Downloading music from the internet could be dangerous

MUSICALI love music and downloading the latest popular songs from the internet is one of my favourite hobbies. Now that I have a new laptop with a huge hard drive, I can download as many songs as I want.

As many of my peers would understand, the only problem is that the legitimate download sites charge money for every song you download or a monthly fee or something similar. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to find a favourite song for download on a mainstream site such as YouTube, but you have to be quick, because those are usually picked up quickly and removed for ‘infringement of copyright’.

The so-called peer-to-peer (p2p) sites are a grey area. Technically a friend is within his or her rights if they give me an original DVD with music of a particular performer or group. However, if they upload it to the internet and I download it from there it’s not legal.

I am in no way encouraging anyone to break the law, but most people who read this will know just how many p2p download sites there are. I must admit I tried using one or two of them in the past and I might have saved myself a few quid, but I also picked up a malicious virus on my laptop, which I just couldn’t get rid of. In the end it cost me much more than buying the songs would have, because I had to go to a professional computer shop to have the virus removed.

As a compromise I’ve now signed up with a UK service called Intomusic. They’re heavily into alternative and independent music, which is fine with me and in many cases they only charge a few pennies for downloading a song. What I like is that they allow independent artists to upload their music and sell directly to the public, which is exactly what I will do one day, when I have my own band.

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