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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Add Chili Peppers; mix well...

I don't know if it's because file sharing is less prevalent in the post-Napster world (or if that's even true), or because CD burning has become less complicated than dialing the typical phone, but these days the streets around me are running with mix CDs: from the quick fix scrawled with Magic Marker (if you're lucky), to the imaginatively labeled and presented tour de force. The RIAA's position on this is no surprise,
1. Pirate recordings are the unauthorized duplication of only the sound of legitimate recordings, as opposed to all the packaging, i.e. the original art, label, title, sequencing, combination of titles etc. This includes mixed tapes and compilation CDs featuring one or more artists. 2. Counterfeit recordings are unauthorized recordings of the prerecorded sound as well as the unauthorized duplication of original artwork, label, trademark and packaging.
and careful DJs also take heed. The EFF observes that "[c]opying a couple of tracks for a mix CD for a friend might also be considered fair use, or copyright infringement, depending on all the facts," but that doesn't provide much assurance, does it? (More from the EFF's Robin Gross on this subject is in this Macworld article.) All I can say from anecdotal observation is that more people today honor the speed limits on L.A. freeways than the RIAA's "piracy" definition when it comes to limited, free distribution of mix CDs. California decriminalized 65 MPH highway speeds several years ago. A similar response from our local and national lawmakers is needed here.

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