The general US Copyright law has a provision called FAIR USE. This, among other things permits one to make a copy for personal use that they DO NOT distribute outside their household ( case interpretation of the law) even for free permanent or temporary.
The confusion and argument, however, is that in the US we passed a law called the DMCA which treats copyrights on digital media and digital assemblies of content differently than traditional media such as paper copies, records, analog video tape, printed photographs etc. The key for traditional copyrights are that they are on some hard form. Digital copyrights, don't have to be and can be represented by coded form as in binary math. Further confusing the issue, is that some would claim the DMCA has no FAIR USE provision. Technically it doesn't. Therein lies the argument. Digital copyright holders feel all copies, even those that would be protected under the Fair Use provisions have no protection under the DMCA. Consider that nearly everything in the world today is represented in some digital form, then nothing can be protected by FAIR USE. However, in reality, the courts continue to hear arguments on the basis of FAIR USE and make decisions case by case. So where does that leave us? Answer- At risk of being a criminal based on the whim of a judge. The DMCA is a poorly written copyright law and does not represent the general philosophy of the people. Personally, I believe that all copyrights should be treated equally with FAIR USE provisions to include anti distribution clauses and Look and feel rules and have a finite life span similar to patents. ( 17 years non-renewable ) Trademarks should be protected as long as they are in commercial use.