The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) is contending that transferring songs from CDs to MP3 players does not constitute fair use and is hoping the US government will agree.
In copyright law, the copyright owner, usually the record label, is the only body with the right to copy and distribute an artist’s works. In US law however there is a ‘fair use’ exception which has traditionally been interpreted to mean that somebody who purchases a CD can then backup the tracks, so long as they are not distributed.
The RIAA is challenging this assumption, claiming that as the right was never given to transfer the tracks to an MP3 player, doing so is illegal. It has now presented this argument as a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s review process and is awaiting the outcome.