Copyright violations, piracy, and helping out someone

Ah yes, that failure of a law. It only applies to software piracy, and not music. The idea behind the “software” aspect was that software is IP and was semi-tangible back in the 90s. That law is a total failure of misspecification leading to single digit convictions, with nothing recent.

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This is not uncommon I’m betting

( first off all my CDs are in the attic )

I tend to think of this from the artists viewpoint. Would you mind if instead of nestling in my attic the CDs went to a charity shop and other people who may have never heard of you get to hear the music you made?

( I keep mine as the ultimate backup and for liner notes which I may we’ll get to scan someday ).sjb

I must remember to insist to my wife that we must keep all our ripped CD’s so that we don’t infringe on the IP they contain. I think if I tell her you can only use Tidal if we dump all the CD’s she will have a change of heart :stuck_out_tongue:

artists’ viewpoint on this will be case by case. i can say that as a visual artist myself, i would much rather have as many people see my work as possible. it ultimately depends on why someone makes “art” in the first place.

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Danny, your understanding of copyright law is incomplete. It is NOT necessary to profit (the analogy I would use is if I shared my Roon credentials for free, I would still be breaching your copyright, and you would - quite rightly - be pissed :-)).

I wouldn’t bother scanning liner notes. I have just started moving a bookcase of cds into boxes for storage in the loft. I briefly considered keeping the cd booklets on a shelf in case I ever wanted to read them. After looking at the first half dozen, I abandoned the idea. The main content is the lyrics, which Roon displays anyway. Then there is the 'thank you ’ page at the back where they all thank the same people on every cd ( mother, father, family, children Marshall amplifiers etc). It is all in fuzzy print anyway and my eyes like the rest of me are not getting any younger. This would only get worse if you scanned them. This gets us back on topic, because of course scanning them would be a copyright violation I expect

Can you point me to a US law that criminalizes copying music for non-profit?

Pissed enough to remove the offender’s civil liberties? No.

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This concept of what’s lawful is so complicated, I wrote a quick post and just deleted it, as it would need weeks to write what I consider to be a thoughtful enough answer. So I’ll try another approach.,…

Regardless of laws, at the end of the day we all act as individuals and have a degree of common sense and free thought otherwise the human race has failed. And whereas laws are useful - vital in some cases - the whole legal system, lawyers, corporate lobbying, sentencing is often corrupt, distorted and archaic.

If someone’s suffered misfortune and you have a reasonable idea they’re being truthful, I personally see no problem in privately helpfping them out - in this case rebuilding their music library. Let the lawyers etc do what they will if it comes to that. Whether right or wrong if you end up in court you’re provably 50% likely to be found innocent or guilty if anyone could be bothered in a case like this, and that’s more likely down to the mood or morals of the judge rather than the word of the law itself, which frankly in copyright law few people probably fully understand.

I work in an industry with IP and respect it. But this isn’t stealing (in my eyes) it’s just good human nature. I’d like to think any decent judge would think the same.

For the record, I also know a reasonable number of musicians, some of who’ve had a degree of success. Do you think they buy a CD for each of their kids that listen, or never let a friend digitise an album they like? Let’s not make artists out to be perfect - we’re all just human beings. (Except maybe corporate copyright lawyers, sadly).

Good discussion to have, and I’m surprised by the mix of responses but I guess that’s also just human nature. Hats off to @danny for actively encouraging (and engaging in) the discussion.


Profit is the thing that galvanises copyright owners into taking action though. The opportunity to share in that profit is what motivates them, not simply indignation about their copyright being infringed.

Exactly correct.


My local library has CDs as well, actually most of the top 100 releases at any given time, they get them in pretty much in on release day. I am sure those are checked out and copied frequently. Of course, the artist got paid when the library bought the CD but not beyond that.

Interesting point.

In the Uk when a book gets borrowed from a library the author gets a micro payment each time (public lending right), these can add up to considerable sums for popular authors.
I don’t know if this is the same for the artists when CD’s are borrowed but it is normal in the UK for libraries to charge for lending cd’s (books are free to borrow).

Honestly I would not be opposed to this, as long as the artist was getting something. I’m afraid in the US though my impression is that the record label or others would scrape it all away and leave the artist with little or nothing. This is my impression, I may be wrong. I do know of some other community libraries where they charge for movies and CDs but I don’t know if that is to pay for replacement of the media if damaged, or for other revenue generating reasons for the library. Our local community library is very well funded, they even have an LP lending library now.

I think this was a discussion overdue - thanks.

Personally, I miss buying a book or a CD i might share with a friend. And if i’ve purchased a file, why can’t i share or gift that too, especially if i am not seeking to profit.

File sharing adds a new complexity, but i think it is the future and it will be approaches to revenue streams and reimbursement methods that will need to adjust.

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You have absolutely hit the nail on the head. Medium free distribution, freeing the product from media, needs new and innovative ways of ensuring people get paid, preferably with more getting to the artists.

I understand the logic that you need to have in your possession the CD if you have an associated digital recording. I have heard that logic in the past.


When I was very young I was fortunate that we had high end stereo equipment. We had a SONY stereo reel to reel tape recorder - player. Actually I still have it. I remember on certain holidays local Stereo FM radio stations would count down and play the Top 100 tracks. My dad and I would sit down and systematically would record all of these songs without the commercials. It was FM quality. It was Stereo. It was Analog. We still have those recordings and I have actually converted hard to find tracks to digital.

This to my knowledge is all legal. It was legal back then. It is still legal today. It is legal because we do not distribute and copy these to the masses nor have we sold any of these tracks for profit.

I thought that having home recordings was settled with the VHS ruling. So why would having having a recording with today’s technology being digital be illegal even though you do not possess the original?


It has never been legal. The fact is though, while not legal it was not criminal. It was purely a civil matter which was effectively unenforceable. You would literally have to take your recordings and shove them under the nose of the rights holder in order to be prosecuted!
Home Taping is Killing Music

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Dear guys…

Im not in the situation as i keep all Hardware, as a Backup to my digital Collection…

In order to this discussion i might ask a question, maybe not uninteresting to the one or the other user…

Assuming some people do have huge collections in digital 2k, 3k or maybe 5k of Albums, maybe cause of backup of Cds or LPs, maybe through other ways… and assuming the real Hardware is not availble anymore. i assume such a collection might be illegal (not sure)…

Is there a way to make such a collection legal? hand how…?

Maybe there is someone who has profound knowledge about the actual legal laws and are there ways to legalize this by paying some fees to anywhere or other ways…?

I want to add, that buying the Hardware is clear to me… i want to know if there are other ways, as any entitiy who can take or collect some kind of fee per Album to make the digital files legal…


Andreas, a lot of the confusion is because people state copyright law as if it is universal, and of course it isn’t. It varies from country to country. I don’t know where you are but you need to look at the situation there and take your advice there. Ultimately I don’t know of anyone who has ever been prosecuted for having rips in their possession without additional information like logs showing them downloaded from an illegal sharing site or accompanying information that gives a sharers identity. Most people are prosecuted for sharing, or running sites that share. And most of that is by the film and TV industry because they have the financial resources to do so.