Is copying your CDs for use in the car considered pirating?

I ask this question because I’ve been making copies of my CDs for the car for awhile now, and decided I wanted some different music in the car.  So I grabbed some of my fav new albums and started to copy.

Some of them won’t copy using Nautilus… I just open up Brasero and tell it to go at it.  I only had a problem with one CD, and I had to rip that one to my desktop, then send it to a CD.  I have no problem with this…

Granted, I’m not making copies of the CDs to sell or whatever… I just want to use them more effectively in my car.  I figure, I make copies, and if my car gets broken into and they get stolen, it’s not much of a loss.  I’m out all the time I spent burning the CDs, but I’m not out the actual CDs.

I’m sure the RIAA would prefer me to buy disks for the car and disks for my CD player in the house, as well as disks to rip onto my MP3 player.

But, the funny thing is, I don’t have that much money.  I’ve been a good music buyer… in that I BUY my music.  I don’t steal it off of the web (unless it says “FREE DOWNLOAD”; I’ve found some awesome stuff that way, and I’d buy it if there was a CD available). 

Just my $0.02.

8 thoughts on “Pirating?”

  1. From the FAQ on riaa.com:

    Record companies have never objected to someone making a copy of a CD for their own personal use. We want fans to enjoy the music they bought legally.

  2. Actually, “fair use” deals with public use, not private use, so that argument really doesn’t apply. But see my other comment.

  3. You know my opinions already ;-)

    Tbh I think it should be perfectly legal to copy something you already own – especially if it’s from CD to MP3 device for e.g.
    The laws on this subject are all so fuzzy, and tend to always bend in favour of the RIAA. Interesting.

    In the UK it’s no different. But I listen to mainly Underground music (see: last.fm), so most my music is downloaded anyway.

  4. But sometimes I do copy for friends that may want to try a new CD out. In the long run, I think more people will buy more music if they are allowed to distribute it via copies or through P2P.


  5. Ah, but that’s a different question. Burning a copy of a CD for your own, individual use is legal. Burning a copy of a CD and giving it to someone else is not legal.

    Whether or not the law makes sense, or is advisable, is a different story entirely.

  6. My argument is that I can burn a copy of a CD of a band for someone (they may or may not like it). If they like it, they will most likely go out and buy a copy of another CD by that band.

    I have done this. I’ve wanted to try out a band, and someone who has a CD copies it for me. I listen, love it, and buy other CDs by the band.

    Happened that way with Widespread Panic. (Awesome band btw.) If I’d never gotten ahold of the “pirated” copy of one CD, I would never have bought FIVE other CDs by the band. One act of “pirating” has made the band five CD sales.

    Now, tell me, does it make sense for a band/RIAA to curb copying if it can make them more money? If they’d relax the copy protection, more people would spread good bands.

    The question I have for you is: “Is it legal for me to lend a CD to a friend for them to listen to if I’ve copied it to my hard drive?” Surely that illegal as well, for I have copied it for my own “fair use” but lent it to a friend for their review. Creates some very grey areas, doesn’t it?

  7. The way the law is construed … not really. The answer is still “no”.

    Borland (the software company) came up with a very useful analogy back in the day. When you buy a book, you buy one copy of the book. You can lend that book to someone else, of course, but when you lend that book, you can’t read it while your friend has it. You have to wait until your friend gives it back to you. Or, you have to go out and buy another copy.

    If you buy a CD, you are, of course, free to lend that original CD to a friend. But while your friend has your CD, you can’t listen to it, because you don’t have it anymore.

    Digital copies are a little weirder. The RIAA has (for now) acknowledged that you can make digital copies, as long as those copies are only for your individual, personal, private use. So, you can make a copy of your CD so that you can leave that copy at the office and not have to physically haul it back and forth. Or, you can put it on your MP3 device to listen to, as being much more convenient than a portable CD player. And so on.

    But when you burn a copy of a CD and give it to your friend, both you and your friend can listen to it at the same time, even though you only paid for one copy. As the law stands right now, that’s illegal.

    Having said all of that … the argument you are making is not about whether or not copy-and-share is legal, but whether or not it’s beneficial to copyright holders. The argument you make is an interesting one (which I’ve heard many times before), and many reasonable people hold that position. Unfortunately, such activity is currently defined to be a violation of civil copyright law.

    Which, of course, could be changed, if Congress wanted to get into it. But that’s not terribly likely at the moment, no matter which party is in power.

    If you want to make the argument that the law is unwise, that’s a perfectly reasonable argument to make. But that doesn’t change the fact that an unwise law is still a law.

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