Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses


Is downloading music from the internet legal?

Published 01.11.08 at 09:30

No! Unless the music you download has been specifically licensed by the copyright owners in the music through an authorised source (for example, iTunes) you will be infringing the different copyrights in the music if you copy the whole or a substantial part of the track.

While the possibility of being traced by copyright owners might seem remote given that millions of users download music and infringe copyright across the world every day, collective organisations such as the BPI which represents the record industry, have now brought a series of high-profile private prosecutions against individual infringers in order to deter others. Internet service providers (ISPs) are now legally obliged to release details of service users who illegally download films or music. Beware of this risk!

Practical steps: Think about acquiring music from legal sources, for example, through recognised subscription sites such as iTunes, or through sites where music downloads are sometimes free, such as MySpace and free download site, Spiral Frog.

Content supplied by Daniel McClean.
Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³


Please note that this article discusses the legal position in the UK at the time of publication. It provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


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