Hi, guys —
One of the bosses here in the company came
to visit us one day. He has a huge collection
of music files that have been converted to
mp3 files. He told us to upload them to one
of the hard drives so we could listen to them
while we work. He said we could do anything
I transferred some of the music files I like
to my hard drive so I could listen to them
with my headphone. Not everybody likes the
same kind of music.
- Is it okay to use these music files for
- Is it okay to transfer them to my hard
drive at home for personal use?
it okay to use these music files and transfer them to my hard
drive at home for personal use? }
Hi, June —
No; this amounts to theft.
Making copies of music for the purpose
of avoiding paying proper licensing
for it, in such a way that both giver
and receiver continue to listen to
the music, is a form of theft and
hence is wrong.
You are depriving the artists of
compensation for their work. What
your boss is doing is also highly
If the boss paid for his original
music files, then he can put them
on the office computer for people
to listen to.
I might agree with you, Mary Ann, if he made the songs available just
for listening to them, but it sounded
like he invited them to do
anything with them, including,
presumably, make their own copies.
Even allowing a number of people
to listen to his music has licensing
implications, which I'd argue has
potential moral implications.
Dear Eric and Mary Ann,
- So the way I understand this is,
if my boss paid for the original
music copies then people can listen
to these songs from the office computer
provided they do not make any copies
of these music files, right?
Thank you for your response.
Hi, June —
I was a bit inconsistent in my answer,
sorry for the confusion.
It would be definitely wrong if your
boss intended to make these files
available for everyone to download,
or for you to download, with the
intent of keeping them to listen
to or allowing you to transfer these
files to home.
It would be a gray area, at best,
for him to make them available for
people to listen to. While I'm not
sure I can say it's unquestionably
legitimate, I'm also not sure I would
lose sleep over merely listening
to them, but unless your office is
small, I don't think it's entirely
legal for your boss to make them
available to merely listen to.
That's a legal question.