pay royalties for using Public Domain Music as soundtrack on a short Video I made a few years back.

          The people who question the copyright of a piece of music I wrote and performed when used as the soundtrack to another Video. The composer and performer were clearly identified in the credits

          The people who seem to have a shady deal with the RPS (same letters differen order) about using self compositions on AV competition work. You apparently need a PRS license to use your own work even if you are the composer and performer and give rights to use your music copyright free.

          The PRS can go and eat shit for all I care.

          They are not about the rights of the composers but their own nest feathering (IMHO)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The PRS

            I work for a retail chain and we were contacted by the PRS at head office over the use of music there and in our stores. They had it explained to them that we had gone out and bought royalty free music on CD for each store so we didn't need a licence thanks and we owed them nothing. Despite this every store was then contacted individually by them asking if they needed a licence. At a few of them the caller said that they could hear music in the background and we're they aware that they were liable for a fine if a representative visited the store and caught them at it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The PRS

              At a few of them the caller said that they could hear music in the background and we're they aware that they were liable for a fine if a representative visited the store and caught them at it.

              It may be worth discussing with a lawyer how you can charge them for libel and harassment. It would help if you got them to indeed come into the store and make such noises - especially making such statements in public in front of witnesses would cause them no amount of grief if you could then explain your process - and have the exact royalty free song recorded in the background of them making this comment. Could be quite a worthwhile exercise, also because of all the free publicity you'd get if you would then hook up with a few journalists (not to mention the fact that you'd be spreading this idea, which would increase the chances of them getting hit again with the same problem :) ).

              Not that I'm suggesting anything, but as a way to gain publicity it just seems hard to beat - and it brings in some money too.

      2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Hang on a minute

        Does that equate to each time you encode it or eternally? Reason I ask is its not unknown to lose my mp3s or they get corrupted in some way and I then reencode them or when flac came out and a few choice albums got copied again.

        Does that mean i'd need to pay each time I moved things around?

        What about promo cds I get from the local record store? (which one of the lables also offers the same promo cds online as a download) would I have to pay for something given away?

        1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip
          Flame

          Re: Hang on a minute

          Meh and how exactly is this going to be policed?... Oh no wait the world and dog now has access to all the data stored on my phone... thanks Dave!

  8. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Whatabout self-inflicted harm?

    Maybe they can merge the blank media harm compensation pool with one including the approximate financial harm the music publishing industry does to itself.

    e.g. I would like to legally purchase a physical media with $LIST of artist/tracks on it in a non-DRM format.

    After all, isn't this the *actual* end product a customer needs? People have to burn CDs made from component sources because the music industry does not provide any alternative for acquiring a practical product. So why isn't the industry responsible for making the 'illegal' action compulsory? Shouldn't they be paying into this compensation pool?

  9. NightFox

    I just hope St Peter doesn't ask to check my iPod when I get to the Pearly Gates

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Steven Jones

      Re: Huh?

      It's when domestic law conflicts with EU law. The latter takes priority.

  11. Philip Storry

    So where do I apply for my free "Greatist Hits" albums?

    This seems quite fair.

    In the same way that I should be able to apply for a free copy of any "Greatest Hits" album that comes out, providing I can prove I own all the original albums that the hits came from.

    After all, I've paid the royalties for those songs already. All the compilation does is put content I've already paid for into a more convenient package. So I should have it for free, because nobody's losing out here.

    So where are the vouchers for the refunds on all these Greatest Hits albums I've bought?

    And don't fob me off with "bonus tracks" b***shit - they're almost all B-sides to singles or single mixes. And I have those singles too. I'll take some pictures, send them to along, and someone can send me the refund cheque in the post. Ta.

    (Only semi-joking. This is a complete failure to understand that copyright is about a right to copy, not a right to profit. There are social benefits to copying that we should be willing to accept a loss of profits for - fair use, time shifting and format shifting are the main ones. At the heart of this ruling lies a blind ideology that copyright should be "profitright", and that this is the sole light in which the law should be interpreted.)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So where do I apply for my free "Greatist Hits" albums?

      Which band was claiming that the order of tracks on a greatest hits album was copyright and making your own playlist of the same tracks was stealing?

      I want to say U2 because they deserve it - but I think it was some DJ "artiste'

  12. Juan Inamillion

    How music got free

    You might want to read this. Pretty important and revelatory.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/18/how-music-got-free-stephen-witt-review

    1. Philip Storry

      Re: How music got free

      I shall add it to my reading list, but the review does leave me thinking it's an incomplete source at best.

      Skimming the review, it looks to me like it focuses on three things:

      1. An organised group of leakers

      2. Music industry's long delay in embracing digital

      3. The technical experts behind the MP3 standard

      But in the review it keeps saying that the only people being hurt in the music industry are the musicians. For example:

      "Partisans of 'sharing' sometimes liked to say that they were hitting back against fat-cat music executives. In fact, all they were doing was hurting musicians. The bosses continued to do very nicely, thank you." - it then goes on to explain cutting of artist rosters etc., as if the downloaders were causing this rather than it being an ongoing trend in the industry that dated back to the early 1990's (at least) anyway.

      Nowhere do I see the fourth part of the story - the business practices of the record labels themselves. The "record deals" that are actually loans with strings attached. The ludicrous expenses that are encouraged by the labels, knowing full well they will bill the artists for them in the end. The promises of marketing support that turn out to be empty. The enforcement of exclusivity clauses long after the company has given up on the artist(s).

      Without that, I think this is an incomplete account. Either there should be a fourth person, or all of this is in the details of the record executive and the reviewer inexplicably skipped it.

      Yes, I see that this is a book about how music went digital. But the digital side is the least of the music industry's long-term problems. Their entire business structure has been exposed, and new artists are avoiding them for as long as possible...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: How music got free

        "it then goes on to explain cutting of artist rosters etc., as if the downloaders were causing this rather than it being an ongoing trend in the industry that dated back to the early 1990's (at least) anyway."

        Nor does it even go close to the fact that as sharing increased, so did CD sales (which as you mentioned had been in terminal decline for 7-8 years).

        The inconvenient thing for the media companies was that demand wasn't for the stable of 20-30 moneyearning artists they keep promoting relentlessly, but lesser-known material, often from the back catalogues.

        They don't want people buying a wide range of music. It's much cheaper to forcefeed a narrow range of stuff into the market and rely on volume to increase profits by decreasing per-unit costs.

  13. iLuddite

    the future is firming up

    >100 million+ new "criminals"

    >upsurge in DRM-killing 'apps'

    >roaming copy-fests

    >roaming boycotts of Media Inc. and some artists

    >massive protest downloads

    >a DECLINE in Media Inc. revenues

  14. Tromos
    Joke

    I'm in favour of a pool

    Then we can drown the music moguls in it.

    1. Fatman
      Joke

      Re: I'm in favour of a pool

      Make sure it contains battery acid, not water.

  15. Hollerith 1

    What would they put a levy on?

    It used to be (and still is?) that blank cassettes carried a tiny levy on them, as they were pretty much 99% purchased for recording music from a record or radio ro whatever. Blank writable CDs and DVDs followed. That seemed a pretty good idea to me: a penny or two to the artists who would otherwise not get anything because I was cloning my friend's mix-tape.

    Since most of us, I suspect, copy from CD to our PCs, or from online sources (ahem) to our PCs, what can they tax? They can add a penny to every CD, but I tend to download tracks now. Add a penny to every downloadable track? I guess that would work, if Amazon and Rakuten and the other vendors play ball. Other than that, where's the levy going to be placed?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Gerard Krupa

        Re: What would they put a levy on?

        I suggest the government impose a levy that pays the singers, musicians and songwriters the entire administrative cost of which is to be borne by those altruistic music labels who are so concerned about the livelihoods of their talent.

        1. Blane Bramble

          Re: What would they put a levy on?

          I think you are onto something here. Tell the music industry that this will be implemented. As well as standardised, legally enforced percentages of Gross that must be paid into a government managed fund for distribution to artists, composers, etc. from the sales of all music distribution, whether physical or digital.

          See how they like being made to pay a decent amount to the creators, rather than using "Hollywood accounting" whilst demanding laws are passed to give more money to themselves, which they have no intention of passing on.

          Home taping doesn't kill music... the record companies do.

      2. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: What would they put a levy on?

        Using the law to tax blank media as a collection arm of a big corporate machine is perverse.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Re: What would they put a levy on?

          That's the way it is in the U.S.

          1. heyrick Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: What would they put a levy on?

            And France - which is even worse as it is against the law to download stuff yet a levy is applied to blank media (CD-R, DVD-R, SD cards, you name it).

            And they'll call us the freetards...

  16. A Ghost
    Megaphone

    You think that's bad.

    Who cares? Nobody makes any money from music any more, anyway. So let them make less. Good. They (most) already earn less than minimum wage, if that.

    Then only people making money now in the music 'business' (apart from a few well established acts etc.) are the people selling the tools, the plugins, samples, you know, the software.

    It's funny, but the software which I paid £150 quid for (Rob Papen Blue II) can only be activated on two machines. And that is it. If you want to use it on a laptop when you go away, you'll need to splash another 150 quid. I do understand that you can't have dozens of instances of the software live at any one time so that different people might be able to use them in the studio, while you are at home etc. - that is common sense. But to have this restriction after actually paying for the software is ludicrous.

    On a dual boot machine you can only physically use one copy at a time.

    There are cracks of it out there. And in fact, this particular software uses a rather resource draining protection, with all the serials hard coded into the blood exe file, or .dll rather, same thing, it being a plugin. Whatever. Not to single out this particular plugin, but if you did use the crack of this, it would not only cost you nothing, you could install it on as many machines as you like, and it would work faster as it would not be scanning a thousand or so license user's registrations and checking them in the database. Lordy lord lord. How long oh lord, how long?

    But other maker's of expensive software are also very restrictive of how many machines you can use their plugins on. It's a sign of quality see. Yet other makers of reasonably priced software, just as high end in fact, allow you to use them on as many machines as you want.

    Why am I talking about this in relation to this post? Well, for me, the analogy would be worse than what we have now in regards to the format debacle - it would be equivalent to only being allowed to play a CD on two systems. That would extend to even NOT being able to play the very same CD on the very same player, if you were working on a virtual machine, or a dual boot configuration.

    A CD costs 15 quid or less. This software costs ten times as much. But I can't use in on the same machine, in a dual boot config, I have to decide which one, because I had it installed on another machine without reading the terms and conditions. And another thing, they make it very very difficult to find out until you get down to it. I have even mailed them to ask them and they are just as obtuse. If they put it in big bold letters: YOU CAN ONLY USE THIS SOFTWARE ON TWO MACHINES AT ONCE - TWO ACTIVATIONS AND THAT IS IT - YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER LICENSE - I think it might affect sales.

    I won't be buying any software that restricts me to just two activations in the future.

    So all this whinging about format bullshit is right over my head. You can have my music. I can't give it away. No one is interested, because they are all making music themselves or downloading it for nowt via torrent. And you know what? Good luck to you.

    Who cares.

  17. Tikimon
    Devil

    Assumed guilty and fined for it? OK, I'm a pirate!

    Levies! What an insulting idea! It's a prior assumption of guilt and culpability with no recourse or appeal.

    Well, OK then. If I'm paying a fine for piracy, then I'm going to be a pirate and get my money's worth. The media outfits wanted it, so they must consider it a fair trade, right? No? Well, too bad! YARR.

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Steven Jones

      Re: Dear "music industry"

      The music industry isn't gunning for you. It's impractical to enforce. They want the government to raise a levy against things like USB sticks, smartphones, MP3 players, disk drives and the like in order to create a fund to be distributed to copyright owners. That's what happens in several EU countries. So the impact is that you'd pay more for your equipment and storage devices.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Dear "music industry"

        "Removed by the moderator"?? After few days of the post sitting here and not harming anyone?

        What did I say such that it became an offence???

  19. RonWheeler

    Legal?

    Being legal is for idiots. And that is one of the biggest tragedies in itself.

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Comng up next...

    Give a mouse a cookie and he'll want a glass of milk. So they got what they wanted on this... not good. But it does open the door for the "milk" and that would be that everytime you play a song, you get hit with a royalty fee. They'll justify it somehow. Maybe by equating it to paying to go to a concert... every concert and your listening to tunes constitute a "concert".... Or some BS....

    1. deive

      Re: Comng up next...

      Or the fact that playing an encoded file like mp3 involves decoding... Which is another "format shift" that they are gonna want paying for!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A total and utter irrelevence

    Unimpressed. Please make me a 'Meh' sandwich with a side order of 'Pfff'. Unenforceable. It'd be just as easy to introduce a law against masturbation, by putting a levy on tissues. Pyrrhic victory, except for the lawyers of course, but then the carrion feeders never go hungry in nature. There are few more nauseating sights than big business trying to 'protect their property' : it's always synonymous with 'protecting their racket'.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the equivalent of buying a pair of formal trousers and deciding you want to wear them as casual trousers and the clothes designer wanting to be paid again.

    It's no wonder people download illegally without feeling guilty.

    1. A Ghost
      Mushroom

      Yes, but buying the software that made the music, you are told you can only wear them on two occasions. But of course, you don't care about that do you?

      You consumers of music.

      The people that make the music and have to spend thousands of pounds on equipment and software can just go fuck themselves.

      Great attitude. Typical. It's why I don't even share my music any more at any price.

      Keep downloading the shit that people make off crack software.

      Good for you.

      ............

      That is one way of looking at it anyway, though there are others.

      I wonder how many of you programmers out there get pissed off at only being allowed to install Visual Studio ++ on 2 computers, be they virtual or dual boot. Then we would hear some noise wouldn't we. Coz that is different isn't it.

      Are you hypocrites?

    2. A Ghost

      Yes, it's no wonder.

      But you do know that human nature would dictate that they would still find a reason to do it anyway and rationalise it?

      I'm ok with not earning any money from my music. I'm also Ok with not earning any money from my plugins or sample packs. Some of which have 10's of thousands of downloads. But I get called a drama queen when I throw my toys out of the pram and take them off the server, because, well because, not only did none of you pay for it, but because of the fact none of you even said thanks for it. Fucking leaches.

      But us musical geniuses soldier on. It's a new game. A new frontier. And no, I'm not telling you where it is at.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        "Fucking leaches."

        Just out of interest - if you had sold your soul to a media company (who I'm sure would scam you more than the freetards ever could - what is your cut of the cost of an album? aren't your recording sessions and promotionals etc deducted from your cut?); tell me - do you think it is justified that a legitimate consumer of your product should need to pay for a CD of your music, and pay again for a copy of the same thing as an mp3?

  23. Tom 7 Silver badge

    The only fair remuneration for the music industry

    is its complete destruction.

  24. Steven Jones

    Oh the irony...

    At one level this is an argument that can't be won by those representing musicians. Even if we revert to the position prior to the change of law that made copying music (which you'd already purchased) for private purposes a breach of copyright, it was always a wholly unenforceable law. Breach of copyright (unless you do it on an industrial scale) is a tort in this country, not a criminal offence. Consequently it requires the copyright holder to start civil proceedings, and the idea that they could find a way of suing people who'd ripped CDs to MP3 players and the like is ridiculous. They couldn't before, and they certainly couldn't now. Just about the best the musician's representatives could hope for would be some form of "slush fund" to be doled out based on some sort of levy made on manufacturers producing relevant equipment. Such things as smart phones, USB sticks and the like. This is, of course, the practice in some EU countries. The irony is that such a case was probably only possible by making the copying of music legal in the first place. If the law was left as it was it would have been much more difficult.

    It is also interesting as it's an example of judicial review not just looking at the operation of executive powers, but of primary legislation where it conflicts with European law. There's another such case in the offing with the challenge to the law on the emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act.

  25. JulieM

    Only one way to do this

    The only way to settle this matter once and for all is for a case of media-shifting to be taken to a Crown Court, before a jury, with the defendant claiming that they were acting within their rights of Fair Dealing under the law. As long as at least two people on that jury have ever taped a CD at home to listen in the car, the verdict will constitute a legal precedent which will officially legalise media-shifting.

    However, as long as a home-made-looking cassette on the parcel shelf of a vehicle is sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant, there is no good reason to charge anyone not already suspected of a much more serious offence .....

    1. Steven Jones

      A jury at a county court?

      Breach of copyright (unless you are actually making a business of it) is a tort covered by civil law, not an offence covered by criminal law. Civil cases in the UK are not held in front of a jury. (With the exception of some libel cases, but even that is now very rare as almost all of those are judge determined).

      It's different in the US where some types of civil cases can be decided by juries.

  26. CAPS LOCK

    Home Taping Is Killing Music

    Good, modern music is shit. Die already. <Puts on 'Larks Tongues in Aspic'>

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Home Taping Is Killing Music

      Not all is shit, thankfully. Try Monarch Trail's Skye or the latest Beardfish album... Not bad at all.

      1. launcap
        Happy

        Re: Home Taping Is Killing Music

        > Try Monarch Trail's Skye or the latest Beardfish album

        But that's probably because they are both a musical style that starts with a P..

        (As is about 80% of my music library. Prog rock never died!)

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Home Taping Is Killing Music

          Yep! And cheers to that!

  27. Archivist

    Ridiculous

    In that case all CD players are infringing the law as they copy the retrieved digits into memory for error correction and channel separation to be applied, before spitting out to the D to A.

  28. bigtimehustler

    Given that we are sovereign state, the government can change or enact whatever law it chooses. If they change the law to say no payment is required to copy music here then no payment is required. They just need to make sure that when they make changes, they properly look into changing the related laws so that no lawyer can find a law that conflicts and can be used to mount a challenge.

    1. Dave Ross

      That would require the government to be at least superficially competent. HAH!!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plastic Waste

    The continued use of CDs as a medium for distributing music is only perpetuating a petroleum based plastic industry now entirely located in China. They should be banned.

    One song, multiple encoded versions available on-line at an appropriate cost, dependant on quality, that you have a perpetual right to use on any device. If purchased against an account then no issue with lost files.

    At present there are hundreds of millions of unsold music CDs dumped on world markets by the music industry. Let's face facts. This is pollution on an industrial scale. It has to stop.

    I, however, will be the first to shed a tear as I much prefer CDs over any other medium. But, if rights holders rights are to be respected by the public then the wholesale dumping of non-commercial, CD based music, must stop. Sure there'll still be online bargain bins for the assorted dross the music industry is so keen to churn out but it won't end up in land fills.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Plastic Waste

      I think we should ban people who call for kneejerk bans. They are polluting our national discourse on an industrial level. I, however, will be the first to shed a tear as I myself have called for many kneejerk bans in the past but if bans are to be respected by the public then the ban pollution must stop.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      available on-line at an appropriate cost, dependant on quality

      Those final three words are why you earned a downvote from me...

  30. Green Nigel 42

    Its a life on the ocean wave Arrrgh!

    One sure fire way to promote the pirates, high prices & draconian complex unfair copyright legislation.

    It's the shear hypocrisy of it, by first bleating on about the loss of earnings to the poor artist while they effectively ripping them off & do their best to corner the market.

  31. PassiveSmoking

    Home taping is killing music!

    Home humping is killing porno!

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