In recent years we’ve seen the number of sources to download music online increase drastically. However, the issue of downloading music online is still a little touchy and unclear. I’m sure that a majority of the population wouldn’t even have a clue about what’s wrong and what’s right, and when it comes down to it – they’re probably downloading music illegally. For this reason, I’m going to explain the legality of downloading music online in this article.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of sites that allow you to listen to music online legally. With these sites, the artist has knowingly consented to make their music available to the public or service/site for free or for a fee. This fee doesn’t always a result in a charge to you. As the service or website itself will often cover the cost. The hard part is finding a place to download the music for free.
With that said, it is actually possible to download any music for free if it isn’t protect by copyright anymore. Usually because the music is old and the copyright has expired. Sites like the Free Music Archive collect and list copyright expired music so you can download and use it legally. However, as the music has to be old for its copyright to be expired, it’s fair to say their music collections are limited.
The issue occurs when people don’t use sources like those mentioned above. Instead they download the music without the artist’s or music label’s consent, which is a copyright infringement. If you do this, no matter where you received or downloaded the music, you’re breaking the law. Whether or not you’ll get punished for breaking this law… Well, that’s another story.
To avoid breaking any laws, you just need to ensure that the source you are going to for the music has permission to use and distribute the music. So be sure to check the legitimacy of each site closely. You can usually do this by reading the fine print, or terms of service page located somewhere on the site or app. However, if you aren’t sure, or aren’t able to tell if it’s not breaking any copyright laws, it may be best not to risk it at all. Just stick the more popular music services like iTunes, Google Play music, SoundCloud and other free music downloading sites and apps.
Unfortunately, the good old days are gone and it’s now harder than ever to find a site that allows you to download music for free – legally. But hopefully the topic of ‘illegal’ downloading is a little clearer and you can proceed to find your music online without getting into any trouble!