The RIAA has recently pursued a law suit against an Arizona man for downloading purchased CDs to his computer.
Fundamentally, DVD Copycat believes strongly that copyright protection should be adhered to and enforced. Illegally downloading music will eventually result in taking money from the artists and those that promote the artists. This will make it less attractive for those artists to pursue careers in music. Ultimately, it thins out the talent pool and does have a significant impact on the amount of quality artists willing to pursue an already difficult career.
On the flip-side, I think that there are two tools that should be used by the music industry regarding copyright. First and foremost there should be continuing efforts to educate the music listening public about the legal and ethical ramification of piracy. Not just the legal penalty, but also the logic behind the law, and the impact it will have on the very musicians the public enjoys listening to. Secondly, there should be enforcement of the copyright laws, but only after there has been clear and significant education defining the “do’s and dont’s” of downloading music.
I believe that in this particular circumstance, if music is legally purchased and then downloaded to a computer, it can be confusing to the consumer whether this is in fact legal or not, since iPod loading is a very similar and legal process to electronically save music.
When this case does come before the courts, whichever way the decision is handed down, I believe that an education first, enforcement second policy is the best way to for all parties.
I was recently interviewed by KPIX CBS channel 5 regarding this topic. The report can be watched here