Originally Posted by HarryT
"Ripping" your own CDs has never been legal in the UK, and downloading copyrighted material is most definitely a crime regardless of whether you "own" the CD or not. This is like the very silly argument some people make saying that it's "OK" to download an illegal eBook simply because you've bought the paperback.
I'm 110% on Sony's side in this. These "filesharing" criminals need to be taught a lesson. The RIAA are most definitely the "good guys" here.
Spoken like a true reactionary.
To legal theorists, custom often has precedence on positive law. In a case where custom permits a certain act, and where the law forbids it, we have to ask ourselves which of the two take precedence. For all intents, what really matters is which of the two will end up punishing or acquitting an individual who commits the act. Positive law has the courts at its disposal, but that doesn't at all mean we'll be prosecuted if the Crown attorney doesn't think it's appropriate to pursue the matter. "Dura lex sed lex" only applies when the courts are willing to hear the case. Highway rules are a good example. In Canada, the limit is generally 100km/h, but the cops won't stop you unless you're doing about 120. We could safely say that according to custom, driving at, say 105, is perfectly acceptable, and that positive law will not sanction this violation.
In the case of copying CDs at home, we can conclude that custom overides positive law. I've never heard of a case in the USA where a person was prosecuted for copying CDs at home. So I would tend to disagree with Sony's lawyer when she says it's stealing. It may be contrary to the law, but it's not stealing.
Only a narrow-minded minority of people would say that something is wrong because the law says so. There are, and have always been, discrepancies between the written law and the social reality.