Sure, we’ve heard RIAA-admiring lawyers affirm that ripping your own CDs is in fact “stealing,” but it seems the aforementioned entity is putting its money where its mouth is in a case against Jeffrey Howell. Reportedly, the Scottsdale, Arizona resident is being sued by the RIAA, and rather than Mr. Howell just writing a check and calling it a day, he’s fighting back in court. Interestingly, it seems that the industry is maintaining that “it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into their computer.” Ira Schwartz, the industry’s lawyer in the case, is arguing that MP3 files created on his computer from legally purchased CDs are indeed “unauthorized copies,” and while we’ve no idea what will become of all this, we suppose you should go on and wipe those personal copies before you too end up in handcuffs.
This is ridiculous. Putting restrictions this strict on CD’s will drive more people to pirate music. Why would I pay close to $20 for a CD that I will have to turn around and pay another $10 to listen to it on my iPod? You might ask – Why not just buy the digital files only? I’m picky with my music. I like to rip my mp3’s big so I get a good balance of file size and music quality. When you buy music from iTunes or elsewhere, you’re stuck with whatever they have on the servers. There are a million other reasons this infuriates me, but I won’t go into them here. I’ll keep ripping my CD’s though – that’s for sure.