Audials and Copyright

 

The Copyright Law of the United States (title 17) regulates important aspects regarding recording of audio and video content. Please understand that the information provided on this page do not refer to other countries, and that any information presented here is given without any warranty.

Music recording in general

In general, the US copyright law allows digital music recording

 

Chapter 10: Digital Audio Recording Devices and Media 1008. Prohibition on certain infringement actions

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.
https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap10.html#1008

Circumvention of effective copy protection (DMCA)

The US copyright law regulates clearly, that copy protection shall not be circumvented:

 

Chapter 12: Copyright Protection and Management Systems 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems

(a) Violations Regarding Circumvention of Technological Measures.
(1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html

Audials follows this regulation.

 

Radio and music streaming: No effective copy protection

The radio and music streams audials is able to record are not protected by effective copy-protection measures.
Audials just records the unencrypted signal which is outputted to the system sound device.

 

Video streaming and copy protection: DRM security levels
Video streams are frequently protected by DRM systems such as widevine. This DRM protects against

  • Direct download of original video files (which Audials therefore does not support)
  • Recording in very high screen resolutions (which Audials therefore does not support)

With Audials, you can only record video streaming in screen resolutions which are not protected by effective DRM systems against recording. Therefore, Audials does not circumvent copy protection.
The maximum screen resolution is defined by the provider of video streaming.

 

Usually, this is done by utilizing so called „DRM security levels“.

 

For example, some video streaming service may implement such DRM security levels so that

  • In certain environments, like a web browser, video streams are played in a lower „security level“ which doesn’t prevent recording, but only in a maximum resolution of e.g. 720p

=> Audials could record this stream, as the environment allows it to access the unencrypted video data

  • In another environment as e.g. in an own app, which provides a higher „security level“, the same stream may be playable even in 1080p resolution.

This higher „security level“ can technically be implemented if e.g. the video stream is sent to the monitor in an encrypted way, effectively preventing any recording.
=> This stream could not be recorded by audials

 

Luckily, most video streaming providers send streams in sufficient high resolutions without effective prevention of recording.

Fair use, and providers‘ terms and conditions

Fair use
The copyright Law permits certain recordings as not infringing with copyright law:

 

Chapter 1: Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

Please be aware, that this fair use is quite limited in scope.

Provider’s terms and conditions

When subscribing to commercial music- and video streaming services, you may have agreed to terms and conditions, which restrict your rights to record music or videos. Please make sure you carefully check such terms and conditions, before using Audials software to record such media.
Audials shall not be liable if you violate such regulations which you have agreed to.