The case studies in this chapter provide just a few examples of situations in which copyright laws come into play. If you plan to copy, broadcast, or play copyrighted music in public, keep the following laws in mind.
The U.S. Copyright Act states that song owners have the exclusive right to copy and distribute their music. They may permit copying and distribution, but they are entitled to royalties for that permission. This law limits the public performance and broadcasting of copyrighted music by consumers, professional DJs, and businesses.
The First Sale Doctrine, which is part of the U.S. Copyright Act, states that anyone who purchases a recording may sell or otherwise dispose of it. However, the seller may not keep, sell, or give away any other copies. In other words, if only one copy of a recording was purchased, then only one person should possess the original and any copies.
The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 lets consumers record music for private, noncommercial use. If you play or distribute copyrighted music for profit, you must obtain permission, in the form of licensing, from the copyright owner or the owner’s agent.
The No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 amends the U.S. Copyright Act to define “financial gain” to include the receipt of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.