Is downloading free music online legal or not? P2P file sharing sites have been given a bad name lately as the music and movie moguls try to clamp down on privacy and illegal downloading. ‘Many’ are being prosecuted, although this ‘many’ is in fact miniscule when compared to the number of people involved in this illegal activity.
So what is P2P file sharing software and how does it work, and why is downloading free music online illegal when it wasn’t too long ago that such software was the best selling on Clickbank – now Clickbank will have nothing to do with it unless it can prove it does not download copyright-protected material.
Peer to Peer File Sharing: Download Music Online or Movies
When you join a P2P file sharing service, your hard disk is exposed to all other members once you log in. When you use the search box provided to enter a track, artist or genre, the software searches the hard disks of all members online for music file formats such as MP3 and WAV that meets your search criteria.
The more members holding the track you are seeking online the faster it will download from their hard disks, because the files are transmitted in packets tat increase in integrity and speed the more providing hard disks there are.
You get the track downloaded to your hard disk, and can then use it: play it, modify it or whatever you wish to do. That track is now available to others to download from your site – but relax! It’s just a copy they take, and the actual file itself.
The same P2P file sharing sites can be used to download music online, movies or even games. There is no difference in the software and movie download software will also download music and games and most will also offer burning software so you can transfer your files to disk for portability.
Downloading Copyright Protected Music
What happens if you download a file still under copyright? Technically, you should be prosecuted and some will insist upon that. But generally you will get a warning for your first offence unless it had been severe. Ideally, you should not download copyrighted work, but how do you know? That’s for you to establish, and ignorance of the law is no defense. However, if you are unlucky enough to be caught then they still have to prove the case.
It is best to be careful and not indulge at all. Nevertheless it is difficult to make the right decisions when downloading free music online. It’s only a track or two, so where is the harm? Others do not think that way.
Legality of P2P File Sharing
P2P file sharing sites are legal, and it is only the way they are used that is illegal. There is no need, for them to be made illegal and taken offline, even though some media moguls have suggested it. However, their use in illegally downloading free music online is not to be encouraged, even though you could download some fabulous tracks over the course of a night.
It’s important that when you are downloading free music online you make sure it is OK for you to download it free of charge. Why should others have to pay iTunes why you get it free? However, it is possible to do by using P2P file sharing sites, and many do it. You can too if you are willing to take the chance of being caught – but very few are so it’s not much of a risk. Just keep in mind that it is not legal.
When using P2P file sharing sites it is important that you use them within the law, even though most do not. It is possible to use P2P for downloading free music online, and free movies and games, and it is up to your personal ethics whether you do so or not, since you are unlikely to be caught doing do.
Further information on P2P file sharing and on how to remain legal when downloading Free Music Online is available from Pete’s website Online Free Movies where you will find a great deal more about copyright law and the ethics of downloading free movies and music.