The Audio Home Recording Act, crafted for an earlier, pre-Internet digital revolution, requires makers of any "digital recording device" to include piracy controls that limit the ability of users to make copies of copies. In ruling for the Rio, the court distinguished between copies made from CDs (and digital audio tape) and recordings stored on computers, saying that the Audio Home Recording Act did not cover the second category of copying. The Rio allows users to download and listen to MP3 files but it does not include the ability to "rip" MP3 files from standard music CDs.MORE >>
A Federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Diamond Multimedia's Rio -- the popular, portable MP3 replacement for a Walkman -- doesn't need to worry about the Audio Home Recording Act. That 1992 law has served as the basis for the music industry's courtroom attempts to stamp out the wildly popular MP3 format for managing music files by computer.