New York Penal Law § 275.25: Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree

Piracy of sound and visual performances has been a problem in New York for decades. It is not uncommon to see vendors on the streets of New York trying to sell CDs and DVDs of performances by popular artists that were recorded or copied illegally. Such illegally recorded performances are not only sold by street vendors but also by traditional brick and mortar stores. However, it is illegal to sell such recordings. If you do so, you could be charged with a crime. Under New York Penal Law § 275.25 you have committed the crime of advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree if you knowingly advertise, sell, rent or offer for sale or rent, or possess a recording that has been produced or transferred without the consent of the owner.

This statute only applies to recordings initially fixed prior to February 15, 1972. As used in this statute, the term "fixed" means sounds that has been permanently embodied in a recording under the authority of the author in a manner so that it can be listened to, viewed or recording in the future.

Example

Halle and Holly are best friends. They enjoy listening to music together. Halle allowed Holly to borrow several of her CDs. Holly copied them and returned the originals to Halle. Holly could not be prosecuted for advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings as long as she uses the copies for her own personal enjoyment.

Related Offenses
  1. Manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.15
  2. Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.33
  3. Failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.35
Defenses

This statute does not apply if you possess the recording for your own personal use. It also does not apply if you are a broadcaster and you have the recording for purposes of a broadcast transmission or for archival preservation.

Sentence

Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. This means that if you are convicted 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 § 275.25: Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree

A person is guilty of the advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree when such person knowingly advertises, offers for sale, resale, or rental, or sells, resells, rents, distributes or possesses for any such purposes, any recording that has been produced 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 Advertisement or Sale of Unauthorized Recordings in the Second Degree Lawyer

Even though advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings 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:

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)