New York Penal Law § 275.05: Manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree

Included in New York's criminal code are laws designed to protect the intangible property of others. Among those laws are offenses related to making unauthorized copies of recordings owned by others and then trying to profit from them. A "recording" is defined as a record, disc, tape, audio or video cassette, wire, film, hard drive, flash drive, memory card, or other storage device on which sounds and images can be recorded. In other words, it is a crime to copy another person's recording of music or stage performance and then sell that recording. Under New York Penal Law § 275.05 you have committed the crime of manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree if you do the following:

  1. Knowingly transfer a recording without the consent of its owner, with the intent to sell or rent it for profit,
  2. Knowingly transfer a recording without the consent of its owner, with the intent to use it to promote another product, or
  3. Transport within New York for financial gain a recording that you know was transferred without the consent of its owner.
Example

Everett and Julie were listening to a record that Julie found in her attic. Although the record was over 50 years old it was in excellent condition. After doing a little research Everett discovered that the record was not available on CD or for download. Everett decided to make copies of the record on CD and sell them. If Everett carries out his plan he could be charged with manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree, assuming that he does not obtain the permission of the owner of the music to transfer the recording and sell copies of it.

Related Offenses
  1. Manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.15
  2. Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.25
  3. Failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.35
Defenses

The charge of manufacture of unauthorized recordings requires the prosecutor to prove that you did not have the consent of the owner. If you can show that you did indeed have the consent of the owner of the sound recording, you may be able to successfully challenge this charge. Another defense would be that you made the copy for your own personal use, had no intention of selling copies, and did not sell any copies.

Sentence

As a Class A misdemeanor, if you are convicted of manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree, your sentence may include a jail term of up to a year, a probation term of up to 3 years, a fine, and restitution.

New York Penal Law § 275.05: Manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree

A person is guilty of the manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree when such person:

  1. knowingly, and without the consent of the owner, transfers or causes to be transferred any sound recording, with the intent to rent or sell, or cause to be rented or sold for profit, or used to promote the sale of any product, such article to which such recording was transferred, or
  2. transports within this state, for commercial advantage or private financial gain, a recording, knowing that the sounds have been reproduced or transferred without the consent of the owner; provided, however, that this § shall only apply to sound recordings initially fixed prior to February fifteenth, nineteen hundred seventy-two.
New York Manufacture of Unauthorized Recordings in the Second Degree Lawyer

Even though manufacture of unauthorized recordings in the second degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still important to have experienced representation. If you are convicted you could go to jail for up to a year and be required to pay a substantial fine. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with making or selling unauthorized recordings. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations:

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