In a supplemental brief filed in the case of Atlantic vs. Howell, in which the defendants are being sued for sharing music over KaZaA, attorneys representing the RIAA have argued that music files ripped to computers for personal use, particularly in the MP3 format, are “unauthorized copies.” The brief states: “It is undisputed that Defendant possessed unauthorized copies of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings on his computer. Exhibit B to Plaintiffs’ Complaint is a series of screen shots showing the sound recording and other files found in the KaZaA shared folder on Defendant’s computer on January 30, 2006.
Virtually all of the sound recordings on Exhibit B are in the ‘.mp3’ format. Defendant admitted that he converted these sound recordings from their original format to the .mp3 format for his and his wife’s use.
The .mp3 format is a ‘compressed format [that] allows for rapid transmission of digital audio files from one computer to another by electronic mail or any other file transfer protocol.’” Previously, in the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys representing the record companies stated that “it’s perfectly lawful to take a CD that you’ve purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod.” [via Gizmodo].