Dave Lampson wrote:
>If you do not own the recording, it is illegal.
That's correct. The distinction is that it's not the piece you're
downloading but the recording of the piece. The only exception is if
a copyright holder freely makes his recordings available for download,
as was the case with our poor dearly departed mp3.com. In this case the
individual artists chose to freely distribute their recordings. A caveat:
even those recordings had to be of music that was in the public domain.
A recording of contemporary music is doubly protected: both the recording
and the music itself must be in the public domain.
While we're talking about downloading, I have to say I love Apple's
iTunes, where you can purchase recordings easily at reasonable prices.
(I'm not affiliated with them apart from being a Mac user.)
All this to say: Stay away from the P2P services! They are all illegal,
and every time you d/l something from there you are taking money from