Starting a Business

Can I make and sell mixed CDs from our own music collection?

I own a very large music collection -- albums, CDs, 45s, etc. I would like to make compilation CDs of songs from my collection and sell them. Is this legal?
min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In a word, no.

The music was created by someone else and is governed by their copyright rights. When you purchased your albums, CDs, etc., you don't own the rights to the music. You are given a limited license to use and copy the music for your personal enjoyment. Not to share with others (although we know this happens), and CERTAINLY not to sell and make a profit from.

The appropriate way to handle this is to obtain a license concerning each song you want to use. Chances are you'll have to pay a royalty for the use of the songs, which could be a percentage of each CD compilation you sell. You can run into serious trouble in this area, especially if large music companies are in charge of monitoring the misuse of the rights, because they'll have the war chest to drag you through the courts. Speak to a music copyright lawyer about the best way to go about this.

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

It Started As a Joke and Turned Into a Startup That Raised $1 Million in Funding