How do I host MP3s for a private audience without getting busted?
April 11, 2004 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Any advice on web hosting for a few MP3s? I'm presenting on the music of Fela Kuti for a seminar on postcoloniality, and part of the week's assignment is to listen to a few of his songs. What I need is a way to host about 60 megs of MP3s so that my classmates can download them. Ideally, I would like to password-protect the files, for legal reasons. [more inside]

A few points:

- According to my (admittedly limited) knowledge of copyright law, this would fall under academic fair use, since it's for academic purposes and since I'm not going to be posting whole albums, just selected tracks (five songs from three separate albums, to be precise).

- These CDs are in my university's music library, but aren't available for checkout; I'd like my classmates to be able to listen to the songs at home.

- I've tried 50megs.com, but they don't accept files of this size, unfortunately.

- As a last resort, if anyone is willing to temporarily host the files for me (say, for a week or so), please email me at the address in my profile.
posted by UKnowForKids to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
 
You don't have a Unix account at your school?
posted by the fire you left me at 10:53 AM on April 11, 2004


Not that I know about, no.
posted by UKnowForKids at 10:54 AM on April 11, 2004


Probably the best way to do that would be to host the files on your own computer (or any university computer) and then use a free service to let them access http://UKnownForKids.dyndns.org/mp3s/ from their browser.
posted by Aaorn at 11:32 AM on April 11, 2004


If you know someone with a dot mac (.mac) account with Apple, that would also solve your problem. One receives 100 megs of server space, and a ton of bandwidth, and you can password protect the Public Folder if you so desire. (Unfortunately, however, it's US$100 a year.)
posted by Marquis at 11:47 AM on April 11, 2004


I'm not going to be posting whole albums, just selected tracks

Not a lawyer, but my sense is that the basic unit for copyright purposes is almost certainly the track, not the album. So song excerpts would qualify as fair use, but not whole songs.

Also: you've got five tracks that total 60 megs? Either those are some very long tracks, or they're encoded with very minimal compression. If the latter, you could re-rip the tracks to get them in under 50megs.com's limits.
posted by jjg at 12:15 PM on April 11, 2004


So song excerpts would qualify as fair use, but not whole songs.

Completey incorrect.

Either those are some very long tracks, or they're encoded with very minimal compression

Fela's songs are often very long.

this would fall under academic fair use

Maybe, maybe not. If that were always the case schools would never get reprint permissions from the Copyright Clearance Center. Never ever assume fair use. Besides, the law treats it as a defense, not a right. Meaning you are already being sued and then the burden of proving fair use is on you. Generally, if licensing is available it's not going to be fair use.
posted by anathema at 12:30 PM on April 11, 2004


Completey incorrect.

Care to elaborate?
posted by jjg at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2004


Using song excerpts (samples) without a license is rarely "fair use." Licensing samples is a major source of revenue for copyright owners. Moreover, you are dealing with multiple properties, sound recordings and underlying musical works, so there are often multiple licenses involved.
posted by anathema at 12:41 PM on April 11, 2004


Sorry if that came across as harsh, jjg.
posted by anathema at 12:42 PM on April 11, 2004


You're right, anathema. What I meant was that excerpts might qualify as fair use, if other conditions were met, but entire tracks almost certainly wouldn't.
posted by jjg at 12:49 PM on April 11, 2004


OK, it seems that I've solved the problem through other means. Thanks for the fair use tips, and for the hosting tips as well.

Also, do yourselves a favor and go listen to some Fela.
posted by UKnowForKids at 12:57 PM on April 11, 2004


dropload.com
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:00 PM on April 11, 2004


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