For people around the globe, Music is a way of life. It helps to soothe us, motivate us, relax us and calm us. While most people prefer to buy music through the official stores, some people also resort to downloading music through illegal websites or via a music downloader. While these music downloader sites are barely expensive for customers to get music, these have provided opportunities for a number of websites to set up an illegal method of music downloads. So what makes a music downloading site legal or illegal? Let’s have a good look at them.

The place where it all began

Napster, in 1999, became the first software to allow music file sharing among users. Founded and created by Shawn Fanning, this software allowed users to bypass the entire music industry to get music for absolutely free. However, soon this software became embroiled in numerous legal battles over violating copyright laws and more while illegally distributing music files. In 3 years, Napster filed for bankruptcy over the numerous violation cases prosecuted over them, but the damage was done. In its aftermath, numerous other file sharing websites and software emerged which allowed users with the option to illegally download music.

What makes a website is legal or illegal?

To combat the rise of Soundcloud to mp3 websites and software, few copyright laws were made. There were few basic principles a site had to follow to provide legal downloads. Firstly, they would require permission to distribute such files from their copyright owners – artists/publishing company/labels. Also, these websites would have to provide compensation to the above mentioned owners for using their properties.

How to ensure that the music you download is legal or illegal?

The website that provide you music download in a legal manner would be having a legal distribution agreement with most of the recording labels and artists which would allow you to download music for their website. The website would be paying a compensation amount to that label in return for allowing you to do so. This isn’t the case with most of the illegal music downloader website or software. This was why Napster found itself in trouble with multiple recording labels because the sharing of music files over the software was not recognized by such owners and their copyrighted materials were shared across the internet without getting compensation in return, leading to a loss of revenue for them.

What if I download Music files from an illegal website without knowing?

If you download a music file from an illegal source with or without knowledge, it would be your own fault. You are the one who could be handed responsible for the actions you take. The owners of that music file expect a small compensation from you and the website you have downloaded their file from for you to get an access to them. Therefore, it is very important for anyone to do a complete research about a website before making music downloads via a software or website.

If Music download copyright infringement is possible, then why is CD Burner software available?

While the influx of CD Burners or other software which allow you to rip music is on a rise, action cannot be taken against them. This is simply because they have legalized use association. They are allowed to be used for personal back-ups of legally purchased files but people are using them for illegal sharing of music files as well.

The Last Words

The simple trick to understand if a website you are using is legal or illegal is to understand if they are seeking proper permissions from the copyright owners before distributing their files. If a website is not following such laws, then it could be safely concluded that that music downloader website is illegal.

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