Legal MP3s in UK ? (Few questions)

vbimport

#1

[B]OK so been browsing this site for a while now, reading various posts, and also googling what i’m looking for but no luck, so decided to post here.

Few questions I can’t find the answer to:[/B]

[B]

  1. Can anyone recommend a good, legal site to download mp3s from for a UK user? [/B]
    Have noticed various mentioned - in particular are allofmp3.com or mp3search.ru classed as ‘legal’ in the eyes of the UK courtroom?

Or if I should buy my downloads from UK sites such as Woolworths or MyCokeMusic, would I more definitely be legally covered?

2. If I should download an mp3 album from one of these legal mp3 sites, do I get some sort of online or HTML ‘receipt’ to show that I have paid for the tracks, should I ever be questioned about them?

The reason I ask this is that I may intend to use them in public performance.

I understand that in the UK, this requires some form of ‘Public Performance Licence’ (maybe someone can shed some more light?), and if I am to obtain this, I may have to be able to prove legality of my tracks should it be requested (at any point of holding the license).

3. I have a cd album that I purchased which I ripped to mp3 (as a backup for myself). The cd over time became damaged and eventually the cd was lost, however I still have the mp3 backup on my computer. (Before anyone asks I do not wish to burn the mp3s to an audio cd, but instead simply listen to the mp3s on the computer).

Even though I had originally paid for the cd, UK law states that my ‘digital copy/backup’ is not so legal as the cd which I paid for, therefore I am in a bit of a grey area. Should this occur with 10 of my cd’s, then I am in 10 grey areas!

Therefore, is it possible for me to purchase the download of this album off a legal mp3 download site, thus proving as a receipt for this digital backup of the cd on my computer (especially without me having to download the whole album which I pay for, as I already have it in digital format)?

If the tracks are of the same length and the album of the same overall runtime could an ‘authority’ differentiate between whether it was the version I was supposed to have downloaded or one I had ripped myself ?

In short, is the purchase of and payment for (without the actual downloading of) the legal mp3 album download, sufficient to cover me in the event of an enquiry ?

4. Related to Point 3 - I have another album in the same situation as Point 3, originally purchased from a store, have the original receipt to prove it, and ripped the cd to the computer as mp3s.
However, this was purchased while outside the UK, and therefore would be classed as an IMPORT. If it was available in the UK I wouldn’t be too concerned on this point, but I ask because this album is only commercially available outside the UK (e.g. a foreign compilation).

How do I go about proving ownership/producing a receipt to show the ‘legal download’ of these files (taking into account the details Point 3)?

Sorry for so many questions, but have so much to ask!

Thanks! :smiley:


#2

On point 2 the only one I know is a public entertainment license and this is issued to the venue. But you might be better off asking your local council or job center plus, as these are more likely to know more than we do on such things. The council issues them and job center are there to help people with work, even if they are planning self employment.

On point 3 technically it is not a grey are, it is not allowed in England and Wales, someone told me it was allowed i Scotland but one of our Scottish members will be better placed to say if it is or not. Now even though it is not allowed, no one has been taken to court over it. If someone is they will have years of passive permission to call on as it has been going on for years, decades even (album to tape was the first of it) and they would be hard pushed to put together a jury where no one has done it. Actually I think they would be hard pushed to find a judge who hasn’t.

The fact is it is worthless to them to do it, and would negatively impact on them. Where most have no feelings on them going after p-2-p and pirates (I know a numer of people who see these as seperate issues) but the public would be very unhappy if they went after people backing up what they own.

Records are kept by the sites that do a pay for download service as they have to pay the record companies in the same way a physical shop does, therefore paying and not downloading the particular track would be noted.

Point 4 the fact that you own the original should be enough. Again you should not worry too much about back ups.

I say you should not worry about back ups, but only if you are using them for personal use.

Music used in public performance is gotten in a different way to those for personal use, if you look at a purchased CD you will see that using it for public performance is not allowed, I am sure this also applies to those you download. If you plan on setting up as a DJ then the best people to help you through the laws and where to get the necessary equipment will be the job center.


#3

Records are kept by the sites that do a pay for download service as they have to pay the record companies in the same way a physical shop does, therefore paying and not downloading the particular track would be noted.

Okay, it may be noted, but what does this mean in effect?

Would I not still be ‘licensing’ my already ripped album/tracks in this way?

It was stated in that ‘they have to pay the record companies in the same way a physical shop does’, however you have to select what tracks/album you want before you make a payment - therefore if they then have your money and know WHAT you were paying for, can they not simply distribute it to the record companie(s) without me downloading the file(s)?

Music used in public performance is gotten in a different way to those for personal use, if you look at a purchased CD you will see that using it for public performance is not allowed, I am sure this also applies to those you download. If you plan on setting up as a DJ then the best people to help you through the laws and where to get the necessary equipment will be the job center.

From what I know, a lot of DJs (excluding famous big name ones) obtain their music simply by buying their cds from the shop like everyone else. I know a lot of DJs and this has never been questioned - I believe it is the licence which you (or the venue) must have in order to make the public playing of it legal.

The licence differs according to what venue you are playing at (if it is a club, they have their own licence), if it is a bar or hotel for example you are considered to be performing “of your own accord” - so it’s this licence I’m wondering about.

Any other input appreciated :smiley:


#4

Seriously, these sites you’re mentioning could come and go. I haven’t heard of them previously to your post, and doubt they are 100% legal. Look into large companies with downloads because you know those are legal.

2. If I should download an mp3 album from one of these legal mp3 sites, do I get some sort of online or HTML ‘receipt’ to show that I have paid for the tracks, should I ever be questioned about them?

The reason I ask this is that I may intend to use them in public performance.

I understand that in the UK, this requires some form of ‘Public Performance Licence’ (maybe someone can shed some more light?), and if I am to obtain this, I may have to be able to prove legality of my tracks should it be requested (at any point of holding the license).

What most music stores do is offer “digital rights management” on their files. For example, Windows Media Files have downloadable digital rights once you play a copyrighted file. I think Apple offers similar protection in iTunes. Keep in mind that even the most advanced digital right protections can be overridden. WMA rights can be outdone by simply burning the protected WMA file to a CD and then ripping the CD.

You cannot use any copyrighted music in a public preformance without contsent of the copyright holder. When you download a file (even from a legal company) you are only granted personal listening rights. To play the music in a public venue requires you seek additional usage rights.

3. I have a cd album that I purchased which I ripped to mp3 (as a backup for myself). The cd over time became damaged and eventually the cd was lost, however I still have the mp3 backup on my computer. (Before anyone asks I do not wish to burn the mp3s to an audio cd, but instead simply listen to the mp3s on the computer).

Even though I had originally paid for the cd, UK law states that my ‘digital copy/backup’ is not so legal as the cd which I paid for, therefore I am in a bit of a grey area. Should this occur with 10 of my cd’s, then I am in 10 grey areas!

Therefore, is it possible for me to purchase the download of this album off a legal mp3 download site, thus proving as a receipt for this digital backup of the cd on my computer (especially without me having to download the whole album which I pay for, as I already have it in digital format)?

If the tracks are of the same length and the album of the same overall runtime could an ‘authority’ differentiate between whether it was the version I was supposed to have downloaded or one I had ripped myself ?

In short, is the purchase of and payment for (without the actual downloading of) the legal mp3 album download, sufficient to cover me in the event of an enquiry ?

The mp3s you ripped from the CD are not legal, even if you were to repurchase the same album. The fact that you ripped them makes them illegal. You made a copy, which is prohibited by law, reguardless of your intention for the copy.

Unless you plan on sharing these files, why are you so worried about these copies? Do you anticipate a future search and seizure of your computer?

4. Related to Point 3 - I have another album in the same situation as Point 3, originally purchased from a store, have the original receipt to prove it, and ripped the cd to the computer as mp3s.
However, this was purchased while outside the UK, and therefore would be classed as an IMPORT. If it was available in the UK I wouldn’t be too concerned on this point, but I ask because this album is only commercially available outside the UK (e.g. a foreign compilation).

How do I go about proving ownership/producing a receipt to show the ‘legal download’ of these files (taking into account the details Point 3)?

Most of these companies offer their music in a specific bitrate and length. If you are taken to court, simply provide the music service you downloaded something from. That music service will get a subpoena to prove you are their customer (they should have your credit card information). They should be able to tell the police when and what you have downloaded, and match the file in size and length.

If you have mp3 of a foreign CD, then you ripped the CD, which again, is illegal…even if you own the CD. Legally speaking, a copy of a copyrighted CD’s content is illegal unless given permission by the copyright owner.

So quit thinking that these “backup” copies simply need proof of ownership. They don’t. They need to not exist!

Also, if you are really fearful of the legal ramifications of having these mp3s on your computer, it might be a good idea to save them on a disc or portable device instead of your computer.


#5

Allofmp3.com IS one of the biggest sites you can download from right now. It is admittedly a bit of a legal grey area, but as far as global market share goes, it’s one of the biggest. And growing.