Music download sites have revolutionized how we consume music. Although it is easier and cheaper for consumers to access the latest music online, there was an illegal way to download music. This unfortunately led to other methods that exist today. The consumer must be aware of which websites and services are legal and which aren’t. It is helpful to look at the most popular illegal online music downloading solution in order to better understand the legality Letsmix.
The beginning of illegal music downloading.
Napster, a music file sharing program, was first introduced to the world in 1999. Shawn Fanning created the technology that allowed users to freely share music files with other users. This would allow anyone with a computer and software to access the music they want for free. Because the software was not authorized by artists or labels to distribute these files, it quickly became a violation of copyright laws.
Metallica, a heavy-metal band, discovered that one of their demo tracks “I Disappear”, was being played on radio stations before it was released. They were the first to sue Napster over copyright infringement. Dr. Dre filed another lawsuit a month later asking Napster for the removal of all his content from its service. Napster was also pursued by many record labels for copyright violations.
The story was covered by the media, which indirectly increased the popularity of the service. This spotlighted music file sharing and increased the number of active users to more than 26 million in Napster’s final stages.
Napster filed bankruptcy on June 3, 2002. But the damage was done. File sharing and online music consumption were introduced to the world. After this incident, many imitation websites and software were created. You can still find illegal peer to peer file sharing solutions that offer illegal music downloads.
What makes a music downloading site legal?
A music site that offers legal music downloads must adhere to a few basic principles. They need permission from the person who owns or legally represents each music file to be distributed on the site. This could be the artist, the artist’s publishing company and/or, in most cases, their record label.
Napster, which had copiedrighted the material in our first instance, decided to make those files available freely without permission. The artist and record companies weren’t compensated. Here lies the problem. Music is just like every other product available. A song or an album is created by someone or a group of people who are trying to sell their product. You must pay a legal distributor to get the product. This ensures that everyone involved in its creation is compensated. You are stealing their product if they refuse to pay for it and don’t agree to make it free.
Copyright laws are enforced to protect artists and labels. They ensure that they have control over who can distribute their work and get compensated if someone buys a copy of an album or song.
It was illegal. It’s not my fault.
It is, however, your fault. Any music downloading site or service you use is your responsibility. One small loophole in file sharing software is that users can legally use it. It is possible to put an eBook about the best music downloading sites on file sharing software. It is legal if anyone downloads it. I don’t ask for compensation. The user of file sharing software or a website is not guilty in this instance.
A user can be charged if they download a copyrighted music file from an artist/label that is seeking to be compensated but never gave permission to distribute the file.
How can I tell if a music downloading site is legal?
A distribution agreement must be signed by the artist record label in order for any music downloading site or service to legally distribute music files. It is easy to see that most top 40 artists are signed to major record labels like EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. To legally offer this music on a music download site, you will need to have a distribution agreement.