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#1 shifpifer1

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:41 PM

people probably ask this shaalah all the time but should i pay for cd's i took from others to put on my iPod? they are all jewish artists.

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:05 AM

The Halachah is, it depends. You're going to need to be ruthlessly honest with yourself to answer this question but you need to if you want to know the Halachah here:

If you would not have been able to get those songs for free, would you have paid for them?

If you would pay for a song and instead copy it in order to save yourself the money, you are not allowed to do that. But if you anyway never would have paid for those songs because you don't want them enough to pay the price for them, if that is the case, you are allowed to copy them.

The reason for this is, you did not steal anything from anyone if you did not cause them any loss. And you did not damage anyone's property if you did not cause them any loss.

And so, if your copying the CD or the song results in a loss to the owner, you may nto do it. But if the owner loses nothing by your action, then you do not violate any Halachah.

#3 taon

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:16 PM

If I own the cd, can I transfer it to my ipod? Should i destroy the cd if i do?

#4 shifpifer1

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:22 PM

actually its two issues
1) i used to take music that would be lying around the lounge and take it home and put it on my ipod and now i think i should delete all the musIc and buy what i put on my computer

2) its like i have a friend and she borrows cds from me all the time and i all of the sudden i dont feel good about lending her cds cuz i feel like "hey, buy your own music," is that greedy?

#5 smillingirl

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:40 AM

I don't see why you cant transfer music that you purchased to your ipod, if you own the music you don't need to destroy the cd, there are other people in your houshold that may want it, or one day you may not have your ipod, but you will have the cd, or you may want to put it on for others to hear which you can't do on an ipod. I am always ripping cds on oi my computer, then saving the cd.

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 11:05 PM

If I own the cd, can I transfer it to my ipod? Should i destroy the cd if i do?

If copying the CD onto the ipod was not possible, would you have purchased another copy of the music for your ipod?

If the answer is yes, you may not copy the music onto your ipod.

If the answer is no, you may copy the music onto your ipod.

#7 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 11:11 PM

actually its two issues
1) i used to take music that would be lying around the lounge and take it home and put it on my ipod and now i think i should delete all the musIc and buy what i put on my computer

2) its like i have a friend and she borrows cds from me all the time and i all of the sudden i dont feel good about lending her cds cuz i feel like "hey, buy your own music," is that greedy?

1) See what I wrote to taon above.
2) Yes, it is greedy. If she would not buy her own CDs even if yours would not be available for borrowing then it is for sure greedy. If she would really have bought her own CDs but instead figured she can save money by borrowing yours, then I understand that you feel you are being taken advantage of. You pay for the music and she gets to hear it for free. I get it. But consider: You are getting a big MItzvah of Chesed by lending her those CDs, and it is not costing you a thing, because you bought those CDs for yourself, and would have done so regardless of her borrowing them. So she is not costing you anything. Look at her behavior as a gift Hashem sent your way to gain many MItzvos of Chesed without it having to cost you anything. You may feel differently about it with that perspective.

#8 shaya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 02:36 AM

whats with the תנאי that the musician is selling under? i guess we"re going into hilchos תנאי, but is there a halacha what תנאי is valid and which isnt?
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#9 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:43 AM

whats with the תנאי that the musician is selling under? i guess we"re going into hilchos תנאי, but is there a halacha what תנאי is valid and which isnt?

First, a תנאי is a condition in the sale. Meaning, the validity of the transaction depends on the fulfillment of the Tenai. If you sell me something on a Tenai that I do something and I break the Tenai, the sale is retroactively nullified. It's like the sale never happened. Meaning: I have to give you your CD back and you have to give me my money back! It is as if I never bought the thing, since the purchase was conditional on an unfulfilled condition. No fulfillment of condition = no sale.

No sale = I am entitled to my money back and you get your CD back.

Do you think that was the agreement? If I go back to the salesman and tell him I made a copy of the CD so the sale is retroactively null and so I want my money back and here is your CD (and I'll pay you for the slight damage done to it while I was using it) - do you think he will agree that was the deal?

He won't. I asked some of the music people. They don't intend to honor any Tenaim.

So the vendor doesn't agree to the Tenai - else he'd take back the CD and refund money if I break the Tenai - nor does the customer, and if they both did agree to the Tenai, like I said, the vendor would have to refund the money to the customer upon his breaking of the Tenai.

Such a tenai that nobody really agreed to, nobdy really wants, and nobody really made, is not valid as a binding condition.

That leaves us with the problem of יורד לתוך אומנתו של חבירו which means you cannot diminish from his Parnasa. By copying a CD instead of buying one, you caused him a loss of revenue. That you should not do. But if you do not cause him any loss of revenue, you are doing nothing wrong.

#10 much2learn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:31 PM

Rabbi, does the concept of יורד לתוך אומנתו של חבירו apply regardless of whether it is a super well known (read: VERY WEALTHY) artist, or one getting started? Is it the same idea either way, like taking from the parnasa of let's say, a Shweckey vs a boy straight out of Yeshiva with his own CD?

#11 miamigirl

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

1. If two people bought a cd together would they be allowed to make a copy so they each have and then be careful to not listen at the same time so it would be like they were taking turns with the cd?

2. If I own a cd and misplace it in my house would I be allowed to make a copy of it from a friend who also owns the cd?

#12 shaya

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

1) imagine he sells one cd to one person in a village, and the other villagers will not buy it but they all make copies, im sure the vendor will go to the buyer and tell him give me my cd back and here is your money.
2) is it a valid tenai to begin with? it seems you say no, i dont understand why not, he surely says i am selling it to you bitnai....
3) even if he doesnt have any loss of money isnt it atleast שואל שלא מדעת
4) what if the seller would tell you, yes il give you back your money if you copy it whats the din then?
5) what if somebody sells me anything with a tenai but im not accepting the tenai isnt it a mekach taos?
6) what situation can be that some1 will say "i wont ever buy this cd" and by that not loose any money to the seller, well why then does he need a copy? if it is that he doesnt have any money or any other obstacle, well maybe tomorrow this obstacle wont be here any more.
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#13 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

1. If two people bought a cd together would they be allowed to make a copy so they each have and then be careful to not listen at the same time so it would be like they were taking turns with the cd?

2. If I own a cd and misplace it in my house would I be allowed to make a copy of it from a friend who also owns the cd?

1. If copying the CD would not have been possible, would they have bought another one so that they could both listen when they want or would they make do with the one CD?

If they would have purchased another one they cannot make a copy. If they would not have purchased another one, they may.

2. Same answer. If copying it would not be possible, would you have bought another one or would you have just done without your CD? If you would have bought another one then by copying it you caused the CD maker to lose that sale. If you would have not bought another one anyway, you may make a copy because copying it does not affect the CD owner at all.

#14 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

1) imagine he sells one cd to one person in a village, and the other villagers will not buy it but they all make copies, im sure the vendor will go to the buyer and tell him give me my cd back and here is your money.
2) is it a valid tenai to begin with? it seems you say no, i dont understand why not, he surely says i am selling it to you bitnai....
3) even if he doesnt have any loss of money isnt it atleast שואל שלא מדעת
4) what if the seller would tell you, yes il give you back your money if you copy it whats the din then?
5) what if somebody sells me anything with a tenai but im not accepting the tenai isnt it a mekach taos?
6) what situation can be that some1 will say "i wont ever buy this cd" and by that not loose any money to the seller, well why then does he need a copy? if it is that he doesnt have any money or any other obstacle, well maybe tomorrow this obstacle wont be here any more.

1. He has no legal or Halachic right to do that. All conditions have to be made at the time of sale. There was no such תנאי at the time of sale and so the seller has no right to ask for his CD back. If someone wants, they can make any condition they want at the time of sale. They can say "I am only selling this to you on the condition that 154 people do not make copies," or he can say "I am only selling this to you on the condition that you put it in the refrigerator." If both seller and buyer agree on the condition at the time of the transaction, it is binding. But when I buy a CD from the store, no such mutually agreed upon condition was made and so the sale is unconditional.

2. If you ask the seller, "OK, I plan on copying this and then bringing in the CD for a refund. Do you agree?" He will say no. That means he does not want a תנאי. He can't talk out of two sides of his mouth.

3. No, it is not. שואל שלא מדעת is only when I take your personal property. That is not the case here. I bought the CD. I own it. I did not touch and certainly did not take anything that you own. I can do whatever I want with it - it's mine. It is not the same as when I take your thing that I did not pay for. You have the right to tell me not to take something that you own; but you have no right to tell me what I can or cannot do what what I own. And I own that CD.

And besides (this is not really a "besides" - the following is merely an effect of the above), when I take something of yours without permission you are deprived of it for the duration. Copying a CD that I never would have purchased does not affect the seller in the slightest. He does not suffer at all.

4. Then it is up to you to decide if you want it, but such an agreement must be made by the seller AND the buyer at the time of the sale.

5. No. You can't sell me something with a תנאי unless I agree to the תנאי. If I didn't agree to the condition, then there cannot be any condition; if I did agree to it, then it cannot be a מקח טעות. It is not possible for me to buy something on condition without knowing - and agreeing - that I am buying it on condition.

6. Lots of possible reasons. But usually for convenience. Like where someone owns a CD and he wants to make a copy for his car. He may not consider the convenience of having the CD available in his car worth another ten dollars or whatever CDs cost nowadays, so he would never buy two just to keep one in his car. In such a case, he may copy the CD.

#15 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:25 PM

Rabbi, does the concept of יורד לתוך אומנתו של חבירו apply regardless of whether it is a super well known (read: VERY WEALTHY) artist, or one getting started? Is it the same idea either way, like taking from the parnasa of let's say, a Shweckey vs a boy straight out of Yeshiva with his own CD?

No difference. It applies in all cases.

#16 Menorah

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:02 PM

Some of the new CD's have a statement on the package that it is not being sold to you but rather "rented" to you. And that any sort of copying is geneiva. Does this change your above point bout copying something you would never have otherwise bought?

#17 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:39 PM

Some of the new CD's have a statement on the package that it is not being sold to you but rather "rented" to you. And that any sort of copying is geneiva. Does this change your above point bout copying something you would never have otherwise bought?

It's a good try but it's just a fiction and therefore does not help. They can write "rent" all they want but rent means a possession (of sorts) for a certain amount of time. Is that what is really mean there? Do they really believe that if I am negligent with that tape and it gets stolen or broken for example that I am liable to the owner? Neither the seller nor the buyer really mean to rent this tape and that's what matters, regardless of what it says on the tape.

#18 mamash

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:53 PM

Do we consider dina d'malchusa here? If I copy a CD and it doesn't violate halacha due to the reasons mentioned above, but the dina d'malchusa would say such a copying is illegal, is it still permissible to copy the CD?

#19 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

Do we consider dina d'malchusa here? If I copy a CD and it doesn't violate halacha due to the reasons mentioned above, but the dina d'malchusa would say such a copying is illegal, is it still permissible to copy the CD?

As far as Dina D'Malchusa, it is not that simple that copying a CD in a Halachicly permissible manner, that is, for personal, non-commercial use, is prohibited, especially if you are the owner of the CD. Different IP lawyers have given me different opinions, and when I did a LexisNexis search it merely confirmed the lack of clarity, though it does seem that there is something of a discrepency between the laws "on the books" versus the actual enforcement of the law and common custom. Here's one sample opinion, which you can see on the internet. Follow the link below for the full discussion.

1. “Ripping” songs from CD - I have purchased to copy the songs so that I can play them on my iPod, computer(s), PDAs, and other devices.... I feel reasonably comfortable about ripping a song into iTunes and putting it onto an iPod, but I must admit that my comfort comes from the fact that “ripping” is a feature of the software and that Apple and the recording industry seem to have come to an accommodation on this issue. I’m not sure that I would have the same level of comfort if I only looked at the statutes and case law. When someone starts to have a half dozen or more copies of the same song file on various drives and devices, probably in a variety of file formats, I start to wonder whether you reach a point where it can be argued that having “too many” copies can expose you to liability.

That was from here.

Consult your own legal authority on this.

But in any case, following the Dina D'malchusa in this case is a chumra, because besides for the above, many Poskim hold that Dina Demalchusa applies only to laws that govern the relationship between you and the government (such as taxes etc), but for regular Bain Adam Lechaveiro tort laws we follow Choshen Mishpat, not Dina D'malchusa.

#20 Menorah

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:00 PM

It's a good try but it's just a fiction and therefore does not help. They can write "rent" all they want but rent means a possession (of sorts) for a certain amount of time. Is that what is really mean there? Do they really believe that if I am negligent with that tape and it gets stolen or broken for example that I am liable to the owner? Neither the seller nor the buyer really mean to rent this tape and that's what matters, regardless of what it says on the tape.


Rav Shapiro,

The loshon printed on the outside of the CD states:

“This CD is being perpetually leased, not sold, to the consumer by the producer, and is subject to the terms thereof. Any breach in the leasing agreement is forbidden and punishable by law. The producer permits full usage of the CD, except actions that facilitate copying it for others. Additionally, the producer absolves the consumer of any damages inflicted to the actual CD. Any misuse of this CD to facilitate copying is bona fide theft according to halacha and civil law in the view of all preeminent poskim.”

Rabbi Elli Bohm, of Halacha Berurah Publications, says Rav Belsky shlita reviewed and approved the above text. He also says he discussed the leasing agreement (among other things) with Rav Elyashev shlita, and Rav Elyashev agreed with the concept.