Fact Sheets

Format Shifting your Music

You can copy your legitimately acquired music, for example a purchased CD or music legitimately downloaded from the internet, if:

  1. The copy is for your private and domestic use only; and
  2. The copy is for playing on a different device.

BUT there are limits to what you can do, for example:

  • You cannot burn copies of your CDs to give to friends.  You can only create copies of legitimately acquired CDs for your own private and domestic use to play on another CD player that you own.  You need to keep your original CDs.
  • You cannot burn copies of your CDs for commercial use.  That means that you cannot copy CDs for use for playing in your café or retail store, for use as a DJ or any other non private purpose.
  • You cannot share your music online.  Uploading or distributing music on the Internet without the permission of the copyright owner is an offence, punishable under civil, and in some cases, under criminal law.
  • You cannot copy other people’s CDs to your digital music player.  You can, however, transfer CDs that you have acquired legitimately to your own digital music player.  You need to keep your original CDs.
  • Copies of sound recordings are to be used for your own private and domestic use. They must not be played publicly or lent to friends and acquaintances.  You may, however, lend copies you have made to members of your family and household.


Can I burn digital music that I bought online on to a CD?

Yes, if you have purchased or obtained digital music legitimately and you want to create a copy for your own private and domestic use.  However, you also need to check the licence with your digital provider.  In many cases they will allow you to copy multiple times.


Can I burn copies of my CDs?

Yes, you can copy a sound recording from your CD onto another CD if you own another CD player.  But you also need to keep your original CDs.


Can I share the copy I made with family and friends?

You cannot sell, loan, give away or distribute the copy you made to anyone.  But you may lend the copy you made to your family or household members.


Can I share my music online?

No, uploading music on the Internet or distributing music files over the Intenet is an offence, punishable under civil law, and in some cases under criminal law.


What does 'private and domestic' use mean?

'Private and domestic use' means your own personal use, whether on or off doemstic premises.


Need more information?

Music Rights Australia



(02) 8569 1177


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