Cd Or Dvd Replication When Is It Legal

If you ‘ve ever offered a bite of your fabulous dessert to a friend or clipped a newspaper article for a co-worker to read, you ‘ve shared something that you enjoyed. Wanting to share a positive experience with others is natural.

Your urge to share, though, doesn ‘t always sit well with the entrepreneurs who make their living producing the goods that you ‘re planning to share with others free of charge.

Nothing drove the point home as emphatically as the abrupt shutdown of the file-sharing network Napster in 2001. Consumers are now aware that the practice of sharing digital media might be illegal.

Most new computers are equipped with CD or DVD burners, and consumers can legally purchase blank CDs and DVDs at local retailers. No wonder we ‘re asking, “When is it legal to use these items to make copies of music and movies? ” The answers vary according to the media you ‘re copying and what you intend to do with them.

Replication vs. Duplication

You can copy CDs and DVDs in two ways: replication and duplication.

CD or DVD replication is the method that professional companies use to create large volumes of the same disc using a “glass master ” as a stamp. This method creates thousands of discs at a very low cost, and also feature high quality silk-screen labels for a professional look. Many companies perform this service.

CD or DVD duplication is the method of “burning ” discs by using the hardware and software installed in your computer. You purchase blank discs and use your computer or specialty hardware to copy music, data or video directly onto the existing surface. Labels are typically homemade ink-jet designs or discs are simply labeled with a marker.

For duplication, you must purchase the correct type of blank disc. Generally speaking, CD-R, DVD-R or DVD R discs are one-time use discs that cannot be erased and reused, and are most universally readable in CD and DVD players outside of your computer.

Read/write discs are reusable: CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD RW, DVD-RAM and other types of discs are used for a variety of different tasks. When duplicating DVDs, choose the type of disc that ‘s compatible with your hardware and is most likely to meet your needs.

When Copying CDs and DVDs is Legal

The legality of copying CDs and DVDs depends on a number of factors, including the media itself and what you do with the copies you make. Following are some specific scenarios of sharing media:

  • DVD Replication/Duplication: If you want to make a backup copy of a DVD for your personal use and you do not share that copy, you ‘re not breaking the law. If you want to make replicas of copyrighted materials, get permission from the owner before doing so. If you plan to use the copies for commercial use or public viewing, you ‘ll have to pay a royalty fee to the owner.
  • Copying Music CDs or Making Mix CDs: If you ‘ve purchased a music CD and you copy its contents onto your computer for personal use, you ‘re within the confines of the law. Some CDs have copy protection that may prohibit duplication, but you can buy software that helps you get around it. You should be aware that overriding copy protection is punishable by prison and fines, if you ‘re charged.
  • File Sharing: While Napster is gone, file sharing networks like Kazaa and Morpheus still exist. You can legally use their programs, but you can ‘t legally trade media files over their networks. If you do trade files, you could be subject to legal action and canceled accounts.

Stay Tuned

The battle around copying and sharing digital media has just begun, and has even started to seep into digital television applications like TiVO and Sonicblue. Be aware that making copies, even for well-intended purposes like showing a historical movie in a classroom is considered illegal.

When new technologies emerge and you ‘re not quite sure of the answer to the “When is it legal? ” question, avoid taking risks and ask before you burn.