I think it's rude to just download MP3s from the Internet so I buy them from Amazon. But I want to share them with my immediate family. I know that if it was a CD, I could just lend it to them, but lending MP3 doesn't really work (I can't be bothered deleting files every time and copying them back again). Is that allowed to duplicate the files to my brother's smartphone?


No. Reproduction is an exclusive right of the copyright owner. (17 USC §106, Section 3 of the Copyright Act of Canada, Section 16 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 of the UK, etc.)

  • Probably smart to slow down a bit. It's entirely possible that Amazon's digital rights extend to devices other than those owned by the account holder. I know that Apple works this way, anyone who can sync with the iTunes can get the music. These cases are about DRM. If you copy an Amazon song onto a phone and it actually plays, it's likely that you are not violating the license. In other words, try putting the song on the phone; see what happens. – jqning Mar 28 '16 at 2:58
  • The suggestion to reproduce before checking whether you have a licence to reproduce is not prudent advice. – user3851 Mar 28 '16 at 3:15
  • Generally speaking, it's not. But this is Amazon. They have one of the most, if not the most, sophisticated DRM solutions available. I absolutely think it's perfectly defensible to assume that if it plays on a device it's because Amazon enabled it to play on the device. – jqning Mar 28 '16 at 3:44
  • Amazon Music: in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels. Amazon self describes as: "one of the world's largest DRM-free (digital rights management free) digital music stores." – user3851 Mar 28 '16 at 5:19
  • Regardless, let's say you get an mp3 from Amazon without a license to reproduce it. Are you saying that if you reproduce it and it happens to play on some other device, that this means you had license to reproduce it after all? – user3851 Mar 28 '16 at 5:33

Check the exact license terms. I haven't checked Amazon's terms; if I download music from Apple's iTunes store, there is a license that allows me to store this music and play it from several Apple devices - I assume that Apple has negotiated a contract with the record companies so they can offer that license. Amazon may have a similar license. And of course copyright law may or may not give you certain permissions.

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