• Cassandra L. Wilkinson

Why That Free Music You Download May Not Be Free! -- Part 2


From my earlier article, you know that you have to make sure that the music download website is a licensed distributor of the music that you want to download, otherwise you are downloading the music illegally.
Let’s say you have taken this step. So you have found a properly licensed music download website that claims to allow you to download music for free. So no problems, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case.
For example, a mom downloaded music from a website that allows free music downloads. She knew that the music was free for her private non-commercial use according to the website information page. So the mom decided to use the music in some of her videoblogs of her kids. To her the use of the music was for her private use and it was for a non-commercial purpose, so she believed that she could use the music for free in these videoblogs. However, the owner of the website contacted her about her unlicensed use of their music in these videoblogs and required her to pay $200 for the use of their music.1 The music download website’s terms of use agreement stated “Free Personal use excludes broadcast use of any kind, including, without limitation, web, blog, and podcast, gaming or shareware."2She failed to understand the complicated provisions of the terms of use agreement that did not allow her to use the music for free in her videoblogs.
There are other music download sites that advertise free music downloads like BearShare3 and Music Oasis4. However, both of these music download websites require you to download software to gain access to their music library. Users of BearShare have complained that they were charged for their music and could not stop ongoing charges, that the music does not play after it is downloaded, that the music stops playing after a time, and that the downloaded software caused their computers to have issues even after removing the BearShare program.5 While McAfee rates the Music Oasis website as a “trusted” website,6 users of Music Oasis have stated that the website puts harmful programs on their computers and has other issues.7
Another example of a free music download site is RoyaltyFreeMusic.com,8 but their free music download is limited to educational and non-profit use. Both RoyaltyFreeMusic.com and Musicbakery.com9 advertise their music to be royalty free (no ongoing licensing fee), but this is only after you have made the initial purchase of the music.
While there may be some good free music download website on the internet, most of the so-called free music download websites either find a way to charge for the music you download or can cost you in other ways such as causing harm to your computer.
Therefore, it is very important that you always read the music download website’s terms and conditions so that you will know when free use of the music from the website is allowed. It is also very important to check out any music download website for user issues prior to downloading any software onto your computer.
1. FreePlay Music Warning by Erin Neale at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/message/18579 2. FreePlay Music, Terms Of Use Agreement at http://www.freeplaymusic.com/licensing/termsofuse.php 3. BearShare Website at http://lp.bearshare.com/?appid=717&lpid=884 4. Music Oasis Website at http://www.music-oasis.com/download/Audio/Music-Oasis 5. My3cents.com the consumer revolution! Website at http://mythreecents.com/showReview.cgi?id=23917 6. McAfee SiteAdvisor at http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/music-oasis.com/summary/ 7. McAfee SiteAdviser – Reviewer Comments at http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/msgpage/music-oasis.com/summary/ 8. Royalty Free Music.com at http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/ 9. MusicBaker.com at http://musicbakery.com/

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