I remember when there was a big issue with Napster and what was alleged as illegal downloading of music from the internet. I remember my husband grilling our children about how the kids obtained the music they listened to on MP3 players and computers and trying to figure out if the Napster police were going to come knocking on our door. A lot of talk and speculation came from every household about how this would affect the use of personal music players and how we were to govern the use of these devices to keep out of trouble.
Today, it seems that there are still a lot of questions about what is legal and what is illegal. Many rumors abound on the internet about this question and the right way to obtain music.
According to www.worldlawdirect.com, an MP3 (a certain digital format of music) is legal because it is “just a format of music.” Most of the MP3 files found on the web are “perfectly legal, put up there by unknown bands who want to get noticed.”
They go on to say
To put it simply, you may make a copy of your own CD for your personal use. That means you may record it to a cassette tape or rip it to MP3 files. You may not, however, give this copy to another person. Many people believe that if no money is involved, then no law has been broken. This is false. Whether you give the copy away or sell it, this is still a violation of copyright law.”
Paying for digital music can be expensive. Very expensive. With the high amount of songs that can be held in an MP3 player, it can really get costly.
A number of download sites are still available for folks to get pirated music. There are even some smartphone apps that have the same options. If you decide to pursue these avenues, be mindful that:
“The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is much more strict and deems copying of copyrighted music (with the exception of making a copy for your own use) as illegal. The U.S. Code protects copyright owners from the unauthorized reproduction, adaptation or distribution of sound recordings, as well as certain digital performances to the public. In more general terms, it is considered legal for you to purchase a music CD and record (rip) it to MP3 files for your own use. Uploading these files via peer-to-peer networks would constitute a breach of the law.” (www.worldlawdirect.com)