Can you legally create MP3s from your CD collection, or not? That's all we want to know. News has circulated since early December that the recording industry believes it is illegal to rip your music library . The genesis of this waas an RIAA lawsuit against a chap for tossing ripped files into his Kazaa sharing folder — not, mind you, for actually ripping the files off a CD. We ridiculed the Washington Post for making this mistake, and were prepared to laugh derisively when it ran a correction. But a Wired blogger argues, at length — 745 agonizing words — that the RIAA still thinks CD ripping is illegal. Here are the 100 most essential words.
The RIAA does not recognize that you have a legal right to rip your CDs into MP3s. The RIAA will not say that ripping MP3s for personal use is legal. That's why the Sony executive said ripping a song was the same as stealing one. To sum up, the RIAA does believe a majority of American music buyers are thieving criminals, but it's not going to sue anyone over ripping MP3s because a) it's not really a big deal b) there's no way to find out and/or c) it would be terrible publicity to sue someone for using an iPod.