Internet, Networking, & Security Around the Web CD Ripping: Is it Legal to Rip Your Own CDs? Share Pin Email Print imaginima / Getty Images Around the Web Browsers Cloud Services Error Messages Home Networking 5G Antivirus VPN Web Development Around the Web View More By Mark Harris Writer Mark Harris is a former writer for Lifewire who wrote about the digital music scene and streaming music services in an easy to understand, no-nonsense manner. our editorial process Mark Harris Updated December 09, 2019 69 69 people found this article helpful Under US copyright law, if you convert (rip) an original CD that you own to digital files, then this qualifies as 'Fair Use'. As long as you use it for your own personal use and don't distribute the copyrighted material to others, then you will not be breaking the law. Example For example, you could rip the CD to MP3 format and load those files onto your portable MP3 player for listening when you are on the go and away from your CD player. However, it would be a clear violation of copyright laws if you uploaded those same files to a file-sharing site so anyone could download a copy. RIAA Guidelines According to the RIAA web site, (Recording Industry Association of America®) it's acceptable to make a copy of an original CD as digital music files or to burn a single copy for your own private use, but not to share with others. The main thing to remember is, never distribute music from your legally owned original CDs in any form.