Downloading Copies of Music you've Previously Purchased

I bought a video game on my phone that contains several dozen music tracks. I want to put that music in the music app so that I can listen to it without playing the game, because running the game quickly eats the battery, and I’d also like to set it to “randomize” the tracks and mix them with other songs that I’ve purchased through a music store. I Could find a way to access the music tracks by entering the app’s file directories, but I don’t know how to do that because the directory is locked by the phone’s security system, and I don’t know how to get around that. Would it be moral for me to download copies of this music? I already legally have the right to listen to this music since I purchased the tracks as part of the app, I just don’t know how to bypass the security system on my phone to copy-paste them to my music app.


Not so sure on that one. Simply purchasing the app does not give someone permission to obtain copyrighted material in an illegal fashion. If that was the argument then I would have every right to download movie soundtracks after purchasing a film since all the songs are “in the film”, when clearly they are selling that as a seperate product.

Typically purchasing something digital does not mean that you own it, you are simply purchasing a license to use their product (which can always be revoked if they so choose)

Plug your phone into a desktop or laptop and root around in the file directory that way. Give it a try and see if it works.

Copyright law allows you to keep one copy of a song for archival purposes.

This is what you’re doing here. Nothing wrong with this.

The download issue is about trying to get property you don’t own, this is property you own, all you’re doing is getting a backup.

I have an old CD that’s pretty scratched up from use (with bad quality playing). I made a copy and now play the copy, but use the original as a backup.

In the 80s all my friends would make mixtapes for each other.

Attempting to do what you want would be wrong.


According to some people on CAF, downloading pirated music is a mortal sin (yes, a number of users maintain that all theft is grave matter- which is not true… Depends on the value both to the one being stolen from and the one doing the stealing… Stealing a loaf of bread from a starving man is grave matter…stealing $1 from a billionaire is venial). If forums existed back in the 80s, I’m sure your friends would have been sternly exhorted to get to confession ASAP.

Others have said this, but I’ll pile on:

No, it is not moral to do this. Yes, you have access to the music within the game, but that doesn’t mean you own the music. You own the game, within which the music has been provided, but if you want the music provided in another medium, you need to pay for it.

Think of it this way. If you purchase a DVD with a movie on it, you own the movie. But does that mean you have the right to watch the movie in the theater for free? No. Same content, different medium, thus the owners of the content have the right to charge again.

The same applies if you had music on a CD but want it on your iPod. Just because you own it on the CD doesn’t mean you deserve to get it for free from the Music Store. However you CAN plug your device into the computer and download the music from the CD onto it, since you are simply making use of the medium you own.

In summary, when you pay for some content more than once in different mediums, you are not purchasing just the content, but also the service which the owner provides of giving to you in a convenient format/medium. If you want it in a new medium but don’t want to do the work of converting it from the medium you already have, you pay the owner to give it to you in the new medium.

Make sense?

Yes, that makes sense and is very persuasive. Problem solved. Now I’ll try to navigate my way through the directories and find a way to do it that way. Thanks!


What you are doing is tantamount to saying that the game author committed copyright infringement. That is not true.

The game author got a license to that music, and that license is part of the license for the game.

As a result, the game owner is licensed to the music as well.

Copyright law says you can make a backup copy of what you have that is licensed.

No, I think I understand what he’s saying and I don’t think he’s saying that. The game maker and myself both have the legal right to use/listen to this music, and I have a right to make backup copies, but not to download them from an unlawful source.

The source is not unlawful.

The copying of items without permission is unlawful.

Let’s say you have a CD that got scratched up badly and can’t play, but no backup. So how do you back up your music? You can’t.

What if the OP can’t access the music from the game DVD? (i.e. the music is incorporated in the code and can’t be accessed)? So how do you back up your music? You can’t.

But you are entitled to a backup, this is legal.

But why not download it from those “sources” you talk about? It is not illegal to do so.

I am puzzled as to how you came to the conclusion that I am “saying that the game author committed copyright infringement”.

Furthermore, regarding your last sentence: “Copyright law says you can make a backup copy of what you have that is licensed.”

That’s exactly what I said. I said that if you are willing to take the trouble to go through the medium of what you have to put it in a new medium, you have the moral right to do so. Nothing you have said here has contradicted me.

Because you are implying that the game does not have licensed music. You said that one does not own the music in the game. If that is true, then it is unlicensed and thus copyright infringement on the part of the game author since the game author did not get a license.

I think he means you purchase the right to listen to the music rather than purchasing the copyrights to the music itself. The original creators are still the owners of the music. We only become owners of the tracks, which are copies of the music with permission to listen to it.

dmar168 understood me correctly. I’m afraid you didn’t quite get what I was saying, but that’s all right because at this point I can see there is no fundamental difference of opinion here.

I don’t see any use in continuing to argue over different perceptions of what I said. The OP received a suitable answer and we’re all happy. :slight_smile:

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