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The State of New York is strict about allowing original artists to maintain control of their work. New York attracts the best and brightest artists from all over the world, and the state wants to make sure that artists know that they can keep the right to profit from their performances. That makes it illegal to advertise or sell an unauthorized recording.
In order to lawfully sell an artistic performance, you need the permission of the person that owns or creates it. Otherwise, it’s unlawful to try and make a profit from another person’s artistic performance. There are several state laws that protect the rights of artists to profit from their work. One of these laws is called the advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree.
First-degree unauthorized sale
New York penal law 275.30 makes it illegal to sell an artistic work or even advertise an artistic work for sale if you don’t have legal authority. The law covers both sound recordings and video recordings. There are a few specific conditions that must apply in order for the offense to constitute unauthorized sale in the first degree.
First, you must knowingly advertise, sell, rent, distribute or possess an artistic recording without the consent of the owner. Second, you must either have a prior conviction for this offense in the last five years, or you must have made at least 1000 sound recordings or 100 video recordings. If you knowingly advertise, sell, rent, distribute or possess an artistic recording but you don’t have a prior conviction and you didn’t make enough copies, you might face charges in the second degree instead of in the first degree.
Fixed before Febuary 15, 1972
This law only applies to recordings that are originally fixed before February 15, 1972. New York law defines the word fixed. It means that the author must have recorded or saved the work in a way that it could be reproduced or disseminated. The author must have done so before February 15, 1972. If this isn’t the case, the person that made the unlawful recording might face charges of manufacture or sale of an unauthorized recording of a performance. That charge is similar but it doesn’t carry the same date restriction as New York Penal Law 275.30.
Possible penalties if you’re convicted
A conviction for advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the first degree is a class E felony. That means that the court can make you spend up to four years in prison if you’re convicted as charged. Five years is the maximum possible term of probation. They can also order you to pay a fine and pay restitution if it’s appropriate.
If you’re facing this type of charge, the experienced NYC criminal lawyers at Spodek Law Group can help you make a plan to defend yourself. One common defense is that you didn’t know that you didn’t have permission to sell the work. When you possess unauthorized recordings, you must know that they’re unauthorized recordings. That means that it’s up to the state to prove what you knew and when you knew it. If the state’s attorney can’t prove this element of the crime, their entire case might fail.
You can attack the state’s proof on each other element of the charge. You can argue that you don’t have a prior conviction, or that you didn’t make the number of recordings that the law requires for a first-degree charge. You can also argue that someone else entirely had possession of the artistic work in question.
The music and entertainment industries are two of the largest and most powerful industries in the world. While these industries are incredibly profitable, they estimate losing millions of dollars per year due to the sale of illegally copied music and other materials. Similar to other areas of the country, New York has a lot of laws in place that are designed to prevent this from happening.
Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree is one specific crime in the New York penal code that is commonly enforced. This law essentially makes it a crime to record any music or other media, and then attempt to sell it.
Examples of the Crime
Advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree is a common crime, especially in areas of New York City. And example of this crime would be if a person records a song off a radio or other copy written device and then attempt to sell it to another person. This act becomes illegal regardless of the price that is charged.
If you record a song and give it away without receiving any financial or other reward, you will not be guilty of this crime. However, there are other copyright related crimes that you could be in violation of.
Defense of the Crime
If you have been charged with advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree, it would be beneficial to hire a NYC criminal lawyer. A lawyer that is experienced with this type of crime and charges could provide you with a number of different benefits. One of the main benefits is that they will know a variety of ways to defend and fight the charges.
When you are charged with the crime, the prosecutor will be required to prove that you have both recorded and attempted to sell the music. In many cases, this can be very hard to do without a full warrant. If the attorney does not have access to your equipment or music, and is unable to prove the crime otherwise, it could be dismissed fully. However, if you happen to have been found with music and were caught trying to sell it, you still could be charged with a few other related crimes. These other related crimes are considered lower and come with less of a punishment.
Punishment for the Crime
If you are convicted of advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree, you will face some punishment. The overall level of the punishment is minor as the crime is a simple misdemeanor. In most cases, you will receive a small penalty and could be subject to probation. However, if you have been convicted or charged of this crime in the past, you could face a more severe penalty. The legal system does allow a judge to put you in prison for up to one year.
In conclusion, advertisement or sale of unauthorized recordings in the second degree is a crime that is commonly committed in New York. While the penalty of the crime is not too severe, it would still be a good idea to hire a NYC criminal lawyer if you are charged with the crim. The attorney will be able to help you by providing you advice on the case, negotiating a lower charge with the prosecution, and even defending you in public court if it comes down to it.
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