It's all over the news these days. Download music online and you can be sued, fined, and/or head over to jail. In reality free music downloads, done efficiently, are completely legal.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) aggressively prosecutes copyright violators. And well they should - it's piracy plain and straightforward. But there are millions of free mp3 downloads legally available. RIAA doesn't want you to know this and wants you to believe any music downloads you don't pay money for are illegal.
You'll quickly attract RIAA's attention by utilizing file-sharing services like Kazaa and Grokster. The technology is not illegal (yet), but using it to share downloadable music is at best a grey area. Making no mistake, RIAA can and will find you!
How do I get Free Downloadable Music without having to break the law?
First understand the difference between restricted and unrestricted copyrights. Nearly all songs have an artist or record label copyright. Many copyrights restrict gratis downloads. But a majority of musicians desire to share their music at no cost through free downloads.
Why, you might ask? Some are unknowns trying to find exposure, but a majority of famous musicians know it's in their interest to offer mp3 download. It inevitably leads to more CD, concert and merchandise sales. And yes it boosts their image and popularity.
Most music download services give you a free trial period when you can download songs free of charge. Cancel ahead of the trial ends and the songs cost nothing. Of course they hope you'll stay and pay the monthly membership fee, which actually is a cheap way to expand your music collection.
Study the membership terms as some sites only allow use of the downloads while you are a member. Moreover, a "free music" search will result in sites - by or musicians - that offer mp3 downloads for free.