New York Penal Law § 275.30: Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree

It is against the law to profit from the sound or visual recordings of another person. For example, if you go a concert, secretly record it, and then sell copies of that recording without the permission of the performer, you would have committed a crime. Under New York Penal Law § 275.30 you have committed the crime of advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first 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, and:

  1. You have been previously convicted of this crime within the past 5 years, or
  2. The commission of this crime involves at least 1000 unauthorized sound recordings or at least 100 unauthorized audiovisual recordings.

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

Kristina collects vintage vinyl records. She enjoys listening to music from the 40s and 50s, particularly jazz. She also has a business in which sells old recordings that she buys at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. She also copies some of the recordings she collects and sells the copies. Kristina could be prosecuted for advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree if she has sold more than 1000 sound recordings.

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. Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.33
  4. Failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.35
Defenses

An important defense to a charge of advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings if you have such recordings because are a broadcaster and you need them for a broadcast transmission or for archival preservation.

Sentence

Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree is a Class E felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence may include a prison term of up to 4 years, a probation term of 5 years, a fine, and restitution.

New York Penal Law § 275.30: Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree

A person is guilty of the advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree when such person commits the crime of advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree as defined in § 275.25 of this article and either: 1. such person has previously been convicted of that crime within the past five years; or 2. commission of that crime involves at least one thousand unauthorized sound recordings or at least one hundred unauthorized audiovisual recordings.

New York Advertisement or Sale of Unauthorized Recordings in the First Degree Lawyer

If you are charged with advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree you should take the charge seriously and immediately contact experienced representation. If you are convicted you could end up in prison for 4 years. 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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