MP3 copyright question.

Legal minds, please attend!

I have a new CD player that plays MP3’s.

I like it a lot. It buffers two minutes of sound, so it never skips, and it will hold 170 or more of my favorite songs on one CD. A pair of rechargeable batteries will run it all day, and it plays the tracks at random. I am a very happy listener.

So, here is my question. Am I violating the copyrights of the artists by making the favorites selection CD?

The actual published CD’s are sitting in a big carrier right here in my house. Every one purchased, mostly at retail prices, long ago. (OK, maybe ten songs I got from the Internet, because you can’t buy Lightnin’ Hopkins, or Sonny Terry at the store, and Ledbelly’s best stuff was never published by the folks who make CD’s.) (sigh. OK, maybe twenty five songs.)

So, is this the crime of the century, or of the last three or four seconds?


Don’t stress it kiddo. Do you have any idea how many people do 10x more illegal things regarding the copying of music? And no one bugs them about it, as long as you aren’t selling them, there’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t consider it any different than making a mixed tape. (If I do completely understand what you are asking.) Now I really don’t know anything specific about the dos and don’ts regarding mp3s.But either way, you’re not gonna get caught unless the music police get on this cite and hunt you down.

Thanks Patty.

In truth, I was not all that much worried about the Music Industry Gestapo breaking in my door. It was pretty much a theoretical legal question.

Even in my later years, after giving up a life of crime, I have certainly done more serious things than making an odd MP3 copy of a song. (I once took six cents from the “need a penny” dish at the convenience store!) I just wondered in the cases where I have the original right here if it makes any difference in the nit pick world of the law.


It’s clearly Fair Use.

No worries.

With precedents no less!

Just the assurance I was seeking.

So, it’s just the owners of Ledbelly’s copyrights I have to worry about. Great.

Let the Midnight Special shine its light on me!

Thansk for the trouble.


The portions of Judge O’Scannlain’s opinion from RIAA V. Diamond that apply:


Hey, no worries. I’m in much the same position, so I wanted to be sure anyway.

I was curious as to the actual wording, 'cuz that page just says “many lawyers” consider it fair use. I think the decision is more-or-less unequivocal, though.

And just so you know, I’m envious of your portable player. I have my PC hooked up to my stereo system for continual listening enjoyment – sure would like to be able to take it on the road…