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Myths about Music and the Internet

If I upload music from a CD that I own, I'm not violating copyright law.

FALSE: Just because you own the CD doesn't mean you "own the music". You can't put music on the Internet without permission from the copyright owners of the sound recording and the musical composition.

If I don't charge people for downloading music from my site it's not a violation of the law.

FALSE: If you don't hold the copyright, you can't authorize downloads of sound recordings even if you don't charge a fee.

If I just download sound recordings, it's not a violation.

FALSE: It's a violation if you upload or download full-length sound recordings without permission of the copyright owners. You should assume other people's works are copyrighted and can't be copied unless you know otherwise.

The "fair-use" exemption protects me.

THAT DEPENDS. Some uses may be "fair", but uploading and downloading full length recordings without permission almost certainly is not "fair-use"

If a Web site doesn't display a copyright notice for the music, the music is not copyrighted

FALSE: In the U.S. almost every work created privately and originally after March 1, 1989, is copyrighted and protected whether or not it has a notice.

An MP3 site is legal as long as you put a disclaimer on it.

FALSE. It doesn't matter how many disclaimers you put on an MP3 site. If you operate an unlicensed MP3 site, you are violating copyright law.

Uploading music on the Internet doesn't hurt anybody. In fact, it's promotional and free advertising.

FALSE: Its up to the artist and copyright owner to decide how their music will be heard, distributed and promoted. Furthermore, about 15 percent of record sales support all new and emerging artists who are being recorded. Fewer sales mean less money for new music, and to a emerging artist, every new sale counts.