A nice way to close out 2007: As reported by the Washington Post, the RIAA is now saying that <A HREF="http://blogs.eweek.com/applewatch/content/fair_use_redefined.html?kc=EWKNLEDP010308C">saving backups of your legally purchased music CDs on your hard drive is actionable.</A> That is, regardless of your intent--whether to redistribute copyrighted music or just to insure against Fluffy's latest catnip-induced tear through your music collection--they can sue your sorry behind.
This is a new step for everyone's favorite music cartel. They have had some moral imperative in going after those who torrent ripped versions of their product, which they can make a case cuts into their fair trade (putting aside the issue of how much money the artists ever see). The "information wants to be free" misreaders of Stuart Brand can make the case that such pirating can spur sales, but really. Fess up. But to say that a personal backup is a legal violation, regardless of intent, is a sea change.