Is this legal? (iPod Download Site)


So you have legal file sharing programs like Kazaa, which is (now) subscription-based and allows legal transfer of a large selection of copyrighted material that has been cleared by the copyright holders for this purpose.

Then you have those gray-area P2P programs that are just your basic P2P network (like Kazaa used to be) where any and all files can be shared with the legality of copyright completely ignored. They’re still legal to use so long as you already own what you download (i.e. have purchased a private-use license by buying the CD, DVD or whatever.) Legally, this is the same as taking what you already own and ripping it, except it’s generally easier for those who aren’t savvy with ripping tools and have the bandwidth to spare. Otherwise, if you don’t own what you download you leech it at your own risk.

Then you have something like From the front page it makes itself look like some sort of legitemate service where, for a low, one-time fee you get unlimited access to tens of millions of files. From the testimonials and the ad copy it looks like you do so free and clear. It doesn’t specifically say anywhere on that page that what you download is legitemately yours in any way, shape or form, but from the testimonials on that page declaring their devotion to the site and the access to millions of free downloads you are given the distinct impression that everything is perfectly kosher and that one-time fee gives you license to download anything and everything in sight.

But then, waaaaay down at the bottom is a wee Legal Disclaimer link, and the first two bits of text on that page say quite boldly:

It then goes into a laundry list of boilerplate about copyright law and such.

So, am I right in thinking that this is really just a $40 P2P program, and that nothing you download from it is in any way legal unless you’ve either obtained permission from the copyright holders to download it or you are legally entitled to do so by virtue of owning the original works? The ad copy sure looks purdy, but big flashing red BS klaxons are going off in my head telling me it’s a big bag o’ hooey.

My first thought is that when Apple’s lawyers hear about the name, this outfit is going to get themselves a new asshole torn. IMHO the disclaimer

is not going to be much of a defence.