Monday, June 8, 2009

Pre-Loaded iPods: Part Two

Dear Rich: If I buy 20 CDs and load those CDs on to an iPod, is it legal for me to sell that preloaded iPod as long as I send the CDs with the iPod to the customer? The short answer to your question is that nobody is certain whether this activity violates the law but if we were a betting blog, we'd bet that you could get away with it. (See this related Dear Rich question.) The RIAA's failure (so far) to attack businesses such as RipDigital or MusicShifter may mean you don't need to worry. (That strategy differs from the movie industry approach.) In any case, the law is not clear. Even if it is considered fair use for you to copy a legitimately purchased CD to an iPod, the law doesn't allow you to exercise somebody else's fair use rights. Speaking of fair use, Jim of, brought to our attention another helpful resource. (Also note that if you must disable any digital rights management software to rip the CD, you would be violating the DMCA.)

P.S. Even though you didn't ask what 20 CDs we wanted on our custom iPod, the Dear Rich staff has proceeded to assemble its list, just in case: