Today there are over 220 million users trading MP3s and videos legal file-sharing network. File-sharing has enabled music fans from around the world to build the largest library of recorded music in history. There are a lot of companies of the internet that offer “unlimited movie” downloads, or “millions of songs for free”, through a system called file sharing (or P2P – peer to peer).
File sharing is not illegal. Sharing copyrighted material without permission to do so is Illegal. This can be done through file sharing, through copying a tape for a friend, or by using a Xerox machine. All of these technologies have legitimate and illegal uses.
File sharing can be used to share a file you have full resharing rights to. File sharing is not legal if you are looking to upload, or download a full version movie, software or any media file that is not readily available for public download (i.e. is not free).
You can be assured that File-Sharing is 100% legal, that being said, to protect yourself, it is important to have a good understanding of the process of using file sharing networks and the tools available to enhance your experience.
Movie and music download websites do not condone copyright infringement. As a condition to use these sites, you agree that you must not infringe the intellectual property or other rights of others, in any way. The unauthorized reproduction, distribution, modification, public display, communication to the public or public performance of copyrighted works is an infringement of copyright. Users are entirely responsible for their conduct and for ensuring that it complies with all applicable copyright and data- protection laws. In the event a user fails to comply with laws regarding copyrights, other intellectual property rights, data-protection and privacy, such a user may be exposed to civil and criminal liability, including possible fines and jail time.
Aren’t MP3s illegal?
MP3 is simply an audio format and as such has no legal standing. While rights owners have concerns about a format that is used to make digital copies of music, it’s not the MP3 format itself that is at issue but rather the copying of music.
Is sharing music legal?
Copyright law protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual compositions. Individuals who reproduce, distribute copies, publicly perform or display works without the copyright owner’s consent, may be in violation of the law. For more information about U.S. copyright law, please visit [http://lcweb.loc.gov/cop]
Are you at risk?
If you or a family member have used Kazaa or any other file-swapping application recently and have left your computer open to the Internet, the answer is possibly–although the odds of being singled out among an estimated 60 million people using peer-to-peer software remain small. If you’ve kept thousands of songs in the file you’re sharing with other file swappers, then the odds are a little better though still slim. You can reduce your risk of being singled out by protecting your computer through 3rd-party services that completely hide your activity from the eyes of the RIAA and any government authority. Visit MP3Shield.com for more information.
How can I stay legal?
Stay legal and avoid breaking the law. Quick steps to stay 100% legal:
Make sure there are no potentially infringing files in your shared folders – meaning only files that are in the public domain, for which you have permission to share or are available under pro-sharing licenses.
Remove potentially misleading files names that might be confused with the name of an RIAA artist or song (e.g. “Usher” or “Madonna”) from your shared folder.
Disable the “sharing” or “uploading” features on your P2P application that allow other users on the network to get copies of files from your computer. Music companies are focused on finding people who share thousands of files on their computers with the rest of the community. If you don’t share – you don’t run the risk.