If, like me, you were under the illusion that if in a moment of recklessness you purchased a Best of Country and Western CD you were perfectly entitled to set it on fire then you better hide the matches because although you may have paid for it, you don't own it.
According to the copyright laws, when you buy a CD you are effectively leasing the content, not buying it.
This is because you are being sold a licence to use the songs on the CD, not the item itself so you are just giving the record company money to agree that you are legally able to hold onto it so forget the idea that it was your CD and you can do what you want with it because the licence you have bought comes with restrictions.
The Musicians' Union and British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to digital music.
- rip CDs that you legitimately own to MP3 but you can only make one 'back-up' CD.
- transfer digital music files to your own personal MP3 player providing those files have been ripped directly from a CD that you legitimately own.
- copy music onto an analogue cassette
- borrow an original CD off someone
- download ripped CD tracks
- copy a CD that you do not own
- lend a CD to someone, even family and friends
- copy digital music files from someone else’s MP3 player or computer, even if they own the original CD.
- use an original CD for commercial purposes.
It is all wrapped up in the agreement 2.1 Rights Granted in your licence which states 'Upon payment for Music Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable right to use the Music Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to the Agreement.
So there you have it, you may think you are buying a CD of 'The Greatest Hits of Bavarian Ommpah Music' but the record company is only granting you a licence to listen to it, you don't actually own it although if you do have a copy of 'The Greatest Hits of Bavarian Ommpah Music' in your music collection, everyone else can legally have you committed as a danger to society and you can be banned from owning a CD player ever again.