General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Would this be a legitimate way to copy music?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10241points) May 21st, 2010

Back in the day when a song came on the radio we’d record it straight from the radio and we were told it was legal. Cool…not a great big difference in song quality either until the CD came along.

So I got to thinking…scary I know… What if a radio station set up a special radio equipment room next door, and had a “station” broadcast whatever song you requested in crisp quality sound the short distance to the radio room where you could collect the song?

Then you could get all the music you wanted, right?

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7 Answers

anartist's avatar

You can still record it from the radio as far as I know. Can’t you?

InspecterJones's avatar

Recording off the radio was a grey area which was allowed because of the poor quality of the recording in comparison to the product. What I’m trying to say is that anything not bought these days is considered stolen.

My advice? Get a Zune subscription, its all you can eat for $14 a month.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Please support any and all artists who benefit your life.

jerv's avatar

Both of my MP3 players have that ability, and as far as the quality, that really isn’t an issue. I mean, if you are used to listening to the radio then you are used to the lower quality anyways, right?

Unfortunately, these days it’s almost like everything is considered stolen unless you pay for it, and Fair Use went down the toilet. Got a DVD that you want to put onto your MP3 Player? Tough shit! Sure, you are technically allowed to copy it, but if you want to transcode it into a format that that your player can read then that means that you must circumvent CSS, and that is illegal! In a similar vein, some companies seem a little uptight about ripping a CD and putting the resulting MP3s on your player as opposed to paying again for an MP3 version in addition to the CD.

While I am all for the artists getting paid for their work, don’t forget that they really don’t make much from record sales; the recording companies get much of that revenue and last I checked the musicians get their $$$ from tours and merchandise.

FutureMemory's avatar

@jerv Got a DVD that you want to put onto your MP3 Player? Tough shit! Sure, you are technically allowed to copy it, but if you want to transcode it into a format that that your player can read then that means that you must circumvent CSS, and that is illegal! In a similar vein, some companies seem a little uptight about ripping a CD and putting the resulting MP3s on your player as opposed to paying again for an MP3 version in addition to the CD.

I have well over 1000 cd’s. If they think I’m going to pay again for the mp3 versions rather than simply use a program to rip the cd’s to my hard drive…(profanity ahead) give me a motherfucking break. They can shove such regulations up their corporate asses.

john65pennington's avatar

According to your question, the radio station would have to have two FCC license, instead of one. broadcasting anything over the airwaves requires a license. this is so one stations signals will never interfere with another stations signal. FCC radio licenses are in short supply, since most of the frequencies are already taken.

Have you heard there is a law about to be passed that will charge radio stations for each song they play over the air? if this law passes, many radio stations will shut down. this could be very expensive.

SavoirFaire's avatar

As far as the US is concerned, the Supreme Court rule in Universal vs. Sony (1984) that “noncommercial home use recording of material broadcast over the public airwaves was a fair use of copyrighted works, and did not constitute copyright infringement.” Quality was not the issue, but rather usage (commercial or noncommercial).

There are several factors relating to when something falls under the Fair Use doctrine (taken from here):

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

As determined in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music (1994), however, none of these factors is dispositive. That is to say, all four are supposed to be balanced. That a work is reused for commercial purposes does not immediately mean it is not a fair use. In the Campbell case, for instance, it was noted that to say otherwise is to outlaw virtually all commercial parodies. Similarly, you can often use the entirety of a work if it’s nature is such that you can only use all or nothing, you aren’t using it for commercial purposes, and you aren’t substantially affecting the potential market for the original.

It’s a delicate balance, though, and the courts usually (though unofficially) take into account whether or not you were trying to get away with something or honestly thought it was fair use when you appropriated the work. With regard to the “second station” scenario, the RIAA might argue that there is a clear attempt to systematically circumvent their copyrights and an overstretching of the notion of “public airwaves” since the broadcast is intended to reach only one room (regardless of how far the broadcast might actually reach). And the court would probably agree.

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