Friday, August 22, 2003
The Recording Industry Association of America has stepped up its fight against Internet piracy by going after those who make "substantial quantities" available online through music-swapping sites such as Kazaa and LimeWire, rolling out hundreds of lawsuits and threats of criminal prosecution.
Here's an association guide to what is legal in downloading and copying music:
Legal: Downloading a song from an online store such as iTunes or BuyMusic on a pay-per-track basis, or from a subscription service such as Pressplay or Rhapsody.
Illegal: Downloading a song from someone else's computer through a network like Kazaa or iMesh.
Legal: Downloading a song from a copyright holder's Web site (like a band's official site run by its record company).
Illegal: Downloading a song from a site that is not a copyright holder (like a fan site not sanctioned by the band or its record company).
Legal: Buying a CD and burning a copy for your own personal use.
Illegal: Buying a CD and burning a copy for your friend's personal use.
Legal: Storing songs from CDs you bought on your computer.
Illegal: Storing songs from CDs bought on your computer and making them available for others to download.
Legal: Using software to remix your favorite song for your own personal use.
Illegal: Using software to remix your favorite song and making it available for others to download.
Legal: Making a mix tape or mix CD for yourself.
Illegal: Making a mix tape or mix CD for a friend.
Association officials say that some of these activities are more likely to get you in trouble than others. However, recent changes in their strategy have moved past a previously unspoken guideline of whether you are making money from these activities. Now, even if some of these activities are done for your own personal enjoyment, you may face a lawsuit.