In a surprising move against the music industry a judge has ruled against the RIAA.
The entire ruling is available in PDF format.
Just having files on your computer is not considered infringement if we follow this ruling. Making copies of your CDs to play on your computer and your MP3 player will not be considered infringement. And it shouldn’t be. There is a concept of fair use that consumers have been able to fall back on. If I buy a CD I can listen to it in my car, on my MP3 player and I can make copies for backup purposes. Note that I wrote, “if I buy a CD”. I don’t personally (nor by extension do any of my family members) download music that I haven’t paid for unless the creators have made it available. Nor do we trade CDs or any of the other stuff that is explicitly illegal. The fair use stuff I’m going to keep doing.