I know that reproduction is, generally, illegal.

However, if you don't buy the music and try to share the (encrypted) files, they don't play if one doesn't use the Amazon Music app.

Buying the music and downloading it produces files that play on any device.

So, is it legal to take the music and

  1. make a CD with the songs?
  2. copy them across all my devices?
  3. copy them to the devices of my family?
  4. copy them to the devices of my friends?


  • This depends on jurisdiction. Switzerland is far more lenient than the USA. It some jurisdictions it also depends on the definition of "friend". Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 16:06
  • I'm living in Germany and we're using Amazon.de.
    – none
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 16:18
  • "Bought" is the wrong word, it is licensed. Commented May 9, 2020 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


In the US, none of the 4 actions is legal: all copies require permission from the copyright owner. You may encounter public statements from spokespeople representing an organization such as the Recording Industry Association of America which suggests that they are not concerned with making a personal copy, but such statements have no legal authority. "Sharing" with friends and family is plainly against the law.

Other countries may recognise a personal use exception. Sec. 53 of German copyright law allows a person to "make single copies of a work for private use on any medium". The copy has to be made legally, and it can "neither directly nor indirectly serve commercial purposes". Another person can make the copy for you, but they cannot be paid for doing so. You could pick a device for that extra copy, but not all devices.

The EU IP office have a laxer interpretation of German law:

Am I allowed to give a copy of a work protected by copyright to a family member or a friend?

Yes, at least insofar as the private copy is allowed, you are allowed to give a copy of a protected work to a family member or a friend with whom you have personal ties (but not to anyone else, even if called a ‘friend’, for example in the context of social media such as Facebook).

They provide no analysis of how this would be legal. The Berne Convention Article 9(2) allows exceptional legislation, but does not state that sharing with friends is automatically allowed. There seems to be no specific legislation in Germany other than article 53 of German copyright law.

  • "They provide no analysis of how this would be legal." The Berne Convention allows exceptions and limitations to the right of reproduction as outlined in in Article 9(2). Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 16:41
  • @user6726 So I am allowed to copy the music and give it to my family.
    – none
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 17:24
  • @DeBedenHasen Depending on who you call your family.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 22:09

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