In the war against their customers, the RIAA has declared victory. The CEO of the mouthpiece for the recording industry says that the problem with illegal downloads has been “contained”.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that their members are ending efforts to make consumers pay every time users want to listen to the music they’ve purchased on a different device.

Such as the language recently planted deep in the text of a new copyright “reform” act which would, in essence, allow a copyright holder to charge for every “instance” of a digital file.

This license specifically includes and treats as license-able “incidental reproductions…including cached, network, and RAM buffer reproductions.”

What’s more, the act creates a second, royalty-free compulsory license that applies to incidental copies for noninteractive streaming, subject to an important condition: the music service may not take “affirmative steps to authorize, enable, cause, or induce the making of reproductions of music works by or for end-users.” Like the PERFORM Act, this would erode lawful home recording.

The language used in laws like this is a big pile of legalese to the average consumer and most won’t probably won’t understand that their rights are being diminished until it’s too late.

But that’s the way the big media companies work. Chip a little off at a time until either the concept of fair use is gone or there are no legal ways of exercising them.

riaa, fair use, digital media