Is It Illegal to Download Free Music?

The Confusion Surrounding Music Copyright Law

Because there are so many different ways to get free music off the internet, there has become a lot of confusion and conflicting views as to what is legal and what isn’t.

“OK, so it’s illegal to burn a copy of a CD and distribute it. So are you telling me I can’t burn a mix CD and give it to a few of my friends?”

“It’s illegal to download free songs of peer-to-peer websites and servers, but can I download a song from my friend over Dropbox?”

These types of song copying and distribution leave many feeling that the laws are vague and outdated, so they just continue on downloading music illegally.

The increasingly popular technique of “YouTube to mp3” where you grab the mp3 file from a video someone posted of a song has only added to the problem.

Is that illegal too?

Let’s take a look.

The FBI Warning

You know how when you’re watching a movie on a DVD (for those of us who still do that) and on the screen comes that familiar “FBI WARNING” that tells you the material is copyrighted and it’s illegal to make unauthorized copies of said material of any kind… etc.

Well, despite what some outdated articles might say, this copyright (or internet piracy) law also applies to music.

What does that mean?

Redistribution of any kind, without the artists consent, is illegal. And if you participate by knowingly downloading music that is being distributed without the artist’s consent, you are participating in illegal activity.

This article at IBM compared using these third-party sites just to rip music from YouTube, like “using cassette tapes to record songs of the radio”.

And peer-to-peer servers as well as other websites that don’t even technically host the files on their website, are still participating in this illegal activity, and in the future, copyright companies will continue to be cracking down on this activity.

Are There Other Options?

Yes. You are not without hope. There are so many options. Honestly, with all the options out there it’s amazing how many people are still working so hard to download music for free (OK, there’s not that many). I remember those days, myself.

And I cringe at the thought of having to once again edit the properties of each individual song so that it would be neat and orderly on my iPod.

Never again.

While you do have the option of subscribing to a music streaming service as many have, if you’d like to keep listening to your music very cheaply without an internet connection and you want to actually own the songs you’re listening to, I’d recommend a service like Mp3million, where you can download songs for nickels and dimes. These kinds of sites are legal as long as they are paying royalties on the song licenses. And with that said, hopefully you’ll be on your way to continue your music downloading lifestyle without (too much) interruption.

Solve Your Credit Card Debt Problems – Seek Help of a Good Credit Attorney

Are you floating into the sea of credit debt trap? Well, you need to know that you are not alone in this but there are several Americans too who are facing the same kind of problem. Such situations are increasing because you are forced to swipe your credit cards due to insufficient money. Besides this, if you aren’t employed in a good firm, then you are not making good bucks for sure. Also, using the plastic money too frequently and spending beyond your means will lead to unnecessary debt problems. Do you want to overcome your debt problems? If yes, then what are you waiting for? You may take the help of a good lawyer and ask him to help you with the credit card payments. They may even help you with your rights and draft a suitable repayment plan so that you can get rid of debt problems soon.

Some ways how a credit attorney can help you with the credit bill payments

If you have accumulated extreme credit debt and you know not how to repay them, seek help from a lawyer. Check out some ways how an attorney can help you with credit card bill payments.

Stop getting the collection calls – When you ask your lawyer to help you with the credit card bills, he’ll take the responsibility of contacting your creditors so that they may not call you for the payments. However, if the creditors still call you, then your lawyer may send a cease and desist letter to them as per the rights under the FDCPA.

Determine the rights of a debtor – Being a debtor, it is extremely important that you determine your rights. Your attorney can help you in negotiating with the creditors. They can also help you with reduction in the interest rate and thus, the payments. However, you are accountable for paying the card balance that you’ve incurred.

Draft a suitable repayment plan – Your attorney may formulate a suitable plan so that you can pay off the credit card bills you owe. He will also be able to suggest you if any of the debt relief options such as consolidation, debt settlement or bankruptcy may be suitable for your situation. Besides this, he can also suggest suitable ways how you can reduce the credit card debt problems soon.

Follow the plan offered by your lawyer – Your lawyer will suggest you a suitable plan for eliminating the debt problems. It is important that you stick to the plan offered by your lawyer. Be sure that you will be able to make the monthly payments with the new plan. If you think you cannot, request your attorney to assist you how you’ll be able to make the credit card bill payments.

Mediator between you and the credit card company – You need to know that your lawyer acts as a mediator between you and your credit company. As such, if you want to talk to your creditors but aren’t comfortable, then you may ask your lawyer to help you out in this matter. This way, you will be able to solve your credit card debt problems.

Employment Law Advice for Small to Medium Businesses

For those of you who are starting a business or to existing business owners, the rules surrounding employment law can become very complicated when you are looking to employ other people. However, as difficult as it may be, it is important for you to become familiar with these rules in order to comply with you legal responsibilities as an employer. Different laws will apply to different countries, so it is essential to become aware of the laws that will be applicable to you so that you can protect your business and prevent any future litigation. Here are some main areas of employment law that you will need to be familiar with.

Contract of Employment

It will be necessary to provide your employees with a written statement of the terms of employment when they start their employment with you. The main topics you would need to account for within the terms of employment, include, the name of the parties to the agreement, job description, hours of work, details of pay, both employer and employee obligations, place of work and holiday pay entitlement. Although this list is not complete and you may want to add some extra terms that may be relevant to your business. This ensures both you and your employees are fully aware of the obligations under the contract of employment. Should any disputes arise in the future, you can always refer back to the contract of employment in support of your case.

Discrimination

It is important to become aware of discrimination laws, as damages awarded for unlawful discrimination can be high. As an employer you should do all that you can to prevent unlawful discrimination at your place of work. Do not discriminate against someone because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or if they have a certain disability. This can also apply when you are advertising and interviewing candidates for job roles. You should select those candidates based on the specific skill required for that job. Try to ensure that you provide equal opportunities to all your workers.

Vicarious Liability

As an employer, you will be legally liable for the acts of all of your staff. So it is important to take any complaints of bullying or harassment from other workers seriously and investigate them thoroughly. Ensuring you have a grievance procedure in place for dealing with these sorts of issues will also be useful.

Minimum Wage

Within some countries, employers are under a legal duty to pay their workers the national minimum wage. Usually, this is worked out based on the workers age and what year they started employment with you. If you already have a contract of employment in place that pays below the minimum wage, the contract will not be legally binding, so it is always best to check if you are complying with these rules.

Health and Safety in the Workplace

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe, working environment is maintained for all workers and members of the public that enter the premises. It is therefore wise to carry out a thorough risk assessment of the work place as well as for each employee and comply with all health and safety regulations, to avoid any negligence claims. The assessments you chose to carry out will depend on the nature of your business, even simple tasks such as ensuring spillages are cleaned up, signs are placed clearly indicating any potential hazards, providing protective clothing and storing hazardous substances appropriately will help to avoid negligence claims.

Although employment law sounds like a minefield, being aware of the rules and seeking advice could go a long way to help protect your business. There are lots of resources online that may help you with this and if you are really confused, prevention is always better and seeking out advice from employment law specialists might work better for you.