Techdirt offers this clarification regarding the whole “RIAA against personally ripped CDs” story that’s been going around. The nut: The case in question is about a guy putting his ripped MP3s in his shared Kazaa folder.
The filing points out that when Howell ripped his CDs and put them into a shared folder, those files were no longer “authorized.” It’s important to note that there’s a difference between unauthorized and illegal. Beckerman seems to be saying that by saying “unauthorized” the RIAA means illegal — but that need not be the case. It’s perfectly legal to rip your CDs, even if it’s not authorized. It’s well established that ripping a CD for personal backup purposes is perfectly legal, even if it’s not authorized. What the RIAA appears to be saying is that by putting those backup files into a shared folder, the rips no longer were made for personal use, thus pushing them over the line to illegal.
That it seems possible that the RIAA would go after people for ripped CDs says a lot about the way most people—including the Washington Post, apparently—view the organization, but we aren’t doing anyone any favors by misunderstanding the story.