When I was a kid, I used to enjoy recording music from Jewish radio programs onto cassette tapes (remember those?). Nowadays the process is much easier, as many portable music players include an FM tuner and the ability to record straight into a digital audio file. With internet broadcasting it can be taken to a new level, using software to automatically record the songs, split them into individual files, and tag them with the appropriate names.

It seems that doing this is actually permitted (to some degree) under American law (see here), but I was wondering whether there is any halachic or perhaps "yashrus" objection to doing so, especially in light of music producers' ongoing struggle to prevent illegal file copying.


2 Answers 2


HaRav Yitzhak Yosef (Yalkut Yosef Hoshen Mishpat 370:14) permits recording music from the radio.


I don't know the legals of this, nor do I know how a record company would feel about it. But I'd assume the basic debate on halacha and intellectual property should apply. According to R' Elyashiv could be a serious issue. According to R' Moshe & R' Shlomo Zalman, as long as we think that US law is keeping up with what's reasonable, that should satisfy yashrus (upstanding ethical practices). If it appears that you're squirming through some technical loophole that's against the spirit of the law (but the law just didn't yet address it specifically), I'd assume that's not yashrus. My impression is many consumers and producers haven't yet seen eye-to-eye on what's considered fair use, which makes this so complicated.

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