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24.2. Using Existing Audio

The simplest way to add audio to a site is to use found music, sound effects, or other resources. But before you start featuring music and sound effects from your personal CD collection, it is important to be aware of copyright issues.

24.2.1. Copyright Restrictions

With few exceptions, it is illegal to reproduce, distribute, or broadcast a sound recording without the permission of the copyright owner. Copyright issues have been brought to the forefront with the growing popularity of MP3 distribution through Napster and other peer-to-peer networks, but they apply to all audio published on the Internet. To get permission, you usually need to pay licensing fees.

Be aware that simply posting somebody else's music or recordings from a CD without their expressed written permission is a copyright violation. Record companies, entertainment corporations, and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) are taking measures to crack down on the illegal use of copyrighted material. So be smart and be sure that you have the rights to the sound you use on your site.

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