Mel Barrios, DVDhunt
I recently heard of a new website called Ipodmeister. You simply pack up your old CDs and get a new iPad, iPhone, or hard drive. They’ll even send you a DVD with all your music backed up. I did more research and found the company has received positive press reviews in some respectable media outlets: The Consumerist, Cnet News, Dvice, and the New York Times.
It sounds interesting, but I have a few questions and so did commenters of these articles.
Legality of Keeping a digital backup– The biggest thought in my mind is that once you sell your CDs back to iPodMeister, it’s probably illegal for you to keep a copy for yourself or use their digitizing service (I use “probably” because I’m not a lawyer.) If it were legal to keep copies for yourselves, we’d just recycle CDs on Craigslist all day. I’d pay $2 to get the used the CD and sell it back to someone else for what I paid after I copied it. The Right of First Sale was getting a lot of scrutiny in some states as far back two and a half years ago.
Is iPodMeister affiliated with Apple? – Lastly (and least importantly), does iPodMeister have an affiliation with Apple? I ask only because they give out Apple products and use a derivative of the trademarked Apple iPod name in their name. Again, I’m no lawyer, just curious about these kinds of things.
The legality of the digitizing question is the big one for me. It just doesn’t seem right. Yet it seems that these media outlets are being irresponsible when they will interview Ipodmeister and not ask the question. Interestingly though the question of legality is largely hammered out in the comments section among the readers.
They might be safe for a while. For one the RIAA’s main concerns appear to be online file sharing, bootlegging and downloading. Throughout, their overriding target has been distribution of “multiple copies” of a song or CD. For two, they are doing a good job insulating themselves by basing their operation in Switzerland and just having an operations office in New York. I wonder do they think paying people in Ipods instead of cash also insulates their legal exposure? Personally i would prefer an Android phone.