Why Downloading Pirated Music Pinches!

Nobody likes being called a thief, even those that download pirated music online. But the fact remains that people who perform free music downloads or buy music online using credit cards, from controversial web sites may be part of international piracy.

For many shoppers online, “legal” and “legitimate” are two words that do not mean much and they would not mind buying music from unethical sources, if it means having to pay much less than what it actually sells for.

There are several websites that sell all the latest downloads from top American artists for pennies on the dollar. Music fans are only too thrilled at the prospect of getting music so cheap, especially with the quality and experience being almost the same as the music downloads found at legitimate music sites such as iTunes and others. They willingly enter into the black illegal world of piracy, where they are asked to use their credit cards to purchase music downloads.

What they fail to realize is that, by buying music from these illegal sources, they are becoming part of the theft and piracy racket.

Not many music aficionados who download music from these file-sharing sites really understand the extent of this crime, but even those that do, pay no heed because of the convenience associated with such sites, in terms of low prices and newest songs.

Some even feel that it is perfectly okay to download free pirated music because the musicians have enough money and are not losing much or because the recording companies are charging too much for CDs. They fail to look at this as almost similar to stealing a CD from a store and most of these people would not dream of doing that offline. Stealing online or offline, still amounts to theft and downloading music without paying for it or paying less using illegal sources is stealing.

Keeping aside the conscience part of it, most music fans are not aware of the risks of using credit cards at these sites. The few that are vary of using their credit cards on sites embroiled in legal issues, say that they do not feel secure as they are not sure where their credit card numbers are going. The problem with crossing international boundaries is that there is a huge grey area with no support.

There are several such websites hosted in Russia and these are supposed to be the riskiest sites on the web. Known as the king of Russian music websites, AllofMP3.com closed its doors in 2007, and during its existence was often part of the legal battles contesting its legitimate status. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), most Russian websites are said to violate international laws by selling copyrighted music without permission. RIAA slapped a lawsuit on AllofMP3.com in 2006, for $1.65 trillion, for all the 11 million songs that were downloaded from their site. Although, RIAA was not given that money, it did manage to shut the site down. After the closure of this site, there are other Russian websites, such as MP3sparks.com that continue to perform this illegal activity.

In fact, Visa and MasterCard stopped accepting transactions through several such sites and many people complain that their cards have been declined.

People who use credit cards at illegal sites can be aggressively pursued and caught, through their credit card details. They not only stand every chance of getting their ID stolen but also get their credit ruined.

As the music industry and the credit cards associations clamp down on this issue, consumers are seeing more and more lawsuits. Many file sharing users have been slapped with lawsuits. An aggressive example of one such lawsuit won by RIAA in the recent past is against a resident of Minnesota, for $222,000 for 24 copyrighted songs she had made available on the Kazaa network.

Experts feel that those dealing with Russian websites are more at danger because of leaving a paper trail behind, with the use of their credit cards. Music fans have to rethink what is right and wrong and whether it is worth taking these risks and being seen as criminals in the eyes of law.

One Response to “Why Downloading Pirated Music Pinches!”

  1. Ethan Says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place.

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