When is it Illegal?
While most parents have talked to their children about why they shouldn’t shoplift, many of these same parents have never explained to their children the consequences of illegally downloading music through internet sharing programs.
Downloading songs is becoming more and more popular for people of all ages, but preteens and teenagers are the primary users of programs that download songs from the internet. Downloading music from the internet can be completely legal under certain conditions, but there are also circumstances in which it is illegal and under penalty of law.
The law protects the original content of musical artists through basic copyright laws. These copyright laws are meant to protect the copyright owners from unauthorized reproduction and distribution of their product. This means that the moment you start downloading someone else’s music without authorization, you are breaking the law.
If you or your children are found to be illegally downloading music from the internet, don’t be expecting a slap on the wrist or a small fine. The penalties for breaking federal copyright laws are steep. Breaking these laws can result in prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. Many people who have illegally downloaded music via the internet have been sued for thousands of dollars per song.
Your children need to understand that the consequences of illegally downloading music are serious. Not only is it breaking the law, but it is affecting the entire music business. It may not seem that the top artists and record labels would be much affected by people simply downloading a few songs from the internet, but the effects of this practice are more far-reaching than you might realize.
With the rise of illegal music downloads, legal sales in the music business have dropped. These not only include the sales of big-name artists and labels, but also the sales for artists and companies just breaking into the business. These people generally do not have a lot of money, and a small drop in sales can have a substantial impact on their career or business.
This prevents diversity and competition in the music industry, and will eventually result in a drop in the amount of new, quality music available to the public.
Inform your children that there are still plenty of legal ways to download music. Several internet sites allow you to pay per song, or pay a small monthly fee for the ability to listen to an unlimited amount of songs. Before you give your money to just any site, however, make sure that they are legitimate and legal. Some music downloading sites will charge you a fee to download music even though they don’t have the proper authorization.
By teaching your children how to respect copyright laws and obtain music through legal means, you are giving them a lesson in morality and ethics than will benefit them for a lifetime.