The Minnesota file-sharing case that we've been reporting on is now over, and the RIAA has won. Perhaps that's not the end of the story, however, as the odd & contradictory statements from the defendant were perhaps topped by some made by a music industry rep.
One of the experts called to testify in the trial was none other than Sony BMG's Jennifer Pariser, who had a rather unique and perhaps company serving view of what constitutes music theft:
Pariser has a very broad definition of "stealing." When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own.
Gabriel asked if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy. Pariser replied, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'," she said.”
Keep in mind that the reason Pariser was asked about ripping CDs because the defense was contending that the defendant had ripped several CDs onto her PC, and that at least the majority (if not all) of the songs in her Kazaa folder were simply copies. The defense also contended that downloading songs you own isn't illegal, so uploading them to people who are attempting to download them for that purpose also isn't a crime.
We won't even get into the veracity of some of Pariser's other comments, but they seem a bit suspect. Even if labels don't make money directly from tours, there's obviously something in it for them (perhaps its a form of advertising?) or major artists wouldn't tour with almost every single new album they release.