Sony BMG's chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Copying a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy,'" she said.I blogged about this a few weeks ago but this quote was so cluelessly, crudely offensive that it deserves another kick with a hobnailed boot.
Jennifer, your expressed legal opinion not only makes me want to immediately grab up a stack of my CDs that I paid vastly inflated prices for and 'steal them' by burning them to my computer - Hell, it makes me want to come to your house and steal some of your stuff.
It's up there for sheer kleptocratic robber baron disdain and arrogant entitlement to your customer's business as the TV executive who said people using Tivos to avoid advertising were stealing TV. You see what I mean? The kind of stuff that makes you want to burn cars and go looting in these people's neighborhoods. We're the consumers, digital serfs nothing more, and any bright idea in our little heads that we actually 'own' anything needs to be beaten out of us.
When radio broadcasting began in Australia back in the 1920's, the bright idea the business and government elites had for a business model was sealed sets. You paid your license allowing you to be officially sanctioned to receive radio waves then you picked a radio station and bought their sealed set, with it's broadcast tuner preset to that radio station and only that station.
Building your own radio or breaking the seal on your preset one and taking control of the tuner were illegal. You were stealing if you did this and were condemned as a thief.
Does anything seem, I don't know, familiar or applicable about any of this?
The whole model collapsed in a few years of course. How could you keep people from building their own radios or adapting the ones they had? Plus, almost nobody bought the deliberately crippled technology of the sealed sets.
So it goes.