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Free Mixtape... Possible Legal Troubles?

So I was possibly (a BIG possibly) thinking about releasing a free mixtape prior to wanting to release a EP to get a little fanbase going before I release any music that actually costs money.

Now I keep reading posts about people who don't know what they're talking about and I'm seeing different answers so I figured I would ask on here:

If I used ANY beat (Like anywhere from one of Dre's beats or something that WAS free on soundclick and then someone bought the exclusive rights), this is the point of the questions, would I run into any legal troubles? There would be ZERO profit off of this mixtape. I hope that is clear enough.

I ask because my understanding is if you want to record/sell with the beat you must lease/buy the beat, but anything for free like on youtube, myspace, mixtape, there are no problems.

Thanks for any info.



EricIndecisive Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:02

Unless it's specifically listed as under Creative Commons I imagine you could get in trouble. But you probably won't, especially if you're not making money off of it. Just because it is on youtube / myspace does not mean it's free. Tons of people break copyright by uploading things and don't get caught.

EricIndecisive Fri, 03/04/2011 - 13:36

Probably, it's just like anything else. If you run a red light and there is no cop, and you didn't hit anyone, then you're not going to get in trouble. Odds are you aren't going to get famous and have your stolen beat become your number one smash hit making you millions of dollars, so ... yeah. So if you go by the 'it's only illegal if you get caught' thing, then you'll probably be fine!

JohnTodd Fri, 03/04/2011 - 17:36

It is illegal to use copyrighted materials like that. Statute specifies certain circumstances when you can, but outside of that, it's illegal.

The artists may not care if it is not for profit, but the bean counters and suits may. Be careful.

Law Professor: "How much of a copyrighted song can you use without permission?"

Class: "None"

LP: "Correct. Moving on..."