More Insider Secrets
Can you legally put a collection of songs together and give it to your lover? It depends on what state you live in and whether you're married. No, that's not true, but if you are
married, living together, or close friends, it might help make the case that the copy was made for a "personal use." Technically, giving away a mix CD is illegal, but there are exceptions:
- Online agreements: For example, legal sites such as iTunes and Napster.com encourage you to make a CD mix or playlist, but their terms and conditions contract limits the number of copies to seven (7). As for then giving one of those copies away to a lover, Napster considers that an acceptable "personal use."
- Audio CD-Rs: There is a relatively unknown exception under the AHRA that legally allows you to make a digital copy of your music and give it to that perfect man or woman. Both of the following conditions must be met:
- You must record the songs on a special Audio CD-R (or for that matter on a MiniDisc or a digital tape). Audio CD-Rs look virtually identical to regular CDs except for the price tag. An Audio CD-R will cost you anywhere from 2 to 10 times as much per CD. The rationale goes: Between you and the manufacturer of the CD, the required royalty taxes have already been paid, as opposed to regular CDs, where the music royalty taxes haven't been paid. It takes some searching, but you'll find Audio or Music CDs at your local RadioShack or Office Max.
- You must also record the mix using a "digital audio recording device." Again, under the AHRA, computers don't count. You need to use a standalone CD burner. Those devices are acceptable because, here again, the royalty taxes have already been collected. For example, Sony, Panasonic, and Philips sell standalones.