The internet has transformed the way music is consumed. While it’s easier and less costly for consumers now to access the latest music right from their homes, the breakthrough began with illegal downloading of music. Unfortunately, this opened the door to new methods of music consumption that are still available today. It is up to consumers to find out which sites and services they are allowed to use and which ones they are not. The first illegal online music download site is a good place to start.
This is the beginning of illegal music-downloading.
Napster was the first music file sharing tool. It was released to the public in 1999. Shawn Fanning invented the technology which allowed users free sharing of their music files with others. This would make it possible for anyone to use a computer and simple software to obtain the music they need. This software quickly became known for violating copyright laws, as it did not have permission from the artists nor their labels to distribute the files.
Metallica, a heavy metal band discovered that one of the demo songs for “I disappear” was being played on various radio stations, even before the track was released. They were the first ones to file a suit against Napster regarding copyright infringement. Dr. Dre also filed suit against Napster requesting that all of Dre’s content be removed from the service. Napster was pursued in court by numerous record labels as well for these violations of copyright.
The media was involved in the story which in turn made Napster more popular. It put music file sharing in the spotlight and increased the active users to more 26 million in Napster’s final stages.
Napster filed to declare bankruptcy on June 3, 2002. The Internet was made possible by file sharing and online audio consumption. Many software and imitation sites were set up following this incident. To this day, there are still illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing solutions offering illegal music downloads.
What does it mean to have a music download website legal?
In order to offer legal music downloads, there are some basic principles that a music site must follow. To put it simply, they must obtain permission to distribute any music files on the site from the owner of the copyright or legal representative. This can be the artist, the artists publisher company, or, most often, the artists record labels.
Napster, who had copyrighted our first example, made these files freely accessible without permission. Neither the artist or record companies were paid. Herein lies the biggest problem. Music is just like any other product. A person or group of people spent time creating a song, or an album, and they are now selling the product. To obtain the product, you will need to pay a legal distributor so that all those involved in its creation are compensated. If they aren’t and won’t make it freely available, you are stealing the product.
Stealing music is a violation of copyright laws. These laws were put in place to protect artists, labels, and ensure that they control who can distribute the art.
I didn’t realize the site was illegal. It is not my fault.
You are responsible, no matter how you look at it. You are responsible to your actions on any music site or service Fakaza. A small loophole exists in file sharing software or sites that allows users to use it legally. For example, I could create an eBook about the best music download websites and distribute it free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. I am not asking for compensation if someone downloads the eBook. In this case, neither the file sharing site nor the user are doing any wrong.
Users who download copyrighted files from labels or artists that want to be compensated for their work can end up in trouble. It is their responsibility to do their research before downloading any music files.
How do you know if music download sites are legal or illegal?
To legally distribute music files, any music download site must sign a distribution deal with the artists record labels. For music from the top 40 artists, you will find most of them signed to major labels such as EMI, Sony Music Entertainment or Universal Music Group. For music sites to legally distribute the music, they would need to sign a distribution contract with these companies.
A music download site should have a distribution agreement in place with each of the major labels if they are proud of their accomplishment. If you don’t see it, contact the labels to confirm that they have legal permission to distribute any music files you request.