View Full Version : Is it legal to make a mixed CD using tracks of CDs I've already purchased legally?

Wondering Along
Jan 31, 2008, 01:17 PM
I have a nice-sized CD collection, and I'm wondering if it would be legal for me to take a track from this CD, a track from that CD, and some tracks from other CDs and burn them onto a blank CD, effectively making a mix CD from tracks that I've already paid for. I wouldn't distribute it to the populace, it would be for my own use. It that legal?

Jan 31, 2008, 01:19 PM
You are allowed to make back up copies arranged however you want for your own personal use but you are not allowed to sell or distribute them.

Jan 31, 2008, 01:21 PM
I do this all the time. It is legal as long as it's for your personal use.

Jan 31, 2008, 01:24 PM
You can do that, you can rip them into MP3s and put them on a MP3 player. You can record them on cassette. You can make any copies you want for personal use. Just don't give your mix to anyone else.

Wondering Along
Jan 31, 2008, 01:33 PM
Thanks everyone! :)

Jan 31, 2008, 02:02 PM
Seriously? You can't give a mixed CD as a gift to someone without it being illegal?

My friends and I have often done this, usually with bands we like that don't get radio play, so that we can share our "finds" with each other. The CDs I have gotten from friends have led me to purchase CDs from probably hundreds of artists over the years.

Are you saying that we should stick to sending YouTube links to each other?

How sad :(

Jan 31, 2008, 02:08 PM
Selling or distributing for financial gain is forbidden. Giving as a gift (to any number of people) is OK.

Jan 31, 2008, 06:30 PM
Actually that's not OK. When you purchase a CD (or a DVD for that matter) You are purchasing a LICENSE to use the contents of that CD under specific restrictions. One of the restrictions is that it only be used for personal use. Even if you give it away, you are still potentially depriving the artist of compensation for their copyrighted work. Therefore, even giving it away would be illegal.

The point is you do NOT own the music (or other content). You only own the right to use it under specific restrictions.

Jan 31, 2008, 06:40 PM
Scott is correct, my wife is a musician and write music, has a few CD's out, and she gets money several ways, 1. if you buy her CD, she makes a amount from each sold. And 2. if there is any radio play or public use, there is suppose to be a payment made, public places are suppose to pay though places like BMI. So places like bars that play a radio are actually suppoe to be paying a charge for using those songs. That is why for example if you have a bar you have to pay more for cable TV than a home does, you are paying for the rights to show the TV to the public.

So if you for example would copy without paying a song from my wife, and give it away, you have then stolen money from her and her producers.

The copyrights on music, lasts 100 years after the death of the owner.

Jan 31, 2008, 06:47 PM
As long as you are using them for yourself it is legal but if you make a copy for your best friend, that is illegal

Jan 31, 2008, 06:50 PM
Guys, this person is making a mix of many dif. CDs, and making it into one! He isn't selling it or giving it away, he paid for the disc, and burning a mix of them all to eliminate space for like on a roadtrip, it is NOT stealing. As long as you already paid for the CD

Jan 31, 2008, 07:03 PM
From reviews.cnet.com --

Audio CD-Rs: There is a relatively unknown exception under the American Home Recording Act of 1992 (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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

Swapping music with your friends is nothing new, but the law is lagging behind when it comes to handing out the perfect digital mix. P2P networks aside, consider the CD ring: an arrangement where, each month, 1 of 12 friends makes a CD mix of favorite songs and distributes the CDs to the remaining 11. Most conservative copyright attorneys will discourage you and your ring of friends from making upward of 1,300 digital copies (12 months times 11 friends times 10 songs), even though it's not for a commercial use or financial gain. But there is little precedent on the issue, and creative lawyers justify trading multiple mixes, two ways:

* Audio CD-Rs: Make all the copies using Audio CD-Rs and standalone CD burners (see above). But the more you make, the more likely the recording industry is to come calling.

* Fair use: Certain limited uses of copyrighted music are considered fair use and, thus, legal. Commentary, parody, news reporting, education, and research are classic justifications for fair use. Occasionally, courts expand the spectrum of exceptions. Take the now famous Betamax case, where the Supreme Court ruled that time shifting--recording a show and watching it later--was considered a legitimate fair use. In that vein, ambitious attorneys argue that while copying a complete album may be illegal, a mix of songs is fair use because it doesn't displace the sale of an entire album. But with individual songs now available for sale on legitimate sites, that argument likely falls flat.

The ultimate question: How many copies are too many? A mix CD for your lover is generally acceptable, but if you get married and you give that mix to all of your guests as a wedding memento, you risk your happily-ever-after status.

Jan 31, 2008, 07:10 PM
They are suppose to be making the newer burners so that only your computer can read them to cut down on others being able to use them.

Jan 31, 2008, 07:22 PM
You're correct, NOhelp --

From digitalproducer.com --

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents the interests of record companies, and indirectly, the interests of the artists, backup musicians and vocalists, and songwriters whose music they produce. The RIAA cannot speak for all record copyright owners, let alone the songwriters and music publishers who own the copyright in the musical works embodied in every recording. Each copyright holder individually has the right to interpret--and enforce--his or her own copyright rights as he or she deems appropriate. So what follows is merely the RIAA's view on home taping generally.

Any unauthorized reproduction of a sound recording is technically a copyright infringement. It does not matter whether the reproduction is from a CD to a cassette tape, from a CD to a hard drive, or from a CD to a CD-Recordable disc. In reality, however, no record company has ever sued a consumer for copying music for noncommercial purposes. Moreover, since 1992, with the passage of the Audio Home Recording Act, consumers have been allowed immunity from lawsuits for copyright infringement for all analog and some digital recording. Importantly, however, that immunity does not extend to recording by means of general-purpose digital recording devices, including almost all of the CD-R and CD-RW devices on the market today.

The problem record companies have with home copying is its aggregate impact. One individual making one copy is not going to cause significant harm. But millions of individuals doing the same thing can, and do, cause extraordinary harm. And with the advent of the Internet, a single individual can do incalculable damage all by himself.

It's important to understand that record companies make their money virtually exclusively from the sale of records. If records aren't sold, but are copied instead, the business of making music suffers. Artists and songwriters don't collect royalties, and at some point, can no longer make a living in the music business; record companies don't recoup their investment, and at some point, are no longer able to invest in new artists and new music. In the end, the losers will be those who love music--because the breadth and depth of the musical talent supported by the U.S. music industry cannot exist without financial support. The winners are the companies that make copying machines and blank media; they profit from selling their devices to consumers who want music without having to pay for it.

What record companies want and need is a technical means of preventing unauthorized transmissions and preventing or limiting copying. It happens that such a technical solution is already available with respect to CD copying. Every CD has a copy protection bit encoded in it. If the software used to copy CDs on CD-R machines would simply read for that bit and disable the record function when the bit is found, the aggregate damage caused by unlimited CD copying could be avoided.