Re: Who Owns the Music?

> - if I buy a new CD, I am presumably entitled to record it for local

>> (computer/IPOD/backup/whatever) use. If I do that, am I (legally or >> otherwise) prohibited from reselling or giving away the CD? > Yes you are prohibited from reselling it or giving away the original, > unless you include all your copies in the sale, or destroy them.
  1. The presumption that you are entitled to record it for local computer use isn't supported by the copyright statute. There are special rules for non-commercial duplication of audio works (see 17 USC 100 1001 and 1008), but they are of limited scope because of some particular definitions.
  2. There is no general backup right in the copyright statutes. There is one for "computer programs" in 17 USC 117, but again there is a particular and narrow definition for computer programs. And you have to be the owner of the copy of the computer program, not a licensee.
  3. Any justification for the copying would have to be a "fair use" argument under 17 USC 107. Since you are copying a creative work in its entirety, you'd lose on factors (2) and (3), and since you are somewhere between commercial and educational, factor (1) is probably neutral.

That leaves factor (4) (effect on the potential market for the work) having to be strongly in your favor. And since your keeping of a copy after transferring the CD to another clearly displaces a sale, it's hard to see how you would win on that factor.

  1. The rule about destroying or transferring all copies when the original is transferred comes from 17 USC 117, and is limited to computer programs. But it is at least an indication of what should be done if there is to be at least some illusion of a fair use.
Reply to
Lee Hollaar
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