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August 8, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Youth Law

Can I download music off the internet?

Only if you pay for it. It is illegal to download music from websites or using file sharing software like Kazaa and Limewire. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act repeals Section 92A of the Copyright Act and means that from 1 September, people that are believed to be downloading copyright-protected material will be given three warnings before action is taken, including a potential fine of up to $15,000.

But I’ve been downloading music off the internet for years?

For the most part, downloading music from the internet has always been illegal; however, copyright owners have lacked the ability to enforce this. Earlier this year a new law was enacted which enables copyright owners to approach your Internet Service Provider if they think you have been illegally downloading their material. Your Internet provider will give you three warnings before the music owner can take you to the copyright tribunal.

What if their website says that it’s legal?

For websites such as Kazaa and Limewire, the service and software provided by them is legal. All they are doing is providing an avenue for music to be downloaded. However, the actual downloading of music using these services is illegal. If you sign up to a website to pay a small monthly fee, this could still involve illegal downloading if the money does not get passed on to the music artist as royalties for their music. To ensure you are downloading music legally, use legitimate sources such as iTunes, where you pay per song or album that you download.

Can I make copies of albums I own?

You are allowed to make one copy for each device that the music is copied to. For example, you can only make one CD, and an album can only be copied onto any computer once. These individual copies are only allowed for your personal use and cannot be sold or lent to anyone else.

What about DVDs?

It is illegal to copy DVDs in any shape or form unless you have been given permission by the owner of the material.

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Comments (4)

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  1. David Miller says:

    I enjoy classical music. Many people put clips of well known pieces on Youtube. How can I determine whether these are copyrighted or not? Presumably the law covers conversions of videos to mp3 audio only?

  2. Michi says:

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  3. Electrum Greenstone says:

    ” O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
    Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,
    und freudenvollere “

  4. Electrum Greenstone says:

    Frodo! Frodo!

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