RIAA Defends Itself Against Washington Post Story On NPR
January 4, 2008 at 5:34 AM (PT)
An executive with the RIAA engaged in a verbal sparring match on THURSDAY with the WASHINGTON POST columnist who alleges that the organization is trying to outlaw the practice of copying CDs to a computer, reports CNET.COM.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO hosted an on-air debate between MARC FISHER, the POST columnist, and RIAA Pres. CARY SHERMAN. Early in the debate, FISHER was on the defense as SHERMAN picked apart his story, which appeared on SUNDAY (NET NEWS 12/31). In the piece FISHER quoted from a court document, filed in the case of an ARIZONA man accused by the RIAA of illegal file sharing. FISHER wrote that the quotes demonstrated that the lobbying group was now challenging the right of music fans to rip CDs to their computers.
But as numerous bloggers and copyright experts have noted, the quotes cited by FISHER are incomplete. FISHER wrote that the RIAA had argued in the brief that MP3 files created from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" and violate the law. "THE POST picked up one sentence in a 21-page brief and then picked the part of the sentence about ripping CDs onto the computer," SHERMAN said during the radio show. "(THE POST) simply ignored the part of the sentence about putting them into a shared folder."
"The SONY person who (FISHER) relies on actually misspoke in that trial," SHERMAN said. "I know because I asked her after stories started appearing. It turns out that she had misheard the question. She thought that this was a question about illegal downloading when it was actually a question about ripping CDs. That is not the position of SONY BMG. That is not the position of that spokesperson. That is not the position of the industry."
"Not a single (legal) case has ever been brought (by the RIAA against someone for copying music for personal use)," SHERMAN said. "Not a single claim has ever been made."