Online downloading of songs has become rampant especially with the boom of the “iGadget” industry. However, most of the methods of downloading these songs commit piracy. As such, movements and bills such as SOPA, ACTA and C-11 have already been started to protect the copyright properties of the rightful owners.
As responsible “netizens,” we should respect the rights of the owners, getting files online only legally. But first, there are some concepts you need to know for the discussion.
Intellectual property pertains to any creation of an individual/group of persons, including music, titles, images, designs, etc. It has two categories, industrial property and copyrights. Copyright is what we’re concerned of.
Copyright includes literary and artistic works such as images, paintings and songs. A copyrighted property belongs to a particular party by virtue of law and any unrecognized usage of these properties is punishable by law.
P2P is a type of networking where a participant can download songs (and other files) from several sources. P2P literally means peer-to-peer and includes exchange of files through the internet with many other network participants. This is usually where illegal music sharing occurs. Note the word “usually” because it is not true all the time.
Now that you have known the basic terms in music downloading, let us proceed to the do’s and don’ts of downloading.
Don’ts in Music Downloading
Do not copy files off from just any P2P/torrent websites
Almost all the songs available online –especially in P2P/torrent websites –are illegally downloadable. Some songs available online may have expired copyrights, but most of the songs available in P2P websites are illegally shared. As such, as a responsible “netizen,” one should be wary of downloading intellectual properties of artists.
Copying songs online, even if it is “for a greater good,” such as when you copy songs just so you know if they are good enough to be bought, still breaches copyright properties and not allowed by law.
Basically, most don’ts in online music downloading include copying files illegally in the internet. If this is stopped, then a big step has been taken to stop illegal music production.
Do not distribute/reproduce copyrighted songs
Distributing or reproducing properties which aren’t yours is illegal as well –even if you do this for free. This is punishable by law. Yes, you may contest that you are not copying files, but you promote illegal downloading and unlicensed use of files by other people.
Do’s in Music Downloading
Download songs only from legitimate torrent websites
As said above, not all P2P websites are illegal. There are legal torrent websites. You can check these ones out. They work similar to their illicit counterpart. However, since they are not free, there may be fewer members and, as such, file availability and number of sources may be low as well.
Download songs from legal music download websites
Aside from torrents, there are other music downloading websites online. Usually, with these sites, downloading comes with a price. Rest assured, however, that copyright properties will not be violated by these websites and all music production is legal. Examples of these websites are iTunes, Napster, Jamendo and Spotify.
In conclusion, the don’ts of downloading songs can be summed up into: avoid violating copyright properties by copying or distributing files illegally. The do’s, on the other hand, can be shortened into: download only from legally recognized websites. The products may come with a price, but for sure you don’t violate any intellectual property rights.
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