The RIAA Isn't Suing Over Ripping Purchased CDs

Let's all calm down, shall we? There are a lot of news reports about the RIAA suing Jeffery Howell for ripping copies of his legally purchased music CDs for his own use.  But according to engadget, that's not the case at all; he's being sued for the plain old-fashioned crime of participating in illegal downloading.

As we're all unfortunately aware, that's pretty standard stuff; the big change from previous downloading cases is the RIAA's newfound aggressiveness in calling MP3s ripped from legally owned CDs "unauthorized copies" -- something it's been doing quietly for a while, but now it looks like the gloves are off. While there's a pretty good argument for the legality of ripping under the market factor of fair use, it's never actually been ruled as such by a judge -- so paradoxically, the RIAA might be shooting itself in the foot here, because a judge wouldn't ever rule on it unless they argue that it's illegal. Looks like someone may end up being too clever for their own good, eh?

Not hardly. The RIAA has never argued that no one has ever purchased the original copy of a song uploaded to a filesharing service. This isn't even new ground being covered here. The reason a copy of a legally purchased CD is called an "unauthorized copy" in a lawsuit is because it's given away to others to use without paying the copyright holder, not that it exists on your computer. The minute you've made a copy to give to someone else, Fair Use goes out the window.  It's easy to argue that the RIAA are unpleasant and you think that DRM is an outdated business model and so forth, but the one niggling detail you have to keep in mind is: They're right. 
Tags:  RIAA, CD, DS, ping, ui, AA, sed, purchase, Chase, rip, ripping, Pi, IP, PIN