So a few weeks ago we reported that the RIAA had claimed that ripping CDs in and of itself was an illegal act. Later, jumping on the bandwagon, the Washington Post reported the same thing. Turns out, it's not exactly true. The RIAA claims that ripping a CD and then putting the files into a shared folder is illegal, which we disagree with but is a little less flabbergasting. The confusion arose with the wording, which called ripped copies "unauthorized."
What's the difference between unauthorized and illegal? Well, when the RIAA says ripped copies of CDs are unauthorized, they're pretty much saying they don't like it but can't stop you from doing it. When they say it's illegal, they're taking your ass to court and trying to ruin your life because you shared a Coldplay CD on Kazaa back in 2002. This isn't to say that the RIAA has improved its standing in our eyes — no, we still think it's the douchiest group of douches around — but even they know that no one will accept that ripping a CD in itself is illegal. [TechDirt]