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Here's the scenario: I have some friends that I'd like to share music with via burning a CD for them. However, I respect the legal laws of the music industry and I do not want them to be able to rip the CD that I give them. I would prefer to give them a CD that they can listen to and decide if they would like to buy it by allowing them not to rip it, but rather only be able to play the CD on their computer or in their car.

Is this possible? If not, are there other ways that you can think of to give my friends music without allowing them to rip it?

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Don't worry about it so much, just burn the CD. Better yet, use flash stick or private FTP server (or p2p :)), it's more convenient than CDs, and the choice of medium doesn't really matter once you decided to share the music. – Alexei Averchenko Mar 6 '11 at 17:21
Alexei made an excellent point about the USB/Flash devices, for which one particular use is going to become increasingly popular in the near future since the big automakers are starting to include USB ports in new vehicles for playing MP3s -- this will eventually mean that CDs will no longer be needed to play music in our vehicles, and this will increase demand for yet another legitimate reason (in addition to having backups) to copy the music we legally own. – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 17:34
"I respect the legal laws of the music industry" Duplicating a CD and sharing it is illegal regardless if they rip it or not. – Moab Mar 6 '11 at 17:52
@Moab: No, not necessarily - depends on the jurisdiction. In Germany e.g. it is explicitly allowed to copy stuff for friends (with some restrictions). – sleske Jun 16 '11 at 22:30
@sleske Here in Poland too, to second your point :) – kinokijuf Mar 12 '12 at 18:30
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's not possible.

Even if you do manage to find a way to protect the CD (e.g., by including intentional errors and then using an application to check for those errors before playing the content -- this was tried beyond the point of exhaustion in the 1980s with floppy diskettes on the Commodore 64 for the purposes of copy protection, and every one of those methods was defeated in a variety of ways), people can just fire up a free/open-source application called Audacity ( ) to record whatever music is coming from their speakers.

Notice that Apple's iTunes will play a portion of the songs in their store, but then you have to pay the dollar (less a penny) to get a copy of your own. Apple has taken steps to make sure that music stays on the buyer's computer, but there are a variety of tools to get around even this. Although Apple's efforts appear to have been quite extensive, people still find ways to get around their copy protection.

So, you may wish to include a portion of your songs as a sample, but don't be surprised if your music winds up on some torrents or, Baidu.Com's MP3 search, etc. (at the very least it could be a confirmation that your music is good if people actually want to share it).

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It's reasonable to assume that it is because, in my experience, people who are concerned about protecting music in this manner are almost always creators/producers. – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 16:47
OK - comment removed. – ChrisF Mar 6 '11 at 16:49
I thought your viewpoint was a good one (I disagree with you deleting your comment!). =) – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 16:55

Are you in the United States? Is the music you're burning to CD from another source (like a CD, recording, or performance you didn't create)? Then you're already breaking the law.

If you buy a CD, or download music from the original creator, you do not own the music, only a license to listen to it.

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Can we please add a Badge called "RIAA supporter" to – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 17:06
A black badge? 8) – Alexei Averchenko Mar 6 '11 at 17:27
Ha ha, I just realized that the link provided by "Dour High Arch" is to the RIAA web site. Before clicking on that link, you folks might want to read the RIAA's privacy policy first (in particular, see the last paragraph just before "Terms of Use" near the end that begins with "By using our site you consent to our collection and use of your personal information as described in this policy."): – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 17:28
It's even more sinister when you realize they're using Google Analytics <_< – Alexei Averchenko Mar 6 '11 at 18:09
I think Google has gotten a bad rap sometimes -- remember when they took heck from the public for gMail's privacy policy indicating up-front that they track everything? Well, it turned out that at least some of their competitors were doing the same, but not explaining this until much deeper into the contract where most users aren't usually reading. As much as I dislike all this tracking activity, I do like it when a company is up-front about it. – Randolf Richardson Mar 6 '11 at 18:17

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