Originally Posted by bill_mchale
Just a minor nitpick, but isn't defeating copy protection, even if you have no intention of distributing the work to others a crime in the United States?
If it is illegal, then this is because of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). This act explicitly says that it does not remove any fair use protections to copyright, but most legal cases seem to have come down against this (i.e. it probably does remove fair use protections). Format shifting is a fair use in the US, see Clarification, please.
. For ebooks in particular, there are exceptions to the DMCA that may make it legal to format shift most DRMed ebooks, see Mobipocket announcements at IDPF conference
The practical answer is who would know and who would care if you format shift for personal use.