Sony BMG: “Copying” Your Own Music is “Stealing”

sonybmg.jpgHere’s a brilliant quote. Technology blog ars technica reports that testimony on Tuesday in Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas quickly and inadvertently turned to the topic of fair use when Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, was called to the stand to testify.

“Pariser said that file-sharing is extremely damaging to the music industry and that record labels are particularly affected. In doing so, she advocated a view of copyright that would turn many honest people into thieves.”

When the lead counsel for the record labels, Richard Gabriel, asked Pariser if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy, Pariser replied in testimony–wait for it–“When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy’,” she said.

This comes as online stores are beginning to drop DRM left and right. But apparently Sony BMG is headed in the opposite direction, saying that millions of consumers are already thieves just by ripping CDs they’ve already paid for onto their iPods.

In other words, if you buy a CD, insert it in a Sony Discman portable CD player, and go for a walk, you’re fine. But if you buy a CD, rip it to your computer, transfer the file to your Sony Walkman Bean MP3 player, and go for the same walk, you’re stealing, according to Pariser. Remember, she’s Sony’s chief anti-piracy lawyer.

Sony BMG’s chief anti-piracy lawyer: “Copying” music you own is “stealing” [ars technica]