A Question about Copying Music

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  • #612090
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    I have a very specific question.

    According to the opinions who state that copying music off of someone else’s CD is forbidden. Would the following be both muttar and legal?

    Certain FREE internet jewish radio stations have “radio shows” where you can email them and request a song. Many are lucky enough to have their requests played on air during this show. A number of hours after the show has concluded, it is uploaded onto their site as an mp3. The mp3 is about 2 hours long (the length of the show) and can be downloaded for free.

    Is it muttar (according to those who say that copying music is stealing) and legal (re: US copyright laws) to download the 2 hour mp3, and cut the song or songs you want out of those 2 hours, save them as separate files and keep them for yourself?

    #1002745
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Suppose my radio station plays various songs, and you can download the show for free.

    And then I cut the individual notes apart, and put them back together in a different order and thus make “copies” of other songs that I actually want. Is that ok?

    #1002746
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    “Music that is offered on the internet may not be copied since it is only put there for one to listen to.”

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/weekly_torah.php?id=398

    #1002747
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    And if yes, what about copying any music through Ho’il?

    #1002748
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Popa, why not? I never heard of an Issur to play and record your music of someone else’s song.

    #1002749
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Popa, why not? I never heard of an Issur to play and record your music of someone else’s song.

    I don’t know much about the issur, but certainly that is part of the copyright issue.

    #1002750
    frumeyid
    Participant

    According to the shitta that copying music is assur, why would it become muttar just because someone changed the order and made it available for you to download? Why would it make a difference where you got it from? And why would it make a difference if the order is random? I imagine that according to this shitta you would not even be allowed to copy a single song, so it wouldn’t matter that you are cutting and reordering it…

    #1002751
    jbaldy22
    Member

    According to Rav Belsky the “copying” itself was never the issue. Hasagas Gvul is the issue. Therefore this makes no difference.

    #1002752
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    @frumeyid, @jbaldy22

    So what you are saying is that is would be ossur for the station to offer their archived shows for free download, and it would be ossur to download the entire show.

    Is that accurate?

    #1002753
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    @DY

    Is that streaming audio or even things available for download.

    Seems to me that one expects streaming audio (eg YWN Radio) not to be copied. Whilst downloading an mp3, which is put up with the intention of being downloaded, would be a different psak.

    #1002754
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Popa, are you saying that a band needs special written permission for each song they will play at a wedding?

    #1002755
    jbaldy22
    Member

    I don’t know that is an interesting question. It depends on what qualifies as hasagas gvul according to Rav Belsky. It might be if the original artists producers arent maskim to it and it takes away from their sales.

    #1002756
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Popa, are you saying that a band needs special written permission for each song they will play at a wedding?

    No, there’s a b’feirush heter for performing other peoples music:

    “(a) The exclusive rights of the owner of copyright in a sound recording are limited to the rights specified by clauses (1), (2), (3) and (6) of section 106, and do not include any right of performance under section 106 (4).” 17 USC 112(a)

    #1002757
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    JayMatt, frankly, I don’t understand how they’re allowed to make these broadcasts available for download.

    Maybe they have permission, but even so, as Jbaldy pointed out, the problem according to R’ Belsky (and I think he’s clearly based in an Igros Moshe) is lost revenue, so no legalistic maneuvering would help.

    #1002758
    kicstart
    Member

    If the radio station website is making it available for download as an mp3, then it is apparently permitted to be made available for download by the producer in cooperation with the radio station. I don’t see how it should matter whether you keep it intact as one file, as you downloaded it, or break it up into multiple files.

    If you weren’t going to buy it otherwise, there’s no issue with hasagas gvul. In any event, any hasagas gvul issue has no bearing whether the producer is maskim or not.

    #1002759
    jbaldy22
    Member

    @kicstart

    Rav Belsky specifically addressed the “If you weren’t going to buy it otherwise” taina and said it doesnt work. Based on what I understand from what he said the reason is since you obviously wanted the song otherwise you wouldn’t have downloaded it, that means that there is an amount that you would pay for the song ergo its still hasagas gvul. A bit of extrapolation on my part but he clearly disagrees with the concept of the taina.

    Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen has also specifically addressed this point and concurs with Rav Belsky. He didn’t have time to explain his reasoning though.

    #1002760
    kicstart
    Member

    jbaldy, I wasn’t really addressing Rav Belsky’s position on this specifically. I am speaking generally on this issue. Other rabbonim have paskened it is only an issue if there was a possible intent to have otherwise made a purchase; otherwise not.

    In the case of the OP here my point is even stronger. He wasn’t looking to make a purchase. He happened to hear a song on the radio that he liked. The station made the song freely available for download, presumably within legal fair use copyright limitations (otherwise they’d have their pants sued off — although non-Jewish copyright law doesn’t have a role in halacha as dinei mamanos [for non contractual transactions] do not fall under the rubric of dinei dmalchusa). And the OP is simply splitting a song off a track he already has legally downloaded, that he wouldn’t have purchased and only downloaded once he heard it on the station, and all he is doing is making one file into five files.

    #1002761
    Participant

    So what you are saying is that is would be ossur for the station to offer their archived shows for free download, and it would be ossur to download the entire show.

    I don’t know of any legitimate radio station that includes copyrighted materials in their segment downloads.

    #1002762
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    I think that the reason it doesn’t help to say you wouldn’t have bought it anyhow, is that you can’t trust yourself. Also, your friend would probably also have never bought it, nor his ten friends. Who exactly would buy one when there is a Heter for anyone who “would never” buy it?

    #1002763
    RisingSun613
    Member

    ask your LOR, then you will finally get a clear answer.

    #1002764

    Some questions:

    1. What is the issur in copying a CD?

    2. Does the radio station pay the people who own the rights to the songs? Should they?

    3. Does everyone have to agree, or can there be a difference of opinion?

    4. Assume it’s true that “I wouldn’t buy it anyway” is a slippery slope because if that were true nobody would buy music because everyone could copy it. Does that mean that copying is stealing, or does it mean that charging money for CDs is ona’ah?

    5. Do we assume that everyone else is acting k’din, or can we be skeptical of them as well? For example, can we assume because a song is played at weddings that one may perform a song? Or should we worry that they also ought to be paying for it?

    #1002765
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    1. Presumably, hasagas g’vul, and if copying from an original CD, possibly geneivah depending on the terms of the original sale.

    2. I don’t know. I think in most cases, the Jewish stations have links to buy the songs (or albums they’re from), so I’m guessing that it’s beneficial to the artists and producers even without direct financial compensation, and they are agreeable to that.

    3. Whatever you hold about that, I’ll agree.

    4. The latter is definitely false. the former depends on #1 and #3.

    5. Too general. In fact, though, I was told that the venue actually has to compensate the copyright holder, but the performer doesn’t have to.

    #1002766
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    One must ask the owner for permission.

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