Copying bought music is stealing!

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 4, 2007
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Music and Video

That is at least what Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, said when questioned in court about her music piracy understanding. I think that this is one of the main reasons why the Music Industry is doing so badly. Their view collides with the demand of the consumers.

We want easy access to music. Want to play it at home, in our car, in our mp3 players, Walkmans, Stereo Recorders and everywhere else we like. They want us to pay for every device that we play the music on. You've got a car, a mp3 player and a home computer ? Pay three times for the new record of your favorite artist.

This is in my opinion the number one reason why the Music Industry is doing so badly these days. They don't want to understand what their customers want. They surely know what we want but they stick with their old, oppressive system without taking advantage of the new possibilities.

"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.

Lets remember that we are not talking about stealing music, at least not from my point of view. If I purchase something I would like to be free to use it anyway I want. It simply does not make sense to pay multiple times for a record only to be able to listen to it in all of your places using all your purchased devices.

My prediction is that the Music Industry is going down if they do not change their attitude and business model. And no, this does not mean to increase prices for digital downloads. This means, give us what we want. Make us happy and your business will thrive.

Support Online Radio instead of fighting it. Support independent online services that introduce new concepts instead of ignoring them. Understand that times are changing and that music itself has to compete against several other entertainment sectors such as movies, mobile phones and games.

Read More:



Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. D3 said on October 9, 2007 at 12:33 am

    actually it’s not that hard to get around drm or even itunes encoding.

  2. Anal said on October 9, 2007 at 12:16 am

    “As I have said before (obviously you missed it), the MI doesn’t really care what an individual does with music it has purchased as long as it is only for his or her personal use and enjoyment. Therefore they can convert it into any format they wish.”
    OMG have you purchased a CD recently? the way they code the cd you will have to be a master cracker to crack that baby. . Thats not a easy way to convert anything.

    I think Martin’s idea is well thought out and the MI is moving toward that way.

  3. Ihateyou said on October 8, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    christ what the fuck is wrong with you, do you honestly think people want to hear about this shit, you bought the music do what the fuck you want with it, your wasting your time here because no body gives a shit

  4. D3 said on October 8, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Lorissa – what do you mean when you say “music has no competition. It is in a class of its own” , I think your argument is a bit flawed there. Music would be classified under entertainment, and entertainment has lots of competition. competition from within the MI and outside as well. Furthermore your comment, “Make the thief of music an offense punishable by death.” is a little extreme to say the least. Wouldn’t a fine suffice?

  5. Martin said on October 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

    You think what you have written is intelligent ? Good lord.

  6. Lorissa said on October 8, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Martin – why is it when you and your elk have nothing intelligent to write, have no reasonable and workable solutions to a problem, and are completely at a loss to debate me … you always indicate that I have lost my mind?

    Ihateyou – fuck off moron!

  7. Ihateyou said on October 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

    wow no one cares, stfu nubcake D:


  8. Martin said on October 7, 2007 at 7:36 am

    It’s funny that you are saying that I’m not thinking it through while you obviously lost your mind..

  9. Lorissa said on October 7, 2007 at 6:50 am

    Martin, I’m sorry, but you sound like someone the age of 12 and you certainly didn’t give much thought to your arguments. In fact, what you have written simply turns my stomach and it has no logic or reason.

    You have no idea whatsoever about which you write. For example, those Russian sites you speak of have absolutely nothing to do with the Music Industry. None of the funds they charge for the music goes to the artist or album producers. They are simply scumbag thieves who have stolen the material they sell.

    As I have said before (obviously you missed it), the MI doesn’t really care what an individual does with music it has purchased as long as it is only for his or her personal use and enjoyment. Therefore they can convert it into any format they wish.

    Something else you are completely wrong about IS … music has no competition. It is in a class of its own. The problem IS, that people will not pay for something, anything, that they can get for free. So, if you truly want to effect change in the MI, go on a warpath to shutdown sites who steal it and sell it for ill gotten profit, and/or those that give it away for free, and deprive the artists and producers their rights to profits and livelihood.

    Encourage people living within countries, such as yours, that do not honor copyright laws to do so effective immediately. Make the thief of music an offense punishable by death. As quality music becomes available only through its purchase, the current high prices for it will come tumbling down.

  10. Martin said on October 6, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Here is what I would do.

    Get a team together which is not prejudiced either way and let them analyze consumer demand which is something I suppose they have done but not right in the past.

    Adopt features from P2P and those Russian Mp3 sites.

    Remove DRM completely. This is only affecting their real customers and not the ones downloading the songs from P2P.

    Reduce Pricing for songs bought over the Internet. Maybe introduce a flatrate / volume based rates.

    Work on the image.

    Increase the value of CDs by making them special compared to downloading the music over the Internet. Not a one-sheet booklet but something bigger and better. Song texts maybe, Artists thoughts about songs or something like that.

  11. Martin said on October 6, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Even though it is not affecting me it sounds ridiculous which is why I was writing about it. I know the position of the Music Industry well enough to be able to understand it.

    They are a billion dollar industry well fed throughout the eighties and nineties who are facing a dramatic chance in consumer behaviorism.

    Instead of benefiting from this new ways of distributing music they try everything (copy protection, drm, lobbying) to restrict it.

    What they don’t get and probably never get is the following:

    # Music is not the only entertainment product. They have to compete with games and movies for instance.

    # While they seem to think that all their decreased revenue comes from piracy it actually has more reasons than that.

    # They don’t know or don’t care what consumers want.

    Let me give you an example. A short one, I promise.

    They are fighting against those Russian mp3 sites with all their lobbying power but have no intention to ask themselves why users from all over the world buy their music there.

    One reason is of course that it is much cheaper to purchase there but this can’t be the sole reason because those users would get it even cheaper on the Usenet or P2P networks.

    Could it be that those sites offered something all those other music portals did not ?

    Choosing the format of the music for instance or the Kbps of it.

  12. Lorissa said on October 6, 2007 at 9:16 am

    BTW, you need an EDIT feature here.

  13. Lorissa said on October 6, 2007 at 9:15 am

    It is strange that you would address a copyright issue, which according to you, has nothing to do with you? If it doesn’t affect you, why do you care about it? But, if you are going to write in opposition to it, shouldn’t you at least have an understanding of what the MI position on this matter actually IS and why they have taken it?

    You are making a mountain out of a mole hill and have tainted the MI’s position in an attempt to make a point that doesn’t need to be made. And, more important5ly, the point you are making is incorrect as I pointed out to you previously.

    The MI simply wants to prevent people from illegally copying music and giving it to others. You have brought up only issues that actually do NOT exsist. The MI is NOT, in reality, trying to prevent their customers from making copies of music they have purchased for their own personal use … although some of their protection schemes have in some cases become a by-product of it.

    It would be interesting to know what measures you would take to prevent the illegal mass distribution of individual songs and albums in today’s marketplace?

  14. Martin said on October 5, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Lorissa while it might be indeed illegal in your country to copy a CD and hand it over to a close friend or family member it is not in mine.

    But that is not the point. The MI may may charge whatever they want, they may sue whenever they feel they should do it and they may moan about piracy if they like.

    What I don’t get is that they are not capable of providing a flexible, modern plattform to purchase music. They are sleeping since Napster and there is no sign of them waking up anytime soon.

    I could not care less because I boycott the MI for about 10 years now. Have bought maybe 5 CDs in that time. Rest is Internet Radio. I can do without them.

  15. Lorissa said on October 5, 2007 at 7:52 am

    I think the music industry would be very happy if everyone were allowed to make copies of their “purchased music” to use anyway they want for their personal use. What they object to is people who make copies for every member of their family and friends, and then in turn each of those people does the same and so on and so forth. Surely anyone can see that this simply just drives the price of music to higher and higher levels. Now through in the people who upload copies of CDs (purchased or not, mostly likely the latter) to the internet and watch how that mushrooms. It is very rare these days that anyone with an internet connection ever needs to purchase a new CD. Why? Because someone with the moronic belief that everything in life should be free (except their on personal labor of course) will upload it to a site and away it goes.

    No one has ever been prosecuted for making copies of a purchased album to play in their home, car, walkman or whatever. That isn’t in reality what the music industry is against. You people just don’t get it.

  16. D3 said on October 4, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    If the music industry fails to grow and try to grow with this age of copying and p2p they will all be left behind in a cloud of dust and stagnate with their only option which is to sue their market base or create levies to try to recompense for their ‘lost’ revenues. Other industries have to follow suit ie TV, Mail, Movie and Fuel( i know fuel has nothing to dop with the internet but same principle applies)or the same will happen to them. These companies/industries has to be dynamic. Furthermore, their products have to get better for their customers b/c spending $15-20 for 4 good songs isn’t really worth it, which I understand where buying single songs come in, but not everyone still has access to the internet and not being able to copying content I purchased is pretty stiff. I forgot one thing, not even all the money goes to the how much do you think the music industry inflates the price of your favourite band?

  17. José Rui Abreu Mira said on October 4, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Put under those terms, any book publisher could also say that once you buy one of their book you are not allowed to cite parts of it to someone else or, pushing it to the limit, you are not even allowed to read the book…

  18. Tobey said on October 4, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    True indeed. They should stop wasting effort with their non-senses and illogical arguments and start making people’s lives happier while making money instead of earning millions while prosecuting people for their terrible crimes of “stealing” their own media which they had bought formerly.

  19. Quasimodo said on October 4, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Who cares about Sony anyway.

    A nothing-but-failure and stealing company itself:
    1) Betamax
    2) Mini Disc
    3) UMD
    4) Memory Sticks
    5) Blu-Ray

    Selling “walkmans” for 20 years, while ignoring (=STEALING) the patents of its german inventor.

    This “company” is THE role model for every crook out there …

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.