[caption id="attachment_190" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Music Pirate"][/caption] Last week i was introduced to a couple of websites that are disturbingly good at what they do. Someone innocently emailed them to an industry email list i am on asking for people's thoughts on their legality. I commented first and was the recipient of a hellstorm of comments from people defending these website's existence.
The websites: TuneNabber.com and ClipNabber.com are just what they sound like. Tune Nabber allows a user to enter the URL of any streaming audio/video content and "nabbs" it by making a MP3 copy of the audio and making it available for download on your computer. Clip Nabber does the same thing except it actually copies the entire video clip and makes it availablefor download to your computer.
All of my conventional wisdom tells me that both of these are taking content placed in a fixed broadcast format and changing the formatof that content, thus violating the rights of the content owner. Well, my esteemed brethren simply blew up on me when I made the statement "To me, they are clearly facilitating copyright infringement." Stating that these sites were no different from Tivo, tabbed browsing or even a browser's "save image as" function in that they simply "time-shifted" the video and/or audio making it possible for a user to watch it at a later date.
I would be fascinated to hear what anyone else has to say on this subject. To me, although it seems like a black and white matter- I do realize that all of copyright land tends to stay in the gray.