I brought home a stack of CDs from the library yesterday to load into my iPod. The library near my house has a pretty descent selection of CDs and DVDs. On top of the stack are albums from Pat Benatar, Jimi Hendrix, and Meat Loaf. These are all tunes from my middle school and high school years. Some of the Hendrix tracks were cut in 1967. I was in my terrible two’s when Hendrix began making a name for himself. Where were you?
Tracks on these discs include Heartbreaker, You Better Run, Treat Me Right from Benatar, Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Castles Made of Sand, by Hendrix, and Meat Loaf’s Two out of Three Ain’t Bad and Paradise by the Dashboard Light.
Meat Loaf is a great performer. Not only is he an amazing singer, he’s played some pretty quirky characters in movies like The Rocky Horror Show and Fight Club.
So here’s a question for you: Is it illegal to borrow media from the library and copy it into iTunes for my listening pleasure? “Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.” That’s what it says on the back of the Hendrix disc, anyway.
I quote Steve Urkel and ask, “Did I do that?”
Back when Benatar and Meat Loaf were still popular, my buddy Steve Parker and I used to tape each other’s albums on cassette. We’d make compilation cassettes of just guitar solos and drum solos from live albums (Peter Criss’ solo during God of Thunder on Kiss Alive II was the favorite). From the money we earned from mowing lawns, running paper routes, and washing cars, Parker and I split the cost of albums and blank cassettes and taped all the new stuff that came out. We thought we were earning our way. We didn’t think we were doing something illegal.
I never even knew that it was against the law to record an album and give the tape away until I started going to church. Buck and Dottie Rambo were featured music guests singing their down home country style of gospel. As they made the pitch to sell their music to continue blessing ourselves and possibly our friends, they reminded all of us that it was not “Christian” to make recordings of the merchandise we buy. If we want to bless our friends, the artist should share in the blessing, too.
That was news to me.
I thought to myself, Is there another reason to own a cassette recorder?