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  • Halacha
  • Computers and Internet

CD copying 5

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

24 Kislev 5764
Question
I asked a few questions previously about copying CDs. Thanks for your reply, I’ve a few more questions though. 1. I bought a music CD. It got scratched. My friend has a copy of the same CD (which she bought). Is it ok to make a copy of her cd to replace mine which got scratched? 2. I used to download music from the internet. What should I do with the music I got this way? Should I delete the files? 3. Some of my friends have downloaded movies from the internet. I don’t agree that this is in line with halacha. Can I watch the films they have stolen? I suppose these last two questions are the same, can benefit be derived from a stolen object? Thanks again.
Answer
It is accepted that when someone purchases a CD they can make a copy for convenience's sake- for example so that they need not take it back and forth from home to work. The deciding factor is the intention and the rights of the person who legally sold you the CD. He can't transfer to you rights that he didn't have himself. Also he didn't transfer to you rights that he intended to withhold from you. If your CD was scratched soon after its purchase you can copy it from a friend. This- because you could have legitimately made yourself a backup copy for just this purpose. If it was scratched after the normal life-time of a CD you must purchase another. You must pay for the benefit you receive from material that was downloaded without payment to those who hold the legal rights to the material. Contact agents- companies or dealers- who could have sold you the material and negotiate with them the lowest price for the benefits you have received.
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