We checked in with Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohmann to see if he agreed with the music business legal position.
"Does it infringe US copyright law to download music without authorization from a P2P network?" he said. "It depends. If you're a teacher who needs a clip for use in a class presentation, I think there's a good chance it's a fair use. But if you're downloading just because you don't want to pay for the song, then you're probably an infringer. Intermediate cases can be imagined, but that gives a pretty good idea of the two poles."
(When it comes to appropriate penalty for infringement, though, von Lohmann parts ways with the record industry.)