The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has decided to declare it illegal to copy a CD onto your computer.

For years I have followed intellectual property laws and I am no legal scholar, nor am I an attorney, but I had thought that it had long been settled law that a private citizen was legally allowed to make copies of music files for their personal use. This is not something that was started with computers, it goes back to the desire of music lovers to make tape recordings of their prized LP albums to reduce the wear and tear on the vinyl so that they could enjoy their property as long as possible. I know that back in the 70s I used to make cassette recordings of all of my albums and play the tapes in my car and on tape decks in my home with two express purposes.

1. To protect my investment in vinyl albums.
2. To arrange the songs in a manner that pleased me.

Now the RIAA wants to make it illegal for me to buy a CD and load it into iTunes.

I don’t see how they can make this stick, but I guess stranger things have happened. I am pretty much a stickler about copying intellectual property, I have taught my children that it is wrong to share music files with their friends through CDs or file-sharing software. I think I am about as straight-laced as any individual on the planet when it comes to legally enjoying my music collection.

But I have to say, this bothers me tremendously. I think this will just fuel the fire and increase the justification of those who illegally copy music, and will expand their number by the millions if the RIAA wins this.

I’ll keep an eye on this one.

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use – washingtonpost.com
Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.