That's not exactly true. Remember there are still "fair use" aspects to copyright law. And even before that - there is no aspect of copyright law that says that I can't buy a CD, edit it audio, add new parts to it and mix it down to entirely different version as long as I don't publicly share it - broadcast it, play it in public or in any way, sell it. By extension, I can hire some one to help me with that same process - pay them to overdub, edit and remix this "borrowed" - again, as long as I don't publicly share it.You can't sample someone's record, then play a new bass part over the top, add a bit of percussion then 'charge for your labour'. It's copyright infringement or it isn't.
I know - because I do this all the time. But why would anyone pay me to do such a thing? Well that brings us back to "fair use".
One of the "fair uses" people can use both songs and recordings without payment or permission is to accompany sports events - in this particular case.... figure skating.
All around the world, there are amateur figure skaters of all ages that perform in competitions - and each and every one of them publicly skates to pre-recorded music with no need to pay any fees, royalties or get any permission to do so. Fair use... And like any sporting event - skating routines have specific timing requirements - which 99% of music doesn't conform to. So every amateur figure skater in the world regularly needs pre-recorded music edited and modified to fit the needs of their routine. Thousand upon thousands of them, year after year after year.
I have been editing routines for coaches and choreographers for years and years - heck back when we were still cutting .... tape!!! And what used to be straight cuts (edits) - now includes overlays, added parts, creating endings from scratch - every bit of the tools we have to re-mix audio, etc.
And the rules are: The person using the copyrighted material has to have purchased the material - as the copyright agreement attached to that purchase includes the "fair use" provisions in the law. So I can only work on audio files that the client has given me - this way they purchase the right to use the music under fair use. I can't buy a CD, rip it, edit it, then give it to them to use - because I don't have the right to re-sell anyone's music or recording.
This means I can't say - edit a bunch of routines comprised of edited copyrighted recordings and put them on a website for purchase. Or even new recording of famous songs recorded for this purpose. For these things would require permission and fees to be paid - as some "enterprising" editors in recent years quickly found out.
Actually it is still to loosey-goosey for my tastes - with lots of coaches sucking audio off of YouTube as their source material. Luckily there are number of localities that have started demanding documentation (sales receipts) showing the skater having actually legally purchasing the source music used in the routine. I would hope to see more of that - including in the US.
But short of that - as I advertise this service - I only work from audio files provided to me by the client. They are the one that is supposed to purchase the music - because they are the one that will make use of the fair use provision in the law when performing to it publicly.
Bottom line is - it is the end use, the distribution, the performance where copyright infringement takes place. Think of all of the times. we've done sessions, overdubbing on tracks with no real knowledge of whether the producer has any legal right to distribute those tracks at all. As the person editing, overdubbing, transcribing, etc. - our services in themselves aren't an infringement - it is what the person then does with that "product" that is.
In this case, there's a fair use provision for this activity - figure skating competitions. But for me to even post those same routines here or on my website for you to hear, that would be an infringement - because there is no fair use provision for such a public display.