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 a few pathetic Britney Spears single that you downloaded from Napster back 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 ought to 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 out charging for downloads because individuals were swapping entire CDs on the webpage. Now in all honesty, the system was abused, that 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 will vary…do explain!
With file swapping, two people were exchanging songs that had to first be purchased (at some point) at a store. Once 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 in order that all lost money – plenty of it – except Napster, which made a killing from advertising. But free MP3 music downloads are offered by artists, and sanctioned by music companies, as a means of attracting new fans. One is stealing, as 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 could not be possible otherwise. But there are a few things to look out for when considering 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 merely get a sample of the song rather than what you are really after – you know, just like the whole song or something silly like that!