Don't act too shocked but it turns out your non-friends at the RIAA want you to know that copying any CD's that you buy to your computer ain't legal. While it's not the focus of their lawsuits, they're starting to get the word out that you're engaging in criminal activity whenever you do this, as they spew in this Washington Post article. Why these scumbags haven't filed suits against the software companies that make this possible is something to ponder- shouldn't Microsoft, Winamp, Apple and others be liable or at least be threatened to be dragged into court for making ripping possible? Don't bet on it- the RIAA typically act like cowards, going after individuals in their lawsuits rather than large, deep-pocketed companies. As the article notes "... for those old media to survive, they must adapt, finding new business models and new, compelling content to offer. The RIAA's legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed."
Speaking of new models, Billboard has an interesting article where a group of lawyers evaluate the new 360 contracts that labels have been cooking up to get a piece of the touring and merchandising pie as part of artists' contacts. Needless to say, they don't think that these contacts are all peaches and cream and that artists need to be savvy before they sign away anything.