Radio Recorded Songs' Cover Art - Legal?

I have recorded a bunch of songs off the radio with my Fuze, changed the format from .wav to .mp3, edited the songs (gave them proper titles, artists, albums, years, genres), and put them into the Music section of the Fuze.  I first did this with Rhapsody.  However, after downloading the Fuze firmware upgrade, I thought that the upgrade had deleted most of my songs (actually, rather than listing all of the songs in the ‘Recently Added’ section, only the 50 most recently added were listed).

Faced with the apparent loss of the bulk of my songs, and an earlier suggestion that I use some other application than Rhapsody to manage my Fuze (if you can see my earlier messages, you can see how this problem progressed), I reloaded my songs from my computer onto WMP’s library, and then transferred those songs to the Fuze.  I ended up with duplicates of almost all of my songs, but that is not the point - I eventually deleted the copies, the original Rhapsody ones (not the new WMP ones).

My problem is that for some of the songs, WMP has added onto my Fuze the cover art of the song’s album - the picture accompanying the title, artist, and album.  Now, it seems to me that recording a song off the radio is legal, as is changing the format (such as from .wav to .mp3), but I do not know whether or not copying or having a record of the cover art of a CD or music I do not own is legal, or whether that is illegal.  This matters a lot to me - I’m a stickler for legality.

Does somebody here know the answer and can point me to some credible Internet source setting out how/why the cover art is legal (or illegal, I’m guessing illegal currently), or if no one knows the answer, then can somebody point me to some place where I might start to try to find out the answer. Under American/USA laws.

Alternatively, is there some way to get WMP to remove the pictures from the Fuze, only for the radio recordings (I have most of the pre-installed original Fuze songs, plus a few legal downloads) ideally without having to re-sync all of the songs again?

If the album art is anywhere on the Web you are fine. An Image while its copywrited, once placed on the net is open source. Dont worry… I would bet most artists would be flattered that you went to all the trouble to make sure you were legal, and generally dont care on way or the other.

I appreciate the answer, but I don’t believe that just if an image is on the Internet, it becomes open source.  If I am mistaken, I would like to someplace credible where it does state that the images are open source.

I don’t mean to be rude, and sorry if the above comes across that way, but on many news sites - for instance - in their ‘Terms of Use’ they set out how their writings and photographs may be used.  The Associated Press is very stingy, while many allow a singly copy to be downloaded for personal use, to use two cases.

I would be far more worried about the music on your fuze, rather than the album cover art.  If you just play your “recorded off the airwaves” recordings, you are probably legally protected.  However, if you take your fuze to a party or some other establishment and play the same songs for others to hear  (like plugging the fuze into a stereo)…now that’s heading towards dangerous territory legally  (at least here in the US)

You are probably correct, that technically any facsimile of album cover art that is downloaded away from the original source is illegal.  The person who has legal ownership of the image is the person that can grant reproduction permission.  Sometimes that is the original photographer, artist; sometimes it is the record company.

Considering the very low image quality that will be produced on the fuze for display purposes, I think most owners of said images would look away.  Now if you were downloading a hi-res version suitable for reproducing as a wall hanging or such, that might be another story.

When I download cover art, I use “google image search” and always pick a low-res version (200x200 or similar).  Even if some agent would come across your computer filled with nothing but 200x200 images, they would probably laugh rather than arrest you.

I should never have used WMP.  I deleted all of the songs from my Fuze in the hopes that I would get rid of the pictures, then re-loaded the music files into the Fuze using Rhapsody and the music files directly (they’re in a folder on the desktop, and I dragged the folder to the Fuze icon in the Rhapsody ‘Sources’ menu).

Unfortunately, the pictures are still there after the re-download, and I can’t find out where the picture files are (I’ve looked at the ‘properties’ of random files in both WMP and the direct .mp3 file on the desktop - in WMP under the picture tab there is no file/thing listed even though on my Fuze there is obviously a picture).

For me, the point is not getting caught or fined by the authorities, but whether or not it is legal, regardless of enforcement.  At the very least, I need to find out where the pictures are so that I can delete them one by one (out of over 350!) if I have to.


After edit: I wonder if Microsoft should be blamed.  The WMP added the pictures automatically.  It isn’t as though I knew that the pictures would be added onto the Fuze!  (just ranting). 

Message Edited by jumpydwarf on 02-02-2009 07:31 AM

I think I’ve tentatively deleted all the pictures…

This is the second time I’ve searched all around trying to do something with the Fuze, and then find out all I needed to do was go directly the Fuze in My Computer (I deleted all of the files in the ‘Album’ folder except three - or two - files of one legal download, and two (or one) originally installed songs.

I accidentally deleted the Shanghai Restoration picture and song - the picture was pretty, and the beginning part of the song wasn’t so bad.