Legality of downloading music

As others have already mentioned, the real risk is that she’s sharing copyrighted info she downloaded, both while downloading and after the download is complete. That’s what can get you sued for thousands of dollars.

And just to be clear about viruses, there’s pretty much no chance of getting a virus from an MP3 file. If she downloads executable files and software, that’s where the real virus risk is.

I’m not going to argue with you about the “unethical” part, but i’ve also known some struggling musicians and the last thing they were worried about is that some of their songs might end up on P2P networks. In fact, within the music industry, smaller and less well known bands have generally been rather supportive of P2P networks, as it has the potential to give them lvels of exposure they might not otherwise get. Hell, plenty of these more obscure and struggling artists have free mp3 downloads on their own websites for the same reason. The real push against P2P in the music industry has been the industry itself, and successful, well-established bands who have nothing to gain from thier songs being shared.

As i’ve already suggested, this doesn’t necessarily negate your argument about ethics, but i think it’s wrong to imply, as you seem to be doing, that all or even most struggling musicians constitute the main opposition to or victim of P2P file sharing.

Again, there are plenty of artists out there who disagree that sharing hurts them. Janis Ian, a multi-Grammy-nominated singer and songer writer, wrote an article in which she expressed what quite a lot of artists were thinking regarding internet downloading.

Wow, i must say i’m rather stunned.

Downloading is illegal and unethical, except when you do it? I don’t recall any exception in the law for people who think they might buy the CD at some undetermined time in the future. Nor do i recall an exception for people who say they delete the song at some undetermined time in the future, either. If you just want to listen once, that’s what radio or samples are for.

“Officer, i swear, those 1,500 downloaded songs on my computer are just there for evaluation purposes. I was going to delete them all tonight, honest!”

You do realize, i assume, that you argument here is little different from that of most file-sharers, who claim that downloading music leads them to buy more CDs, rather than fewer CDs. I’m sure this is true for some sharers and not for others, but your hubris in lecturing on ethics and then engaging in virtually identical behaviour is rather amazing.

Apparently you live where radio plays something decent to listen to.

I can’t get Amazon to load, and even if I could, those tiny snippets are wholly inadequate.

The point of the law is that if you want to have the song, you need to pay. I pay if I actually want the song. Otherwise I delete it. There is extremely little ethical difference between this and listening to Shoutcast streams to discover new bands. The spirit of the law and the viability of the business model are preserved. It’s technically illegal, but not unethical to me, as I’m not taking money from the artist or label. If I don’t want the product, I don’t keep it for free.

Your presumption is not becoming. I meant what I said, and you are now putting lots of words in my mouth. That is not anywhere near the case.

My argument is different from the actions of basically all the Limewire users I’ve met in real life, who simply do not do what you’re referring to. Recording sales are still in decline, and I greatly suspect that downloading has a lot to do with it. I teach high school, and I have yet to meet a teenager whose iPod is not filled with illegally downloaded songs. The claims of some random people on the interweb that their downloading increases the their sales does not mean this is a widespread phenomenon. It may have increased my purchases, but only because I make a point not to steal.

You’re confusing your frustration with what is legal. What you are doing is illegal in the US. Period.

As to whether it is unethical, that would have to be a Great Debate on what you consider to be your set of ethics vs someone elses.

This is true, but files are often misnamed…some may have what looks like a .mp3 extension, but will really have a .exe extension after a lot of spaces (to push the true extension off the screen).

Your daughter might appreciate a subscription to a legitimate unlimited music download service such as Yahoo Music or Napster. The $7 per month you’d pay is nothing compared to the thousands you’d lose if you get sued by the RIAA.

Hey, whatever helps you justify it to yourself.

To tell you the truth, i don’t have any massive problem with the whole issue of downloading, and if you told me that you downloaded and kept a bunch of songs i wouldn’t care very much.

What i’m more fascinated by is your ability to rationalize your own behaviour as being within the spirit of the law and therefore OK.

What if you pay for the music from a site like allxxxx? How are you supposed to know if the seller is licensed to sell the music?

You could try looking it up on Wikipedia; [URL= for example has a discussion of it’s legality in several countries.

Legally, the onus is on you to find out.

Wrongo. Because something exists on the internet doesn’t confer legitimacy.

We’ve done this before, and I’m sure we’ll do it again.

Yeah, well, thank God my life doesn’t revolve around your opinion.

Thank Og the laws of the US don’t revolve around your opinions.

Here is a previous thread on the subject of the Russian website that purports to be legal in the US. In this very long thread, our esteemed lawyer-member Bricker expresses an opinion which is in agreement with mine.

With this, I’m closing this thread. I expect to be castigated. So it goes.


And it’s been pointed out to me that I’ve missed some references to the website in Russia that IMHO, offers illegal downloading. So sorry. But since I supplied a thread about why this site is providing something that is illegal in the US, I’ll just go on my way. My point is still valid.