We all want to do the right thing when it comes to downloading music and videos from the internet, but we also wish the right thing will be free of charge. Well, it can be. It is, actually.
There are numerous ways by which we can get FREE and LEGAL music, movies, games etc. And contrary to what some people might think, it is quite simple to get legal downloads. Just visit the RIAA website for the complete list of legal music download sites, some totally free, and some for a minimal fee but with plenty of freebies.
There are 23 sites listed there at present including Spotify, iMesh, Rhapsody and 7digital. So why should we even bother with downloads from unauthorized sites, when there is over 13 million tracks available to us?
Below is a short “PROs and CONs” analysis of why we should just stick to legal music downloads:
- No brainer this one, online music theft aka online piracy aka copyright infringement IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW. It is increasingly easy to detect these days. A single detected violation can affect your internet account according to your signed Service Agreement with your ISP. YOU can be at the other end of a lawsuit by copyright owners. That nice little music file you downloaded illegally simply isn’t worth all the stress, so by sticking to what’s legal, you avoid all the hassle.
- Label owners and artists especially, do not get cheated out of their creative rights. You do not like it when things that belong to you get stolen, so why steal somebody’s property?
- If you know where to look, you actually save yourself some money. Think about it, if you do not violate any laws, you won’t have to spend for your defense if you get caught. It’s a stretch, but again all it might take for you to get slapped with a lawsuit is a single miserable illegal download!
- By sticking to officially legal download sites, you avoid exposing yourself unnecessarily to harmful files, adware/spyware and everything in between from the less-than-trustworthy websites that indiscriminately offer free downloads of everything. While they may be doing a little bit of policing to limit or avoid unwanted software from inadvertently ending up in your PC (and thousands of other PCs), they may not always have full control of this because adware/spyware are not illegal per se. They actually are there to partially support the free software (and other downloads) that you get from these websites. So you see nothing is really for free, they get something out of giving you what they claim to be “free and legal” download.
- Authorized copies of music and movies are typically of high quality.
- Limited access to mainstream music from big-name bands and singers. Their music is protected by copyright laws and not normally made available for free download even at the RIAA approved sites.
- You have to pay.
Sadly, efforts to curb rampant online piracy of movies is a little less successful (well maybe a lot less) than RIAA’s efforts. FBI’s ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) through their HIS agents (Homeland Security Investigation) seized in mid-2010 over 60 domain names of websites that had links to more than 200 movies and 300 television shows that had been illegally copied. Their effort is continuing.
The downside of downloading illegal music files also apply to illegally obtained copies of movies and TC programs. It is not the sole responsibility of government agencies to try to fix this problem. We all have a role in this.
Can you think of more advantages to you of choosing to download legal music and movie files? Share your ideas with us. Perhaps by highlighting the good, we will all eventually get rid of the bad.