Keep Your Free Music Downloads - I Don't Like Prison!
It honestly seems like the Feds could break our door down at any
minute and haul us off to jail for downloading free music. Plus,
thanks to well-paid lawyers and filthy rich record executives,
you also have to worry about getting sued for some pathetic
Britney Spears single that you downloaded from Napster back in
college! While the iPod and increasing number of companies
offering legal music downloads (for a fee, of course) appear to
show that consumers still want their MP3s, the truth is that you
should be leery of the words "free" and "MP3" appearing together
on a website.
Well, free downloads brought down Napster and they're illegal -
why even risk it?
Actually, that's not true. Napster fell from grace and had to
start charging for downloads because people were swapping entire
CDs on the site. Now in all honesty, the system was abused,
which is what caused the lawsuits in the first place. 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 are different...do explain!
With file swapping, two people were exchanging songs that had to
first be purchased (at some point) at a store. When the song or
CD was purchased, the record company got their cut, the
musicians made their money, and a whole lot of record store
clerks and warehouse people had jobs, as well. Swapping cut
everyone out of that 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, while the other is marketing.
There has to be a catch...nothing is free!
Well, as I said, free MP3 music downloads are about promoting an
artist, and getting them some exposure that would not be
possible otherwise. But there are some things to watch out for
when thinking about any free MP3 music downloads. First, it is
common for older songs to be listed as free MP3 music downloads,
but the kicker is that you only get a sample of the song instead
of what you are really after - you know, like the whole song or
something silly like that!
Another thing to watch out for are information mining sites.
Before you ask, let me just tell you - these are sites that
offer up free MP3 music downloads, but ask that you fill out a
"quick survey" first. Buried twenty pages deep into the book
the smallest print allowed by law that they can turn around and
sell this information. Now, you may think it a good trade for
free MP3 music downloads, and willingly give out the information
for some decent tunes at no charge. However, if you are a little
nervous about who has your information and for what purposes,
you may just want to spend a buck or two for the song and be
done with it. No matter how you look at it, though, free MP3
music downloads are out there, and you really can add some great
tunes to your collection - without worrying about being served a