New York Penal Law § 275.35: Failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree

Included in New York's criminal code are laws designed to protect the intangible property of others. Some of these laws are aimed at reducing the amount of piracy that occurs in New York. Piracy is the recording or copying of a sound or visual performance without the permission of the owner, and using such recording for commercial purposes. Among those laws are offenses related to failing to include on the label of a recording the name of the artist or performer and the name of the manufacturer of the recording. 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. Under New York Penal Law § 275.35 you have committed the failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree if you knowingly offer for sale or rental a recording where the box or jacket does not clearly disclose the name of the manufacturer or the performer.

Example

Recording executive Harold Stone approved the cover art for a new CD. Thousands of cover jackets were printed based on Stone's approval. However, after the CDs were distributed to retailers for resale, it came to the attention of Stone that the cover art did not have name of the manufacturer. As soon as Stone discovered the error he ordered that new CD cover art be printed and the immediate return of the CDs with the wrong art. In this example, no one should be charged with failure to disclose the origin of a recording because the information about the manufacturer was left off the label by mistake. There was no intent to leave off the required information.

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
Defenses

In order to successfully prosecute you for a charge of failure to disclose the origin of a recording, the prosecutor must prove that you knowingly failed to include such required information. If the information was omitted by mistake, or if you did not realize that the required information was omitted then you may have a valid defense to the charge.

Sentence

As a Class A misdemeanor, if you are convicted of failure to disclose origin of a recording 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 § 275.35: Failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree

A person is guilty of failure to disclose the origin of a recording in the second degree when, for commercial advantage or private financial gain, he knowingly advertises or offers for sale, resale, or rental, or sells, resells, or rents, or possesses for such purposes, a recording the cover, box, jacket or label does not clearly and conspicuously disclose the actual name and address of the manufacturer or the name of the performer or principal artist. The omission of the actual name and address of the manufacturer, or the omission of the name of the performer or principal artist, or the omission of both, shall constitute the failure to disclose the origin of a recording.

New York Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording in the Second Degree Lawyer

Even though failure to disclose the original of a recording 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 piracy and making or selling illegal 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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