RIAA Boss Clarifies Lawsuit

Says industry has never prosecuted anyone for ripping CDs for personal use
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 9:06 AM CST
The trial that a Washington Post columnist claimed was about CDs being ripped to computer was actually just another file-sharing case. The man in court says that he put his CDs on his computer, but had...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – RIAA chief Cary Sherman says the recording industry has never prosecuted anyone for  ripping or copying CDs for personal use, Engadget reports. Sherman appeared on NPR and characterized media reports about a recent high-profile suit as inaccurate. The legal action, he said, is against a man who ripped CDs not just for himself but to give others access as well through file sharing.

Sherman didn't come out and say that ripping was 100% legal, but he made it clear that the RIAA had never prosecuted anybody for it. "Copyright law is very complicated," he said. He also said a Sony lawyer misspoke by saying, "Ripping is just a nice way of saying 'steals one copy.'" Neither RIAA nor Sony takes that position, he said.