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Laws for Downloading Music

Manali Oak
"What's the big deal if I download my favorite music for free?" If you are among those who say so, you better be careful the next time you download it; as you could be violating the law. Read on for an overview of the laws for downloading music.
Many of us love music and we tend to derive a strange kind of pleasure from obtaining it for free. Yes, it is strange that we are excited about the idea of not having to purchase music and feel privileged that we can download it for free.
Melodious music is the outcome of great effort and creativity; every song is a piece of art, exquisite in its own way, and an innovation in itself. Obtaining music without abiding by the laws for downloading it, is like snatching it greedily without bothering to credit its creators.
How can you say that you love music when you are not even ready to pay the price for it? When you say that music gives you divine pleasure, how can you undermine the effort and expertise behind its creation? How can you not abide by the laws laid down for downloading music, when you claim to be a music buff?
No one would underestimate the amount of effort that goes behind the release of an album. Most of you are aware of what it takes to write lyrics, compose music and bring it before the masses in a form that will appeal to them. Music is not about being in business; it's not about making money.
Music is about communicating with divinity; it is about reaching out to God and gifting Him with something that is an outcome of His gift to you - your creativity.
If you can turn away from the commercial aspect of the music industry and are convinced of the fact that music and money are unrelated, you will never think of breaking the law. Actually, law and love can never come together. Let's not get into who brought them together and why.
The least we can do is to abide by laws laid down. Let's resolve to never indulge into breaking them.

Downloading Music - What Law Says

In the United States of America, unauthorized redistribution, reproduction and adaptation of music is illegal. When people download music illegally, artists and technicians, along with record companies and music stores suffer financial losses.
The Recording Industry Association of America and professionals in the music industry, therefore began filing lawsuits against people who download music illegally. They also conduct campaigns to spread awareness about the consequences of downloading music illegally.
The unauthorized downloaders of music are subject to lawsuits as well as criminal penalties. The penalties can vary anywhere between $750 to $250,000. The penalties for downloading music illegally, can also be in the form of up to five years of imprisonment. They vary depending on the degree of copyright infringement.
What are the various ways in which laws for downloading music are violated? Downloading copyrighted music with the use of file-sharing services, transferring it over a network through email or messaging services and placing music files on the Internet, thus making them available to download, are some ways in which laws for downloading music, are violated.
The acts of both uploading and downloading copyrighted music, without permission from the concerned authority (artist or recording company) is a violation of law. Also, obtaining music from pirate pages, which are peer-to-peer networks facilitating the download and transfer of music, is not legal.
With steady increase in number of websites and online portals offering free music sharing, obtaining free music is no longer equated with music theft. However, this is a wrong idea. If you are downloading music without paying for it,  be ready to pay the 'heavy' price for that unlawful act of yours. In short, you will have to pay the price; sooner or later.
There are many websites that offer free music downloads. There are several others, which allow online transfer and sharing of audio and video files. Then how are the web users to be blamed? Are the website owners offering download options held guilty? Sure, they are; but it's not just website owners.
Users like you and many, using these websites are equally guilty. It is we who are encouraging the business of such websites, thereby becoming a part of the 'steal'. Those who acquire music illegally, indirectly contribute to the decline in the sales of original music.
How many of us are actually keen about purchasing original CDs and DVDs? How many of us bother to buy original music collections? Not many! Most of us have all the time in the world to go shopping for pirated music. We have the time to browse the Internet in search of downloadable music files available for free.
But we do not pay heed to give the art its worth by purchasing only what is original. The laws for downloading music vary from country to country. In some countries, it is legal to purchase a CD and record it to MP3 files for personal use, but it illegal to upload these files on peer-to-peer networks.
In Canada, downloading copyrighted music is legal but uploading it is a breach of law. In order to compensate for the losses incurred by the music industry due to consumer copying, extra fees have levied on recording media.
Generally, obtaining music from websites that allow unlimited downloading in exchange of a membership fee, is a legal music download. For example, iTunes, a digital media player application by Apple Inc. facilitates connectivity to the iTunes Store, enabling the web users to purchase and download music.
It is legal to transfer songs from an original CD onto a computer, but sharing these songs over networks is illegal.
This discussion must have given you a fair idea of the legal issues involved in downloading it. But don't you think ethics is much more important that legalities? Don't you think it is not only illegal but also very immoral to steal music for free? Don't you think it is wrong to deny giving these brilliant artists their worth?
The price we pay for acquiring music is for the priceless pleasure we derive from it. It is a tribute to the talent and effort behind those exclusive pieces of art. If you say you love music, it is your responsibility to not let that love lure you to break the law.