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The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
In fact if you read the actual full appellate decision, it is filled with inaccuracies and an obvious RIAA slant. Since there really has not been many cases where the RIAA has actually won beyond an out of court sealed settlements, considering the trillions of cases of downloading - you can hardly consider this proof that downloading is illegal. It's merely an opinion that is partially valid in the 7th circuit when based on a fair use defense.
It states things like Music sales are down 30%. They're not - it's RIAA propaganda, albeit it could be true that the sales of RIAA music may be down or CD sales are down, considering the crap coming out of the RIAA based music industry these days - overall music sales have been increasing steadily every year.
It states: "Licensed Internet sellers, such as the iTunes Music Store, offer samples—but again they pay authors a fee for the right to do so, and the teasers are just a portion of the original." This is also untrue - iTunes does not pay me one dime for letting people listen to 30 second samples of my music and they don't pay the record labels for this either. (Yes, I have music on iTunes, Amazon, Napster, emusic and many other stores - I understand what they pay for very well). STREAMS are paid though (a pitiful 1 cent or less per stream), but iTunes does not offer streaming.
There still is no LAW making downloading illegal. Distributing copies is the only illegal issue that is stated in the law. If it was illegal, would the RIAA not also be breaking the law merely catching these supposed infringers? They are, after all, downloading a piece of a an unauthorized copy of a file right in order to obtain 'evidence'?
Copying is also still legal btw - as I can still copy my CDs to my MP3 player with zero fear of breaking a law.
Music fans have an ever increasing appetite for more music. It’s just that they consume it differently than in years past. Rather than buying a CD at the local music store, fans now look for a different consumption experience. They go to MySpace to directly connect with artists they love, watch videos on YouTube, purchase a few tracks on Amazon, build streaming radio stations to find similar tunes at Pandora, and more.
According to IFPI and Neilsen more music is being sold.
Here's some Neilsen stats...
US Music Purchases exceed 1 billion, growth in overall music purchases exceeds 19%
Digital sales increase 65% from 2005
US Music Purchases exceed 1.4 billion, growth in overall music purchases exceeds 14%
Digital music sales account for 23% of music purchases
US Music purchases exceed 1.5 bilion, growth in overall music purchases exceeds 10%
Digital music sales account for 32% of music purchases
US Music Purchases up 2.1% over 2008. Music sales exceeded 1.5 billion for the second consecutive year.
Digital music sales account for 40% of total US purchases.
Consider also the simultaneous increasing revenues from live music, now considered an artist's primary revenue source - but that's just getting farther off topic.
Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
Notice nowhere in the law does it say that RECEIVING a copy is illegal - only making the copy. The person hosting the torrent is the one making the copy you download - not you.
Now with the mere fact that once you download it and SHARE it, you become a distributor - that's where you are breaking the law.
Remove the P2P aspect where you download it from a link or an FTP server - you are legally safe. The person hosting the file though is still breaking the law.