Is it safe to download music illegally?

The next time you think it safe to download music illegally, think again. You might just end up being fined $116,000 per song like this woman did.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset of Minnesota,US,32-year-old mother of four was found guilty by a jury of willfully violating the copyright of 24 songs, and was fined a total of US$1.92 million, or $116,384 per song according to an Associated Press report.

Downloading songs without paying for them or sharing the music files online are both violations of copyright.

Even if you have purchased a CD or an MP3 file from a legitimate online store, it is illegal for you to make copies of the song other than for your own use.

Many people may not know this, but the money you pay when you 'buy' the song actually goes towards purchasing a licence and a right to listen to the song. You do not own the song itself.

You only have the copyright to a song when you recorded it at home, using your own melody and lyrics.

Don't want to end up in court over copyright infringement? Here are some of the things people do online that could potentially end up with a hefty fine:

1)Sharing music online without obtaining the rights to do so

2)Downloading music from sites, without paying and/or without permission from the copyright owners

3)Adding the file as 'background music' to a website or blog without obtaining the licence or rights to do so


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