Forum Question: Music license after importing a CD into iTunes

Dear Gary,

If I have physically a CD and import it into iTunes (MP3 or AAC format), can I get rid of the CD forever? Am I legally allowed to listen to the music if I don’t have the physical CD anymore? How the license for these musics works?

— Fernando Shayani

Comments: 4 Responses to “Music license after importing a CD into iTunes”

    5/10/10 @ 1:04 pm

    That’s a very specific question, and I wish I had an answer for you. Probably something you should ask a lawyer. Thought I suspect different lawyers will have different answers.

    Mike H
    5/10/10 @ 1:12 pm

    The answer, I’m afraid is “it depends”, but more than likely is “no, you can’t”.

    It depends mostly on which country you live in. I’m going to write based on my knowledge of UK law.

    The law is quite clear: you’re NOT allowed to copy a CD, either digitally or physically, and then sell the original CD. It’s been interpreted that you’re not even allowed to GIVE the original away. The basis is that you no longer own the originally purchased content, so therefore cannot legally own any derivatives thereof.

    The whole problem is complicated depending on exactly what you mean by “get rid of”. If it’s “sell” then definitely not. If it’s “bin” then one would have to ask “why?”

    In summary, your safest option is to assume it’s ok to own a digital copy if you’ve still got the physical CD somewhere in your possession.

      Fernando Shayani
      5/12/10 @ 1:16 pm

      Thanks Mike for the answer.

      My “get rid of”, in that case, is to give away, bin, etc. My intention is not to have a shelf full of CDs anymore (takes a lot os physical space in my house).

      Thanks!

        5/12/10 @ 1:25 pm

        You might want to consider ditching the case and getting one of the CD book cases. They can hold 200 or more CDs in the space of a large textbook.

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