Music Download Sites – What Makes a Site Legal Or Illegal?

The introduction of music download sites to the internet has revolutionized the way we consume music. Though easier and much less expensive for consumers to get their hands on the latest music from the comfort of their home, the break through began with an illegal method of downloading music which unfortunately opened the door to others that are still around to this day. It is up to the consumer to be educated on which sites and services are legal to use, and which are not. To better understand the legality of music download sites, it is best to take a look at the first popular illegal online music download solution.

The start of illegal music downloads.

In 1999, the world was introduced to the first music file sharing software called Napster. Created by Shawn Fanning, the technology allowed users to share their music files freely with other users. This would bypass the entire legal music market and let anyone who could operate a computer and simple software get their hands on the music they wanted absolutely free. The software quickly became noticed as violating copyright laws as it never had permission from the artists or their labels to distribute these files.

Metallica, a heavy metal act, discovered one of their demo songs “I Disappear” was circulating and even played on certain radio stations before the track was ever released. They were of the first to file a lawsuit against Napster for copyright infringement. A month later, Dr. Dre also filed a lawsuit asking Napster to remove all of his content from the service. These acts, along with many record labels pursued Napster in court for the massive copyright violation.

The media embarked on the story and in turn, indirectly made the service even more popular, putting a spotlight on music file sharing and increasing the amount of active users to over 26 million in Napster’s final stages.

On June 3rd, 2002, Napster filed for bankruptcy but the damage was done. The world was introduced to file sharing and online music consumption. Many imitation sites and software sprung up after this incident and to this day, you can still find illegal peer-to-peer file sharing solutions offering illegal music downloads.

So what makes a music download site legal or illegal?

There are very basic principles a music download site needs to follow in order to provide legal music downloads. Simply put, they need permission to distribute each music file on the site from whoever owns the copyright of, or legally represents the music. This can be either the artist, the artists publishing company, and/or in most cases, the artists record label.

In our first example, Napster took copyrighted material and without permission decided to make these files freely available. Neither the artist nor record companies were compensated. This is where the big problem lies. Music is like any other product on the market. Someone or a team of people put time towards creating a song or album and are selling their product. If you want the product, you have to pay a legal distributor of that product so everyone who was involved in creating it gets compensated for their work. If they are not, and have not agreed to make it available for free, you are stealing their product.

With music, stealing songs is infringing on copyright laws which are in place to protect artists and labels, and assure they are in control of who can distribute their art while in turn, getting compensated when someone does buy a copy of a song or album.

I did not know the site was illegal. It is not my fault.

Well, unfortunately any way you look at it, it is your fault. You are responsible for your actions on any music download site or service. The small loop hole in file sharing software and sites is that a user can use it legally. If I create an eBook on the best music download sites for example, and as the writer and sole copyright owner, I choose to distribute it for free to anyone who wants to take a read, I can put it on file sharing software and sites. If anyone downloads it, it is legal as I am not looking for any compensation. In this case, the user of the file sharing software or site is not doing anything wrong.

If a user downloads a copyrighted file from an artist or label that is looking to being compensated and never gave permission to the source of the file to distribute it however, then the user who downloads it can get into trouble and it is completely their fault for not doing their research before downloading the music file.

How do I know if a music download site is legal or illegal?

In order for any music download site or service to distribute music files legally, they need a distribution agreement with the artists record label. To make things simple, if you are looking for music from top 40 artists, most of these acts are signed to one of the major record labels; Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group. A music download site would need a distribution agreement with these companies to legally make this music available on their site.

If a music download site went through the trouble of putting together a distribution agreement with the 4 major labels, chances are they are proud of the accomplishment and would have this written somewhere in their “FAQ” or “About Us” section of the site. If it is not written, it is up to you to contact them and make sure they have the legal right to distribute the music files you are looking for before you download anything from them.

In the end, our generation has the luxury of having many legal music download sites available to us. It is simply a question of doing a little research before hand and making sure you go with a site that suits your needs, has the music you are looking for, but more importantly, offers legal music downloads which rightfully compensate artists for their work.

Top 5 Online Music Downloading Tips You Can Use Instantly

Downloading music online can be fun and simple after a while. Whether you are a newbie or expert in online music downloads looking for some useful music download tips, this article is for you. We will look at 5 useful tips you can use immediately to make downloading online music a great experience for you.

The whole music community seems to be buzzing about online music downloads, and there seems to be endless choices of online music download sites. You even have the choice of downloading music online for free. There are many ways you can listen to these online music downloads, such as downloading them to your computer and blasting them with a speaker, or burning them to a CD and listening to the captivating tunes using your home theater system. If you are an outdoor person, you can even play them on your CD player or MP3 player such as iPod when you are working out or on the move. The choices are practically limitless. Wow! Are you ready for some hot tips on downloading online music?

1. Compatibility of Download Files

Make sure to check the music file format of the download site, ie MP3 or other formats. Compare that with your digital portable player. MP3 format is the safest to go with. Forget about those sites that require you to convert them before they are playable on your media player.

2. Multi-Genre Selection

There are a lot of places where downloading online music of all genres is possible. This is important because whether you are particularly interested in selected music types such as pop, or jazz, with a multi-genre selection, it is easy to find what you are looking for.

3. Broadband Internet Connection

Downloading online music can be extremely slow if you are running on dial-up connection. In fact, for some folks, it feels like eternity. Listening to your downloaded music should be an instant enjoyment, and not a long-suffering pain. It’s meaningless to have access to unlimited online music downloads when it takes you forever to transfer a few files.

4. Secured Downloading

Internet security is a bigger issue nowadays than it was years back. Many hackers have intruded our online space, making the internet a huge hot bed for viruses, spyware, adware and the like. Avoid dubious sites that can potentially open the floodgates, allowing malicious applications to harm our computers. The download sites must be secured and safe for downloading online music. Many folks have fallen prey to virus and adware attacks, while downloading online music from Kazaa style websites. One important tip to note is to avoid download sites which proliferate our browser with advertisement pop-ups.

5. Quality of Online Music Downloads

The online music download audio files should be of a high quality and must not be edited. Did you know that there are some sad stories of how poor the quality of some downloaded music files are? People are looking for crystal-clear digital quality music downloads and not distorted unclear songs and music that have been shortened in length.
Imagine the disappointment with downloading online music of such standards!

After hearing these tips on how to download online music, you are better prepared to find a safe music download site for some nice online music. Nevertheless, I know how tedious it can be to surf around for good online music downloads especially when we want to download them quickly. You may wish to visit my blog for specific quick tips to sniff out your perfect place to download online music safely and instantly. Learn from my blog which are the hottest online music download sites that offers unlimited music downloads ready to be fed to your iPod or MP3 players at a few mouse clicks away.

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

Unlimited Music Downloads – Where to Download Quality Music

Unlimited music downloads are now made readily available on the internet from different online music stores and services. Some go on a pay-per-download basis, while others go on a subscription service, either on monthly or one-time basis. They reportedly carry millions of sound tracks and MP3 files from all the known music genres you can ever find. The question of where to download music is therefore answered by going to these music services which provide unlimited music downloads. But it is equally important to know which are the best deals in town when locating where to download music online. We take a look at what is downloading online music from these music download sites all about.

Major online music stores like HMV, Amazon and so on carry many labels and their selection is fantastic with loads of music pieces, movie soundtracks, songs, music videos and practically unlimited music downloads are available for you to download. Never worry about where to download music again. However, music lovers after getting the thrill of downloading lots of music files start to feel the pinch. This is where the latest new generation of music download sites would make them scream with excitement again.

You see, the new music download sites offer unlimited music downloads. And by that, it means that you not only can find any title or album you want but also download them without any quantity restriction. Be it 1000 songs or 10,000 songs that you intend to download, it does not matter. These music download sites would charge you only once for unlimited music downloads at an affordable rate that even teens have the ability to get their memberships. That is the whole intention of the music download sites, to reach the mass musical audience.

But there are almost a dozen of unlimited music downloads sites that solve your problem of where to download music quickly. So it can be quite a challenge to decide which to go for. Do not worry as here are some useful tips to help you along to decide where to download music from which music download sites for unlimited music downloads. These would find you the suitable music download site.

Be sure to first check out the music selection of these music download sites. There is really no point in using them even if they have millions of music pieces and songs, ie unlimited music downloads in their collection but none are what you want. Most should carry the general range of music that are more common like pop, rock and so on. But if you are looking for specific niche genres which are a little bit uncommon, you need to check if the music collection at these music download sites carries your desired label or brand of music.

Secondly, you need to confirm the file format of the music files you are downloading from the music download sites. This is easy as many have unlimited music downloads in MP3 format. This is the most commonly readable format used by most MP3 players or digital portable players. So as long as the music download site has it, you know this is where to download music so that you can enjoy unlimited music downloads on your player.

Another thing to take note of is some music download sites for unlimited music downloads require you to download special client application in order to download music online. If you are a frequent traveller, you may not like the idea that you need to install software on your computer in order to download music. This means that you can only do so from home. As such, you may want to go for those that do not require any client applications to do so. That said, the client application does not need a lot of computer resources and can be easily installed and removed. It is really your choice when getting the unlimited music downloads from the music download sites.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about where to download music at amazingly low one-off prices can visit my music blog and begin your journey of putting unlimited music downloads on your computer or MP3 player.