Short for the Audio Home Recording Act
of 1992, an amendment to the U.S. federal Copyright Act of 1976. According to the AHRA, the manufacturers and importers of digital
audio recording devices and media must pay a royalty tax to the copyright
holders of music that is presumably being copied in order to compensate them for lost royalties due to consumers copying audio recordings at home. The payments are made to the U.S. Copyright office, which then distributes the royalties accordingly. Digital audio recording devices also must include a system that prohibits serial copying. The most common system in use is the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS), which permits first-generation digital-to-digital copies of prerecorded music but prohibits serial copies of those copies. In exchange, the copyright holders waive the right to claim copyright infringement against consumers using audio recording devices in their homes for noncommercial use. The royalty requirements do not apply to computers as they are not considered digital audio recording devices.