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How do I turn pirated music into legal copies?

I need to produce five or six copies of a CD with music I have previously downloaded off the 'net.  It's important to me that the CDs all be legal, because I need to use them at work.

Back in the early days of Napster, I remember hearing about  a website where you could go if your conscience bothered you.  The website allowed you to use your credit card to pay royalties for all your MP3s.  I've tried Googling, but I can't find any additional information about the site.

So... what do I do?  Is there another way to make my CDs fully legal?

Thanks in advance.

Miss Prissy
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

That may be impossible, as even if you bought the original CDs you may not be allowed to use them for public performance without permission.

I guess it depends what you intend to do with them.

Steve Jones (UK)
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

There won't be any public performance of the music.

Miss Prissy
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

The answer is: you can't.

The only way to do what you want is to go to the store and buy six copies of the CDs. The music on the CDs is licensed on that medium in the compilation you get from the store. If you want to create your own compilation CD legally, you'll need to contact the artist, record companies, RIAA, whatever applies in you case/country and negotiate individual rights. Unless, of course, you don't plan to distribute the copies and just use the for yourself: one for home, one for the office ... Then you can buy the CD and be done with it. Sounds like you're wanting to distribute, though.


Tuesday, June 1, 2004

ask permission from the artists :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

It depends on what you mean by "distribute".  I want to give the CDs to people at work, because the music is related to project that we are working on.

Miss Prissy
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

is iTunes a possibility?  You could buy six copies of just the songs you want.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

"I want to give the CDs to people at work, because the music is related to project that we are working on."

IANAL, but I don't think "Fair Use" allows for this.

IMHO, a good option would be for you to give the others a list of the songs, and then each of you would buy his own copy (online or on CD).

If you were talking about software licenses, instead of songs, that's what you'd have to do, anyway - I'm conviniently ignoring volume licensing, obviously :)

As usual, if you want an (hopefully) authorative answer, consult a lawyer.

Paulo Caetano
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

[note - most of this is stuff I've learned tangentially; I've never studied mandatory licensing; so consider it a jumping-off point, not "the" answer]
Most music sold in the US is governed by what is called a "mandatory licensing scheme." This means that the copyright holder doesn't really have a right to control how the music is distributed, provided they get the royalties they are due.

Net result - you can copy the music, within the limits of the license, and just write the copyright holder a check.

Most music copyrights are managed through clearing houses - the two biggest are ASCAP and BMI. If the music is licensed through either of them, then it really is as simple as filling in a form and writing a check.

A fairly large check, IIRC. (I used to do artwork with music lyrics. IIRC the licensing fees started at $250/song)

So - find out who the copyright clearing house is and check their website.

Buying six copies of the CD is easier.


Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Thanks for the advice.  Can't buy six copies of the CD, because the songs are all from different CDs.

$250 per song?  I thought that royalties are payed per copy of the song, not at some flat rate.

Miss Prissy
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

"ask permission from the artists :)"

IANAL, but I would guess this isn't sufficient.  Often (usually?) the artists don't own the rights to the recording; the record company does.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Move to Canada :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Here's your options:

-Buy the CDs, one for each song on the compilation, per employee you're distributing this out to.

-Attempt to buy each single track individually from one of the online services (your legal Napsters and whatnot), six times, making sure that the licensing agreements allow for redistribution onto CDs.

-Pirate the songs

-Give up

Is it really worth all this effort?  I recommend you give up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

"Thanks for the advice.  Can't buy six copies of the CD, because the songs are all from different CDs."

I'd have to second the idea of using an online music store like iTunes since there's likely one (iTunes?) that will give you the option of burning your purchased music onto a CD.

I've never purchased music online before, but this approach sounds cheaper than buying (6 x # of songs) CDs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

$0.99 per song on iTunes (if the song is available)

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

If you need to make pirated music legal why pirate at all?

I used to work for a company that would deliver background music for companiesn. From evelvator muscic to rap music.

Such companies could provide you with all the music you need with out bodering about details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Having copies of music and film is not illegal; distributing is. Technically, the public playing of "legally obtained" music is illegal.

Check the FBI warning at the beginning of any recorded film on VHS or DVD.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

I think the recommendations to use I-Tunes are probably a good, safe bet.  I-Tunes does let you burn your purchased music to disc.  As long as you payed for it, there is nothing stopping you from giving it as a gift to someone else.

Now the caveat there is that as soon as you give it to another party, you are legally required to dipose of any copies you may have -- meaning in this case deleting it from your hard disk.  Of course it only refers to the particular instance that you gave away...if you purchased 3 of the same item and gave away 2, you can still keep 1 for yourself.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Send six bucks to the artist (NOT the record company) and ask for permission. That's more than they would make if you bought them all new.

fool for python
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Put the CD (or CDs, if the songs are spread out over separate CDs) into drives and share them over the network?

i like i
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

"Send six bucks to the artist (NOT the record company)"

I am assuming that is for artists that didn't sell distribution rights to a record company, right?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Use the russian service They say they're legal, and they're cheap.

I believe I can fry
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

"I am assuming that is for artists that didn't sell distribution rights to a record company, right?"

Yes, that's correct, for which she'd be lucky to make a buck each.

I'd prefer to send my money directly to the artist but they don't make it easy enough. I'd happily donate a buck for every *used* CD that I've bought (and will buy) if it were easy enough. Everybody happy...except the theives in the middle.

fool for python
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

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