It’s that time of year!
According to the RIAA website: “There’s no legal
“right” to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However,
burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer
hard drive or your portable music player, won’t usually raise concerns so long
as the copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own
and the copy is just for your personal use. It’s not a personal use – in fact,
it’s illegal – to give away the copy or lend it to others for copying.”
The reason I bring this up is I recently stumbled onto a site
that copies your CDs into digital files and then offers the option of selling
your CDs for you. I have a hard time believing that this doesn’t violate
Basically, the way I interpret the current US law is that you
can copy any CD you OWN, but the second you no longer own the CD, you no longer
have the right to have a copy in your possession and your copies must be
destroyed as they are now illegal. So, if you sell a CD, or if a third party
such as this copy website, sells your CD the digital files generated by that CD
are only the legitimate property of the NEW owner of the CD, which ain’t you.
You might wonder why I’m not posting a link to this site. The
reason is simple – I do not condone illegal copying.
So, what should you do with all those CDs that are already
ripped into your computer music library, that taking up valuable space in your
If you are tight on space and sure that you will never again listen
to the physical CD you have few legal options. The law, as interpreted by RIAA
and the courts, requires that for computer use you must have possession and
ownership of the CD. The simple solution is to put all your CDs into boxes and
then into storage.
But if you live in an apartment in a city you may not have any
additional storage space to park your fallow CDs, what then? The best solution
I’ve come up with is the “CD cube system.” It requires quite a bit of
superglue, but the final result will be a set of cubes made entirely of CDs
that you can stack to make into a table or a bench (with a nice cushion on
Stupid? You bet…but at least it’s legal.