Is It Illegal To Download Music

Literally millions of songs are available for download using P2P software—and they are easy to get. Just install a popular file sharing program like uTorrent, enter a quick search for your favorite song, artist, or movie, and you’re in business. Unfortunately, downloading copyrighted material (like music) without permission is illegal. Nov 25, 2021 “It is illegal to download free songs from peer-to-peer websites and servers, but can I download songs from my friends through Dropbox?” The copying and distribution of this kind of songs makes many people feel that the law is vague and outdated, so they continue to download music illegally. Illegal music downloading has been an issue since the late 1990s and early 2000s, where music was made available through the internet and users were downloading music files and circumventing actually purchasing the music. Illegal music downloading was, and still is, most popularly done through file sharing networks or peer-to-peer networks.

By Jay MatlockSubmitted On October 15, 2015

The Confusion Surrounding Music Copyright Law

Because there are so many different ways to get free music off the internet, there has become a lot of confusion and conflicting views as to what is legal and what isn't.

'OK, so it's illegal to burn a copy of a CD and distribute it. So are you telling me I can't burn a mix CD and give it to a few of my friends?'

'It's illegal to download free songs of peer-to-peer websites and servers, but can I download a song from my friend over Dropbox?'

These types of song copying and distribution leave many feeling that the laws are vague and outdated, so they just continue on downloading music illegally.

Is allavsoft legal

The increasingly popular technique of 'YouTube to mp3' where you grab the mp3 file from a video someone posted of a song has only added to the problem.

Is that illegal too?

Let's take a look.

The FBI Warning

You know how when you're watching a movie on a DVD (for those of us who still do that) and on the screen comes that familiar 'FBI WARNING' that tells you the material is copyrighted and it's illegal to make unauthorized copies of said material of any kind... etc.

Well, despite what some outdated articles might say, this copyright (or internet piracy) law also applies to music.

What does that mean?

Redistribution of any kind, without the artists consent, is illegal. And if you participate by knowingly downloading music that is being distributed without the artist's consent, you are participating in illegal activity.

This article at IBM compared using these third-party sites just to rip music from YouTube, like 'using cassette tapes to record songs of the radio'.

And peer-to-peer servers as well as other websites that don't even technically host the files on their website, are still participating in this illegal activity, and in the future, copyright companies will continue to be cracking down on this activity.

Are There Other Options?

Yes. You are not without hope. There are so many options. Honestly, with all the options out there it's amazing how many people are still working so hard to download music for free (OK, there's not that many). I remember those days, myself.

And I cringe at the thought of having to once again edit the properties of each individual song so that it would be neat and orderly on my iPod.

Never again.

While you do have the option of subscribing to a music streaming service as many have, if you'd like to keep listening to your music very cheaply without an internet connection and you want to actually own the songs you're listening to, I'd recommend a service like Mp3million, where you can download songs for nickels and dimes. These kinds of sites are legal as long as they are paying royalties on the song licenses. And with that said, hopefully you'll be on your way to continue your music downloading lifestyle without (too much) interruption.

I've been using Mp3million for a few years with great success. See my full Mp3million review.

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Is It Illegal To Download Music For Free

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MLA Style Citation:
Matlock, Jay 'Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?.' Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?. 15 Oct. 2015 10 Dec. 2021 <­It-­Illegal-­to-­Download-­Free-­Music?&id=9198962>.
APA Style Citation:
Matlock, J. (2015, October 15). Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?. Retrieved December 10, 2021, from­It-­Illegal-­to-­Download-­Free-­Music?&id=9198962
Chicago Style Citation:
Matlock, Jay 'Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?.' Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?­It-­Illegal-­to-­Download-­Free-­Music?&id=9198962

Although we may not want to admit it, many of us have downloaded a song from YouTube to have on our computer, MP3 player, or iPod. The question of whether or not what you are doing is legal may have crossed your mind as well. So, is it legal to download music from YouTube?


Written by Brett Colvin

So is downloading music from online services legal?

In Canada, it is legal to download music from YouTube so long as you do not use your computer skills to get around any barriers in place to prevent you from downloading the song, and you are not using the song for anything that makes you money. This means you can download music, you did not obtain through illegal means, to listen to at a later time. However, you need to be careful what you copy the music onto because this exception only applies if you copy the song onto your MP3 player or iPod, not a CD.

What about videos that are not created by the artist, but some people created lyric videos (and say they don’t own the rights to the song)?

The law here is not entirely clear. It seems that these videos may fall under “user-generated content” or better known as “the YouTube exception”. A personal video made with a song the creator does not own in the background is an example of user-generated content. These types of videos can be found all over YouTube, and under Canadian law, this is not copyright infringement. As long as the video is not uploaded or used to make money, the creator does not need the song owner’s permission to use the song in their video. Since these videos likely fall under user-generated content, it is unlikely that they would be considered an illegal source.

Is It Illegal To Download Music Without Paying For It


Although it is not illegal in Canada to download music from YouTube, downloading music from YouTube violates YouTube’s Terms of Service. Since you are breaking the terms you agree to when you use YouTube, YouTube could suspend or terminate your access to the service.

Despite the information above, downloading music from YouTube is still an uncertain area in Canadian Law, and you need to be careful or else you could be fined. Although it is unlikely you would be fined for downloading music from Youtube, you can reduce the risk completely by signing up for music subscription services like Apple Music or Spotify. YouTube even has a premium option that allows you to download videos from YouTube.

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