"Were copyright law followed to the letter, little audio preservation would be undertaken. Were the law strictly enforced, it would brand virtually all audio preservation as illegal," the study concludes, "Copyright laws related to preservation are neither strictly followed nor strictly enforced. Consequently, some audio preservation is conducted."More at OS News, which has a link to the 181-page study by the Library of Congress.
Hat Tip to James Robertson.
I'd be a lot more comfortable if the U.S. Congress simply passed reasonable legislation to begin with. I don't hold out hope for it. What does give me hope, however, is that cheap technology indirectly allows all sorts of common-sense copying activity to become de facto allowed.
Whatever paper fantasies Congress puts out, they aren't really going to lock up everyone who makes a mix tape or sets up a home media server. Historically, the tape recorder, the photocopier, and the VCR did wonders for fair use. Going forward, DRM-free Linux and Android computers can work similar magic for digital content.