From a Washington Post article:
"...the industry (RIAA) maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer."
The Recording Industry Association of America continues to persecute and prosecute. While their efforts to fight international piracy are worthwhile and to be applauded, their domestic strategy of attacking consumers with outrageous lawsuits couldn't be more misguided. With CD sales tanking and the economy of the music industry at an all-time low, they continue to rearrange the deck chairs and throw the passengers overboard. This will only drive listeners away from high-quality music formats. It is bad for music, bad for artists, bad for listeners, and bad for business.
This RIAA faq page for "students doing reports" does have some interesting things to say and represents their viewpoint on all of this. Some of it is good, some of it is bad.
This is the same organization that tried to squash the home-based recording studio movement that was born back in the 1980's. They wanted to make it illegal for individual artists to produce music for profit from a project studio in a residential setting and they brought lawsuits on several home studio owners. Happily, with very limited success.
The RIAA is not really in the business of promoting art, though, in spite of their altruistic statements. Their real functon is to protect the monopolistic business interests of what remains of the dinosaur that used to be the American record industry.
We need a new paradigm. And it's coming.