More Insider Secrets
Same song, different place
|You're no music pirate. You know it's wrong to download or upload thousands of songs. You're not about to sell copies. You're really not in the mood for a lecture about how music piracy hurts everyone or what Congress needs to do to fix matters. Simply put, you buy music online or in the store, and all you want are some no-nonsense answers about what you can and cannot legally do with your music collection. The answers are not as obvious as you might think. Here's the deal, but first, one rule: Don't shoot the messenger. || |
- Don't tell me I can't back up my collection! Believe it or not, it depends. If you were to back up your entire music collection on analog cassettes, you'd be in the clear. The Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) of 1992 makes an explicit exemption for cassette backups. Unfortunately, the AHRA doesn't apply to songs copied to computers. That means, under the strictest interpretations of U.S. copyright law, ripping a song to your computer, then uploading a song to your portable player or copying it to a CD is considered unauthorized and illegal. Of course, there are exceptions.
- How about a copy for my car? If you legally download a song, you need to look at the Web site's license. Take iTunes, for example. Apple encourages you to "make as many custom CDs as you like." The terms of service, however, limit the copies to "personal, noncommercial use." As for ripping physical CDs, even the Recording Industry Association of America seems to be willing to look the other way, as long as the copy is made from a song that you legitimately own, and it's for "personal use." What is meant by personal use? Few cases have addressed the terminology, but suffice it to say, if you own three cars, two computers, and one iPod, you can safely make a copy for each.