I don’t truly know the exact law about this or whether - like most laws - the status of its legality is in flux and allows some big record company or someone who claims to own the copyright of some music must sue an individual in order to try to get a judgement they can then try to use to collect money from people who have copied that music to an MP3.
Like so many laws, the answer may depend on whatever people can try to enforce.
In the first sentence above, I used the word “try” twice - “try” to get a judgment and then “try” to collect on that judgement.
TTBOMK, there are many cases where someone believes they are in the right and they then spend many years and huge amounts of money trying to sue in order to get a judgement they believe will enable them to get a small amount of money in the way of “damages”. Sadly, the amount they spend on lawyers and costs is often much greater than the amount of any judgement.
Also, TTBOMK, there are many cases where someone believes they are in the right and they get a judgement and then spend many years and a great deal of money on legal costs and lawyers trying to collect on that judgement. Sadly, the amount they actually ever collect is much less than the amount they spent.
It seems so extremely unbelievable to me that someone can purchase a music album (for about $10 to $20) and then be branded some kind of criminal because they make a copy of that music to an MP3 file so they can listen to it in their car. Many, many years ago (starting sometime in the 60s), I know of many people who recorded their favorite music albums to cassette tapes so they could listen to that music when driving their cars.
IMO, it just seems so increcibly ubelievable that some people consider there to be something wrong with people who purchase a music album and then make a recording of that album so they can listen to it in their car or over headphones in some public setting where they want to listen to their music but do not want to disturb other people.
In my opinion, the people who seem to believe there is something wrong with this are wealthy lawyers or wealthy owners of coporations who claim the own the copyrights to that music - people who have no need for that money because they are already very wealthy. For most of them, it just seems like it’s an opportunity for them to squeeze some blood from a stone and they just don’t want to miss the chance to try and do it.
I remember the 60s with great fondness when younger people felt so many things were just examples of how greedy older people who laid claim to so many things behaved like greedy pigs because they wanted other people to pay for the right to do almost anything they would consider enjoyable but the law was somewhat questionable as to whether or not it was legal for these people to do things like make an MP3 recording of some of the record albums they purchased.
Such blatant greed and such a shame to allow these people to use the courts and the Legal System to line their pockets when there was just no good reason to allow them to do that.