It honestly appears like the Feds could break our door down at any minute and haul us off to jail for downloading free music. Plus, because of well-paid lawyers and filthy rich record executives, you also have to be worried about getting sued for some pathetic Britney Spears single that you downloaded from Napster back in college! While the iPod and increasing amount of companies offering legal music downloads (for a fee, of course) appear to show that consumers still want their MP3s, the simple truth is that you should be leery of the words “free” and “MP3” appearing together on an internet site.
Well, free downloads brought down Napster and they are illegal – why even risk it?
Actually, that isn’t true. Napster fell from grace and had to start out charging for downloads because individuals were swapping entire CDs on the webpage. Now in all honesty, the machine was abused, which is what caused the lawsuits to begin with. Plus, and I know this is getting technical, Napster allowed “swapping” of MP3 files, not downloading.
So file swapping, which costs nothing, and free MP3 music downloads will vary…do explain!
With file swapping, two people were exchanging songs that had to first be purchased (at some time) at a store. Once the song or CD was purchased, the record company got their cut, the musicians made their money, and a lot of record store clerks and warehouse people had jobs, aswell. Swapping cut everyone out of this loop so that all lost money – lots of it – except Napster, which made a killing off of advertising. But free MP3 music downloads are offered by artists, and sanctioned by music companies, as a way of attracting new fans. One is stealing, as the other is marketing.
There needs to be a catch…there is nothing free!
Well, as I said, free MP3 music downloads are about promoting an artist, and getting them some exposure that could not be possible otherwise. But there are a few things to watch out for when considering any free MP3 music downloads. First, it’s quite common for older songs to be listed as free MP3 music downloads, but the kicker is that you merely get a sample of the song instead of what you are actually after – you know, like the whole song or something silly like this!