New York Penal Law § 275.15: Manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree

Piracy of sound and visual performances has been a problem in New York for decades. Vendors often sell illegally recorded or copied performances on the street, in stores and online. However, if you sell a recording that was made without the permission of the owner, then you would have committed a crime. Under New York Penal Law § 275.15 you have committed the crime of manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree if:

  1. Without the consent of the performer you knowingly record a performance with the intent to sell or rent it, or
  2. You knowingly possess, transport, or advertise for sale, resale or rent a recording that was made in violation of this §.
Example

Julie bought a CD of new music by an up and coming performer that included music that was illegally recorded during a studio session. Julie knew that the public had not yet heard the recordings on that particular CD as they were not set to be released for another few months. She decided to make some money by making copies and selling them. If Julie sells copies of the illegally recording music she could be prosecuted for manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree because she knows that the recording was obtained without the owner's consent.

Related Offenses
  1. Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.25
  2. Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.33
Defenses

In order to successfully prosecute you for a charge of manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording or a performance the prosecutor must prove that you had knowledge that the recording was made without the consent of the performer. If the performer did consent or if you did not know that the performer did not consent, then you may have a valid defense to the charge.

Sentence

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

New York Penal Law § 275.15: Manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree

A person commits the crime of manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree when he knowingly, and without the consent of the performer, records or fixes or causes to be recorded or fixed on a recording a performance, with the intent to sell or rent or cause to be sold or rented such recording, or with the intent to use such recording to promote the sale of any product; or when he knowingly possesses, transports or advertises, for purposes of sale, resale or rental or sells, resells, rents or offers for rental, sale or resale, any recording that the person knows has been produced in violation of this §.

New York Manufacture or Sale of an Unauthorized recording of a Performance in the Second Degree Lawyer

Even though manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still important to have experienced representation. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes related to the unauthorized recording of a performance and music piracy. 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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