Because the internet enables such easy access to creative works, the law has been expanded to address the increasingly complex issues related to legal distribution of digital files and how those files may be used and stored.
Churches, organizations, and schools increasingly use the internet to access and share digital content, be it music or video. Under the law, however, distribution by anyone except the rightful copyright owner or reseller (publishers, labels, or artists) is strictly prohibited without the cover of a license or direct permission from the owner. Channels of distribution include, but are not limited to, e-mail, web sites or digital storage devices.
To respond to a surge in personal ownership of digital media (music, videos, ebooks, etc.), the law has evolved to allow personal backup of lawfully purchased media used for private purposes. Shifting refers to the copying and conversion from one format or device to another for personal use only. It remains illegal to share digital media files with a third-party, including friends or family.
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