While talking with some students about legal downloading, one of them asked, “What is legal downloading anyway? Is downloading a song for free illegal?” Good questions. It also just highlighted the fact that people still don’t understand what the heart of this concern is, so lets get back to basics.
Music and videos, even books, are ideas of various people. Just as it takes time and skill to build a house or a car, it requires a gift, skill and talent to create and produce the songs and shows that we love and enjoy. To get the music or videos from their maker to our eyes and ears takes money, time and effort. The recording companies, or even the artists themselves will go to a lot of trouble to make their music or video really polished so that people will love it and hopefully pay them for the joy of listening to it. Still pretty simple right?
Now, people do indeed want to hear their music. So they have choices. They can go to a record shop and buy the artists CD or DVD . This is a legal purchase. It is a straight sale.
Enter the digital world. The music or videos are made available online. The question is, was it done with or without the consent of its creator or distributor? This is what will determine if the download is legal or not. Keeping in mind that this is a source of income for people, this usually means that they need money. If you are getting it for free, that means less money for them.
Imagine someone with a stack of CDs of his music. Each person who approaches him pays for a copy of his disc. Now one of them copies it and puts the copy online for everyone to copy (download) for free. The poor artist with his stack of discs will now be standing there with fewer sales because people would rather get his songs for free online.
Now, some artists do give free downloads of their work but the site will usually specify it as such. These will not be on a peer to peer network. These will usually be on the official site of the artist or from their recording company. An example of this is Tyrese‘s Ghetto Royalty.
So, to put it bluntly, unless it is the person who created the song or the producer/director of the video who is sharing the download with you, it is illegal. So please don’t be a pirate and download legally.
[tags] download,legal,Tyrese, Ghetto Royalty,piracy,free music [/tags]