California Autos Examiner

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Legally Purchased That CD? Don't Rip To Your Car Just Yet!

In a previous article, I discussed the legal issues around selling your car without erasing all the music on the built-in hard drive. Things might get even murkier if the RIAA gets its way: It might be illegal for you to rip music from legally purchased CDs into your own car!

This Washington Post article describes an RIAA 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. Naturally it wouldn't take much to extend that line of reasoning to include copies of music stored on a built-in hard drive in a car.

Several considerations here: Firstly, the RIAA and the recording industry in general loves to seed stories like this to scare off would-be downloaders. Secondly, it is a pretty big stretch in my mind for it to be illegal to copy music from legally purchased CDs into your computer or car for your own use. Quibbling with paying customers over what exactly is "fair use" for your product is a good way to lose even more business.

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