General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

I just downloaded a song. Is it smart to do it again?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2549points) December 10th, 2008

I’ve read this post and even asked this before. Anywho I used a program called Frostwire to download a few songs. I will not be sharing it with anyone; I converted them on iTunes and I’m only going to be listening to it on my computer. I could make a whole library out of doing this—is that wrong or illegal? Will the FBI be watching me now? What makes it illegal, if it is? What do you think of what I’ve done?

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19 Answers

FBI's avatar

I am afraid we won’t be giving you the chance to do it again. IP address noted.

PupnTaco's avatar

See recent discussions on “piracy” for some level-headed thoughts from both sides of the issue.

El_Cadejo's avatar


dave you mean like the link that was posted in the details:P

queenzboulevard's avatar

@FBI Did you disable Frostwire? Can you disable Frostwire? What exactly have you done to take away my chances of doing it again? lol

Zaku's avatar

I could make a whole library out of doing this—is that wrong
Not according to me.

or illegal?
Maybe. Do you own rights to what you downloaded somehow? What are the laws where you live?

Will the FBI be watching me now?

What makes it illegal, if it is?
Laws heavily influenced by for-profit media corporations.

What do you think of what I’ve done?
Only worth responding to because I’m avoiding doing something else. Go ahead and make yourself a collection of music, as far as I’m concerned.

eambos's avatar

As long as you don’t download something like 100gb in a week, I doubt anything will happen. If you don’t sell it, there’s an even more minute chance of any legal repercussions.

mea05key's avatar

nah i don’t think the FBI will be that free to catch ppl downloading musics online illigally. Besides there are millions of people doing that everyday

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

You may want to read this article about Limewire, especially about the privacy settings. If you don’t have it set up correctly, pretty much you give everyone on Frostwire access to all the information and files on your computer, whether you know it or not. It carries the disclaimer about copyright violations, which to me is theft. people disagree with the law, I know, but there are also those who feel “date rape” really isn’t rape. The law is the law, and if you owned these songs, you would feel it’s theft, too

tonedef's avatar

Whoa whoa whoa, Alfreda. Date rape? Really? People think piracy laws are busted because they do not view piracy as immoral, especially when listening to music might as well be free- you can use Pandora, find promotional mp3’s on a search engine, or just turn on the radio.

A better analogy would be comparing piracy to smoking marijuana. They’re both illegal, and millions upon million of people do them every day. Also, the majority of people are probably dubious that these activities are “immoral.”

All that said, I would urge the original poster to pursue legal means of downloading music, like the previously mentioned search engine. OR, if you have to pirate, at least try to avoid P2P software. It’s rife with security issues. There are communities online of people sharing music, which is safer technologically, and legally. BUT! I still do not necessarily condone stealing music. Just, if you do, use protection.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@tonedef: AP is not wrong on the rape issue. I, too, see it as an extreme example but date rape often falls into the completely fucked up category of “grey rape” in which the victim may not realize they were raped until much later and it is almost impossible to prosecute. And yes, many people don’t feel like it is really rape. The thought process is something like “they wanted to be with the person, they went on the date,...” or “you can’t change your mind mid-way” (to those who, say, consent to make out but not…)

dynamicduo's avatar

Limewire and all of its clones have a bad history of containing virus-infected files. That’s one reason why torrents are so popular – the chances of a virus or fake file being shared by thousands of people are slim, and these torrents are often deleted (or at least noted in the comments) once they are proven to be fake. If I need a specific song, I’ll search for a torrent of the album, and only download the song I want.

I am not getting into this date rape side discussion started, suffice to say I agree wholeheartedly with tonedef that a better analogy would be marijuana. One should be comparing victimless and injury-less crimes here, not one injury-less crime against a possibly injury-full one. Apples and oranges shouldn’t be compared just cause they’re fruit, similarly downloading music and date rape shouldn’t be compared just cause they both have laws around them.

chelseababyy's avatar

I’ve used frostwire and limewire for YEARS. Nothing’s ever happened to me, no viruses. No nothing. The only albums I buy are who I really like. Other than that I just download from torrents. Maybe you should just do it that way.

iwamoto's avatar

…or you could just buy your music…

dalepetrie's avatar

Illegal? Yes, if you didn’t pay for the license to the song(s). Are you likely to get in trouble? Not based on RIAA precedent. So far they’ve pretty much only sought to prosecute on the distribution side, not the consumption side. It’s probably too big of a headache and would cost too much money to go after someone who downloads a few (or even a few thousand songs). Think about the economics…how much would it cost to figure out who downloaded it and file a lawsuit? We’re talking several grand. So, to break even, at a buck a song, you’d have to download several thousand songs and agree to roll over and pay restitution as soon as they tapped you. If it went to court, well in order to win enough to just recoup their losses, it would probably have to be 10s of thousands of songs. But let’s say you have a few thousand songs and you share it, and 1,000 different people or 10,000 different people make copies of that content. Well then it’s WELL worth suing. Now of course, they could say that you owe $250k per song, but no court is going to let the RIAA charge Joe Sixpack $250k per song. They might say, OK, a buck a song, plus a few bucks a song in punitive damages, but it’s not going to be a moneymaker for them to go after users, only if they share what they got. Not saying you should do it though, just telling you how it is as I see it.

Beans4life's avatar

I don’t think it’s bad because i have done that many times myself. But sadly it would be illegal if you shared it with someone, because when you buy music you are entitled to that copy, you can share that one all you want. Since you downloaded it you can only listen to it on your computer. When I did that I just deleted the songs after a while, downloading is a form of stealing from the artist because they are paid for each bought copy of whatever song or album you buy.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@tonedef, the relationship to date rape is more accurate than relating it to the legalization of pot, because laws on pot are based on the theory that it’s a gateway drug. The laws are in place to enforce “good judgement” on people.

Music is owned. It’s a product, even if it’s not tangible. Someone creates it, and either keeps it for distribution or sells it to a record company for distribution. Something is created and someone owns something. It’s offered for sale. Pre-internet you would either have to buy music at a music store, or borrow from someone you knew and copy it. You didn’t waltz into a stranger’s computer and take something that didn’t belong to you. The correlation to date rape is that something is taken without the person’s permission. The fact that she may be drunk or dressed like a skank, or has a “reptutation”, or may have even had sex with you in the past, does not create implied permission to take something without explicit permission.

Access to music because you happen to own an iPod is not a right. You’re not entitled to have enough music to fill up an iPod without purchasing it. If you don’t have money budgeted to buy music, then listen to Pandora, or livestreaming, and commercial or public radio, and buy what you can afford. If music is that important to your life, prioritize it.

tonedef's avatar

@Alfreda, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but what you just said is the logical equivalent of “A cat is a dog because it’s not a bird.”

Resistka's avatar

Ive said in a couple topics, I feel we should be able to download legally, 1. Millions of people do it everyday 2. Artists make alot of money as it is 3. Music should be free, not sold! 4.There are worse stuff happening

However I think Sharing it with Multiple people should be illegal cause thats just.. how RIAA see’s it, and Selling is and should be illegal because your selling something that took you 5 minutes to get. And you did nothing to make it.

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