Saturday, June 03, 2006

Free Media

I brought home a stack of CDs from the library yesterday to load into my iPod. The library near my house has a pretty descent selection of CDs and DVDs. On top of the stack are albums from Pat Benatar, Jimi Hendrix, and Meat Loaf. These are all tunes from my middle school and high school years. Some of the Hendrix tracks were cut in 1967. I was in my terrible two’s when Hendrix began making a name for himself. Where were you?

Tracks on these discs include Heartbreaker, You Better Run, Treat Me Right from Benatar, Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Castles Made of Sand, by Hendrix, and Meat Loaf’s Two out of Three Ain’t Bad and Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

Meat Loaf is a great performer. Not only is he an amazing singer, he’s played some pretty quirky characters in movies like The Rocky Horror Show and Fight Club.

So here’s a question for you: Is it illegal to borrow media from the library and copy it into iTunes for my listening pleasure? “Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.” That’s what it says on the back of the Hendrix disc, anyway.

I quote Steve Urkel and ask, “Did I do that?

Back when Benatar and Meat Loaf were still popular, my buddy Steve Parker and I used to tape each other’s albums on cassette. We’d make compilation cassettes of just guitar solos and drum solos from live albums (Peter Criss’ solo during God of Thunder on Kiss Alive II was the favorite). From the money we earned from mowing lawns, running paper routes, and washing cars, Parker and I split the cost of albums and blank cassettes and taped all the new stuff that came out. We thought we were earning our way. We didn’t think we were doing something illegal.

I never even knew that it was against the law to record an album and give the tape away until I started going to church. Buck and Dottie Rambo were featured music guests singing their down home country style of gospel. As they made the pitch to sell their music to continue blessing ourselves and possibly our friends, they reminded all of us that it was not “Christian” to make recordings of the merchandise we buy. If we want to bless our friends, the artist should share in the blessing, too.

That was news to me.

I thought to myself, Is there another reason to own a cassette recorder?


Rich said...

Not to worry Pastor. Taping of music for personal use has been held to be legal many times, so you and your buddy Steve were never the renegades of the neighborhood.
Now transferring a big stack of CDs from the library to digital was probably in excess of "fair use," so you might have some copyright infringement going on there. But that's why houses have curtains.
As for Buck and Dottie, just imagine if you'd set up a card table in the back of the church, selling copies of their records. Why, they might just go "Rambo" on you.

Jeff T. said...

You may be interested to know that copying music has been officially classified as a "grey sin", along with telling juvenile jokes, wearing briefs (even though boxers are WAY more comfortable), listening to Britney Spears CDs, spending $5 on a cup of coffee and watching TBN for the sole purpose of mocking it.

Chris Goeppner said...

dude you should just "buy" the albums from that russian web-site for like a buck an album ; )
I think its "legal".

Bryonm said...

That's funny: you said "Russian" and "legal" in the same sentence. Weird.

Anonymous said...

I have purchased several cd's and dvd's off of Ebay from sources in Malaysia. From my understanding they are all 'legit' too! If they ever arrive I will let you borrow them so that you can add them to your collection.