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Chapter 2. Preparing Yourself > Brief General Overview of Online Music Legal Is...

Brief General Overview of Online Music Legal Issues

Up until the early 1990s, the U.S Government took a hands-off approach to the Internet and its uses. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998, has attempted to address copyright issues relating to use of music on the Web. As of this writing, recent changes show some hint of relaxing the stranglehold that the music business is attempting to enforce over online use of copyrighted music. This is important because it means people who want to create online radio stations using others’ music now have a simple way to get permission to do so.

If you aren’t interested in educating yourself about this hot big money topic, that’s fine. But do remember that when it comes to creating streaming audio files online, the simple and safe approach works best. If you own the rights, you can do whatever you want with your audio. If you use audio from another source—a source to which you don’t own the rights—you are bound by local copyright law. Like all laws, you are responsible for toeing the line. Ignorance is no excuse! Turn to the Appendix for resources that provide more in-depth information about how those laws work.


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