Total Recorder & Dmca

Topics: Digital rights management, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ITunes Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: April 9, 2006
Total Recorder operates by capturing streaming audio from numerous programs such as Windows Media Player. So, in terms of ITUNES you could use this to convert an apple Itune to mp3 format which can then be played on any device, authorized or not. The legal issue is whether this violates the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The simple answer: It depends. After an overview of the appropriate statues and case law, it appears that the answer hinges upon what a person does with the converted files. Total Recorder does not appear to violate the DMCA so long as it is used for personal recordings. However, any redistribution of the recordings made using the Total Recorder program would invoke the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA and constitute a violation of copyright law.

--NO court has specifically ruled on the legality of using programs such as Total Recorder to bypass the DRM technology employed by Apple's Itunes.

To determine whether we were complying with copyright law, we considered several legal doctrines as defined by statute and case law:

DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998): This Act makes it Unlawful to circumvent DRM technologies of copyrighted material. Apple's DRM only allows a consumer to play songs purchased from the ITUNES store on authorized computers. The format of the itunes prevents users from playing the songs using media players or mp3 players that do not read Apple's code. THE DMCA says that Apple can do this and you cannot circumvent it.

HOWEVER, the DMCA does not explicitly prevent circumvention by individual users for Fair Use Purposes.

In our case, we employed TOTAL RECORDER to convert Apple's Itunes to a format that would allow use to listen to the songs on our own personal media players. Had we then distributed these converted song files to friends, family, or anyone else, we would no longer be protected by FAIR USE and we would be subject to the penalties established by the DMCA....
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