Modification, distribution, making it part of another larger work -- you need a license for those.
People, even lawyers, often use reductio ad absurdum to argue that some behavior isn't infringing. In a famous draft opinion in the Sony v. Betamax Justice Stevens wrote,
It would plainly be unconstitutional to prohibit a person
from singing a copyrighted song in the shower or jotting
down a copyrighted poem he hears on the radio.
Usually the absurdity of the scope of copyright law is tolerable because of the impossibility of a plaintiff discovering or proving infringement in personal, private use. Other times courts may use Fair Use or other technicalities to avoid absurd outcomes. But many times the absurdity lies and people are penalized. In any event, courts aren't disposed to finding non-infringement. Modern courts have narrowed considerably traditional theories like merger and the idea/expression dichotomy that circumscribed the scope of copyright outright. And it's non partisan. If Ginsburg had her way copyright would see a considerable expansion in scope. (Her daughter is the author of an influential treatise on copyright, which propounds a radically expansive view of copyrights.)
 I forgot where I read the historical account about all the other justices disagreeing on that specific point. I think it was in one of my treatises.