To quote one site (http://www.museekster.com/allofmp3faq.htm):
Strict copyright legislation
Now for the country that may well have the strictest rules on copyrights, the USA. A thread in the Fatwallet forums brings some light in his confusing subject. We will not bother you with all the details. Here is a concise version of the interesting parts:
MP3's, OGG's, etc are not illegal in the USA and therefore can be imported. There is also no law against importing music from other countries (including Russia). Because you are buying this legally in Russia and then importing to the USA, this should be 100% legit. For example, assuming that Russian Vodka is illegal to buy in the USA on Sunday, but you buy the Russian Vodka in Moscow on Sunday, then you import it into the USA, you have done nothing wrong. Again, this assumes that 1) it is illegal to buy Russian Vodka on Sunday in the USA 2) it is legal in Moscow and 3) it is legal to import Russian Vodka.
Title 17 Chapter 6 Sec. 602 of the U.S. Code covers Infringing importation of copies or phonorecords. You can find this title here
Subsection (a) tells us:
Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title, of copies or phonorecords of a work that have been acquired outside the United States is an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under section 106, actionable under section 501.
So it's illegal you may think. But take a close look at sub (a)(2):
This subsection does not apply to importation, for the private use of the importer and not for distribution, by any person with respect to no more than one copy or phonorecord of any one work at any one time, or by any person arriving from outside the United States with respect to copies or phonorecords forming part of such person's personal baggage;
If MP3s, OGGs etc are in fact considered phonorecords, U.S. citizens can legally buy these as long if they are for private use and not for distribution. If MP3s, OGGs etc. are not considered phonorecords, no import laws apply. The sections of digital audio recording and sound recording have no mention of importation.
So in layman's terms the bottom line of this discussion is:
Downloading from Allofmp3 is legal for U.S. Citizens, as long as the files are for private use and not for distribution.
Does this sound right?
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