Digital Music in the Home

Music, amongst other media has been progressing to all digital - which is to say CDs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Moving from discs to digital format makes way for clutter free living environments – a huge benefit in itself for many of us. Burning CDs, backing up your music to a computer or even cloud-based service isn’t terribly complicated since the files are already digital. What you have to watch out for is the legal caveats involved in backing up your music, as well as the quality of your backup being good enough.

Under the doctrine of fair use, making a copy of your own CDs using CD burning software doesn’t necessarily violate copyright laws. What does violate these laws is distributing these copies or using them commercially. If you try to resell your copied media, you may find yourself in a dire legal situation. While it’s unlikely you’ll be taken to court for selling your CDs and keeping the backups on your computer, it is illegal. It’s always a safe bet to delete any digital copies you made before you contemplate selling physical copies of your media.

Music CDs are legal to copy simply because they don’t have any copy protections in place. Movies do on the other hand, which is why copying movies is illegal. If you’re simply backing up music CDs you own, which you still intend on keeping, then you are well within your right legally to do so. However, if you purchase music CD, burn the music and then return the CD, which is crossing the proverbial legal line.