I just bought a new CD today, John Lee Hooker if you must know, and within two minutes it was obsolete to me. All new CD’s of mine have a usefulness of a few minutes before they become coasters.
The music lives, but the physical CD gets ripped to my iTunes library and there it sits. Pumped through my stereo and synced to my iPod, enjoyed both at home and on the road, but the actual CD is never touched again.
Today I asked the store if I came back with it would they re-shrinkwrap it for me so I could give it as a gift, but then it occurred to me, is that illegal?
Imagine this: I buy it and rip it, all legal and above board right? Then I give to a friend as a gift, still breaking no laws right? Then he/she repeats the process.
In theory that one CD could pass through an infinite number of hands and rest on an equally infinite number of hard drives and iPods. At what point are copyright laws broken?
Now how do you get that toothpaste back into the tube again?