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You don't need to worry about getting sued by RIAA or arrested by FBI if you download legal music. Many independent and unsigned musicians offer downloads of their music in hopes of attracting more fans. If you don't think violating copyright laws by downloading music with filesharing programs like Kazaa, Grokster, Morpheus, Madster, eDonkey, Direct Connect, OpenNap, iMesh, or Gnutella could get you in serious trouble, then you need to read RIAA Obtains Subpoenas Against File Swappers. You can avoid any such problems (like lawsuits) by enjoying music from tens of thousands of talented musicians who offer legal downloads of their music.
You might be thinking--how do musicians make any money if they offer free music downloads. The simple answer is that they will make money way they always have, by selling recordings, playing live concerts and selling merchandise such as T-shirts, hats, beer mugs and posters. While RIAA sheds crocodile tears over way file sharing programs rip off recording artists, truth is, on average, a musician makes 41 cents for each CD sold. The record stores earn a couple of bucks per CD, and record companies reap astronomical profits.
That is precisely why a number of top artists have announced their support for file sharing. Offering music downloads is at least as effective at drawing fans to a concert as selling a compact disc, and possibly more so.
With so much free music readily available, it is sometimes difficult to find music that's actually worth listening to. Although many bands and individuals offer music on their websites, there's no real way to tell if it's any good without actually downloading it. But you can help pick out good from bad by using collaborative filtering, for example, by downloading music with iRATE radio which can be found at irate.sourceforge.net.
Another way to find worthwhile music downloads is to let others do work and then reading music reviews which several web sites offer. One of best such sites is Fingertips, which calls itself "An intelligent guide to free and legal music on web." Other websites that provide reviews of music downloads are Gods of Music and Gigatracks.
By downloading your favorite music tunes, you are no longer constrained by offerings from a single CD. Do some research for quality music download sites, take advantage of any free trials on pay sites, download music, burn your own CD filled with your personal favorites, turn up volume and "let good times roll."
Larry Denton is a retired history teacher having taught 33 years at Hobson High in Hobson, Montana. He is currently V.P. of Elfin Enterprises, Inc., an Internet business providing valuable information on a variety of timely topics. For a music studio full of suggestions, resources and advice about music downloads, visit http://www.FreeMusicDownloadZone.com