p2pnet news | Music:- Hundreds of millions of people around the world share music files with each other every minute of every day.
Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on PR campaigns designed to convince you the chances of your being caught file sharing —- that’s to say illegally distributing copyrighted music —- are a very high indeed.
They’re not, especially if you look at the numbers in a global rather than local context.
But in much the same way that remora-like corporate scalp hunters exist to cash in on copyright scare by pretending they can accurately identify file sharers, other companies exist to weasel you out of your hard earned dollars, and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) has gone to the trouble of compiling a list of 30 dodgy sites.
They, “may leave you with the impression that they are legal sources of a full range of music – including the top performers and music labels – but they are not licensed distributors of at least a substantial quantity of mainstream music,” says the CDT, going on:
“In particular, the sites on our list promote themselves in ways that suggest their music catalog is relatively comprehensive, when in fact they appear to have done nothing to license or otherwise ensure the legality of any downloads from the major music labels.
“Even where these sites include ‘legal information’ cautioning users against illegal downloading, that information is not sufficiently clear, or prominent, or specific to prevent users from mistakenly perceiving the sites as sources of lawful copies of most mainstream music.”
In 2005, followingf compolaints filed by the CDT, the Federal Trade Commission brought charges against Mp3DownloadCity.com and MyMusicInc.com, both of which claimed to offer ’100 percent legal’ downloads.
“While the FTC case only addressed the practices of mp3downloadcity.com, a variety of other Web sites appear to continue to engage in behavior that raises similar concerns,” says the CDT, going on:
“Although these sites now avoid overt claims such as ’100% legal,’ their promotional materials and any discussion of legal issues still offer limited, confusing, or misleading information about the true legal status of the downloads they purport to offer.
Below, the CDT lists 30 services which may resemble fully licensed music download or subscription services but which, “upon more careful inspection, appear to advertise or at least imply the availability of music to which they have not secured the rights”.
Adds the CDT, “Thus, U.S.-based subscribers/customers of these Web sites download copyrighted music or other content at their own risk. (We have not investigated whether these sites have licensed or otherwise obtained rights to distribute mainstream music in other countries.)”
“Please note that CDT has not scoured the Internet for all Web sites that would meet the criteria for the list. If you want to call our attention to other potential examples, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, please be aware that the mere fact that a Web site does not appear on the list does not necessarily mean that the Web site is a reliable source of fully licensed, legal downloads.”
Click here for details for each of the above sites.
caught file sharing – Caught by the RIAA: the odds, December 28, 2007
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