Is It Illegal To Posess Unmarked CDs In Texas?

from the be-careful... dept

btr1701 points us to an odd (and slightly disturbing) story about a prisoner in Texas. Most of the story is about the fact that the guy is ridiculously obese and had been able to sneak a gun into prison in between flabs of skin, which was totally missed on a bunch of searches. But, btr1701 points out that the reason the guy was arrested in the first place was because he was apparently selling bootleg CDs. According to the article, he was “charged with possessing or selling unlabeled recordings.” Now, I can sort of, maybe, kinda see why selling unlabeled recordings could be a violation of the law (though, even that seems questionable). But, possessing unlabeled recordings? How is that against the law? Does this mean that anyone who burns some music to a blank CD-R could be in trouble? Anyone in Texas have any more details on the real story here, because I’m hoping there’s more to it.

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Comments on “Is It Illegal To Posess Unmarked CDs In Texas?”

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Glaze (profile) says:

Wha wha what!!!

Harris County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Donna Hawkins said both charges are third-degree felonies, punishable by two to 10 years in prison upon conviction.

I guess I would like to know how possession of an unlabeled recording is 3rd degree felony? Anyone got any answers on that one… And as far as the gun goes… no wonder they couldn’t find it he was 500+ lbs. and never had to go through a metal detector or be wanded.

Now I know someone who was a prison guard for quite some time… and all the inmates were required to go through metal detectors and be wanded, but she told me there were a few times when some of the larger ones would get in with some sort of metal weapon becuase the metal detectors couldn’t penetrate the mounds of fat and flesh…

VRP says:

Re: does the label have to be correct?

It’s my understanding that in the Republic of Texas anyone arrested for anything gets two things; a death sentence, and “cert denied” from SCUS — likely a form notice, pre-signed, mimeographed a million copies that’s dated by a lowly clerk and automatically sent to all petitioners from TX.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Uh, Illinois...

So, if I were to make my own recordings, and didn’t label them, and then sold them, I would be commiting a 3rd degree felony? I don’t get it. I’m definitely doing it for profit aren’t I?

I could type a line of text in my notepad and save it in the discs, and they would have to be classified as recording, wouldn’t them?

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Re: Uh, Illinois...

The statute states:

“A person commits unlawful use of unidentified sound or audio visual recordings when he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently for profit manufactures, advertises or offers for sale, sells, distributes, transports, vends, circulates, performs, leases, or possesses for such purposes, unidentified sound or audio visual recordings or causes the manufacture, advertisement or offer for sale, sale, distribution, transportation, vending, circulation, performance, lease, or possession for such purposes, unidentified sound or audio visual recordings.”

Note, the phrase “for profit”. It sounds that if you aren’t doing this for profit, then you aren’t in violation of the statute. I think I’ll ask my lawyer (I live in Illinois) who owes me a couple of hours quid pro quo for some work I did on his computers.

TW Burger (profile) says:

Re: I am Canadian! Tax the Sh*t out of Me!

The recording industry has received hundreds of dollars from me due to this this CD/DVD tax they somehow convinced the Canadian government to levy. I have only used my purchased CDs or DVDs to make a (very few) backups of what I had already paid for or for backing up computer data. The record companies owe me and many others a large amount of money. I do not believe for a moment that the artists and song writers get a single penny from the CD tax. If they do get most of the money I would be OK with it. Can anyone give me an example of a Canadian artist that gets any CD tax money?

Guillermo says:

Illegal to cross the border with CD-Rs

I live in the northeast part of Mexico, just 2 hours south of the Texas border. There were a couple of articles in the local newspaper (in spanish) about how it was ‘illegal’ to cross the border with an unlabeled CD-R containing mp3s or any other kind of audio and/or video file, and that it could mean the revocation of your border crossing VISA (also called Laser VISA). In the latest article there was also mention that the INS patrol (the guys who check your visas and allow you entry into the US) would be able to search if you had an iPod or other mp3 device and deny you entry. TBH I don’t know how much of the article was true, but it scared many people I know into not bringing any mp3 player or mp3 CDs when travelling to the US.

Silver says:

No such law.

I went through the TX statutes and found *nothing* regarding possession of unlabeled CDs.

However, Sec. 641.051 specifically forbids unauthorized duplication of recordings for sale, and Sec. 641.054 addresses unlabeled recordings for sale.

I think your avg. Joe Blow isn’t looking to sell that mix CD he’s listening to on his way to work, so wouldn’t be prosecutable under those statutes.

For reference: Business and Commerce Code Title 14 – Chapter 641

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