Ok...hopefully this thread can become a repository for individual states' laws on what we do - what the laws are, what our rights are, etc. Mostly I'm hoping to include advice from people who actually know what they're talking about (i.e. lawyers or those who have studied this kind of stuff), or from people willing to do the footwork and track down links to their particular state's legal code and post the pertinent information.
BIG EDIT: The original information (that not between these two lines) may no longer apply. A new statute was passed in 2006 that appears to supersede the code below. The full code can be seen here now:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002319---A000-.html
The upshot is that penalties are MUCH worse...but now the all-important clause about "commercial advantage or private financial gain" has been inserted, and the clause about state laws having precedence over federal law has been removed. So bottom line - it appears that not-for-profit recording is technically legal even if not authorized by the artist, though you may have difficulty proving that you have no financial motives in a timely fashion that will enable you to continue your recording if the authorities decide to stop you.
In general, the national law is this:http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1101.html
The penalties are detailed here:http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/502.htmlhttp://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/503.htmlhttp://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/504.htmlhttp://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/505.html
Briefly, recording and trading without the artist's consent
is a violation of Federal law and brings with it the penalties that come from copyright infringement (actual damages and profits, or statutory damages between $200 and $150,000 plus possible additional damages as well as legal/court fees).
HOWEVER, the very last part of section 1101 says that state laws are not pre-empted. Whether this means that federal laws do not apply if there's a state law, or if they apply in ADDITION to the states' laws, is not clear. Hence my hope that lawyers will help us out here.
The general state party line is, if the artist says it's ok, you're not breaking the law. If the artist doesn't say it's ok, you're usually
not breaking the law as long as it's for non-commercial use. Some states go so far as to say that distributing it isn't ok but owning it for personal use is permissible; these are noted in the posts for that particular state.
ps. Eventually my aim is to get one post for each state on this thread, except for states whose laws I can't find, which will be listed here (but deleted if I or someone else finds them): Vermont and Texas
don't appear to have anything having to do with piracy or recordings at all.Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah
have "sound recording" statutes that deal with piracy (copying commercial recordings) and not specifically with live recordings (though a bill has been introduced in Colorado). If this is the case, the Federal laws likely apply, so bear that in mind if you ever get caught stealthing in these states!
pps. Links are provided for those who wish to read the whole text for a particular state. I've quoted the relevant parts for our purposes and included any notes that make that state more or less restrictive than others.