This question is far to general – and so is my answer: No!
First, this is not about it being on a WordPress powered site, it’s about copyrights. I’m not sure of the laws regarding playing the music, but putting copyrighted music that you do not own up for download in general is illegal no matter how the site is powered.
Previous posters are correct in that this is illegal. However, tens, if not hundreds of thousands of mp3 bloggers out there do precisely that (including me).
Even I am breaking the law. But I do several things in my blog which I believe mitigate copyright violation (though they certainly do not make what I do legal).
First, I always provide an Amazon link to the recording so anyone visiting can buy the recording & thereby enrich the musician. Second, I explicitly state that any copyright holder only needs to tell me they object to their recording being offered at my site & I will take it down. Third, I feature relatively obscure music (some of it no longer available) in the traditional/world music genre. Fourth, I do research on every post I write about the musician & song to provide more in depth education about the music for my readers. Fifth, I try to get permission fr. the musicians if I can contact them to feature their music.
Again, none of this magically transforms my mp3 blog into a legal undertaking. But so far no music copyright holder has objected. And if they did, as I said, I’d gladly remove the offending song.
None of what you do mitigates it according to the RIAA, I assure you.
There are thousands of sites that take the same steps, and they and you are no less “mitigated”. A copyright violation is copyright violation, with or w/o explanations, pre-apologies, etc..
Lastly, I find it funny that you say, “But so far no music copyright holder has objected”. Youre assuming they all know? I’ll hazard a guess that you havent provided the RIAA with an anonymous tip so that THEY can see whether or not THEY object. 😛
“Im sorry, I know this is illegal, but I really dont mean any harm, and email me if you dont like it”
Apply the same logic to any other crime.
sure. that works!
Mind you im not bashing, im just pointing out that your justification, supposed mitigating factors, wouldnt hold water, IF anyone wanted to pursue it.
The correct answer, of course, is that only a qualified lawyer should be advising you as to the law.
The advocacy of the RIAA can only apply in certain circumstances (see http://www.riaa.com/news/filings/default.asp for some of their key cases). First amendment arguments are redundant outside of the U.S., and copyright must be enforced in the country in which there has been an alleged infringement. Anti-suit injunctions, forum non conveniens and multiple enforcement orders do not apply.
Ultimately your question is far too vague to be answered correctly, and even if you do ask the right questions, the answers you receive may not be correct (no offence to anyone – I am by no means expert in copyright law either).
but what about, the mp3 are being hosted in another country, not by me, and i merely attached the link into my mp3 flash player?
“None of what you do mitigates it according to the RIAA”
You’re perfectly right & if you read what I wrote again you’ll see that I state very clearly that I know that what I’m doing won’t necessarily hold any water if someone wanted to haul me before a judge.
Secondly, I definitely do not run my blog or my life in consonance w. RIAA specifications. I detest RIAA. I understand they feel they have a job to do & they do it by their best lights. But their best lights don’t necessarily mean they’re REALLY the best way to conduct themselves or their business.
The things I do are not for the sake of RIAA or a judge. They’re the best form I can think of to honor & remunerate the artist for their music on my site. I don’t make the mistake of thinking that this will absolve me in case someone took me to court. Though I do believe I could make a decent Fair Use claim. I’m not saying a judge would necessarily agree w. me. But what I do satisfies a number of Fair Use provisions.
Offering to remove a copyrighted work on request of the copyright holder surely doesn’t absolve one of liability for a violation. But it shows good faith willingness to stop the violation once notified about it. This is a factor a judge could consider in a defendant’s favor, though he/she wouldn’t necessarily have to.
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