"We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there's a little Darth Vader in all of us." -Chris Stevens
Question #3244 posted on 02/16/2004 midnight

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it or is it not illegal to download music from the internet???

- Not wanting to be a law-breaker

A: Dear wants to be legal:

No, it's not illegal in and of itself. It *is* illegal if the artist (or whoever owns the copyright) has not approved the online distribution of the recording. Buying a song through iTunes or one of the other online music services is kosher. Downloading -- be it through the web, FTP, a chat program, or a P2P system like Kazaa -- a song that the artist has released is entirely kosher too. I love the Future Crew, who distributed all of their music online (they split a few years ago). I also have a whole bunch of Orbital bootlegs (recordings from live performances) because Orbital allows those to be distributed. The safest way to know if a song is safe to download is a) buy it from an online music store, or b) download it from the artist's website.

-- The Keeper of Liberal Pens