Many people who download loops, samples, and music software think that they are getting usage of materials that would have otherwise cost them at what they consider a much better price, free. But is it really free? There are other factors to be considered when searching the web for illegal downloads on unmonitored forums or illegal torrent sites. Such factors include risking viruses and identity theft from sites looking to steal precious information, losing all rights and publishing to materials made with illegally downloaded content, and lack of support.
One of the fastest growing crimes worldwide and especially in the United States of America is identity theft. It seems as if one can’t watch television or listen to the radio for more than a half hour or so without seeing or hearing a commercial that is either selling a service to protect your identity, or promoting a certain credit card because of its identity theft protection. The simple fact is that sites that allow illegal downloading aren’t very concerned about protecting the users of their site as they are making their money off of membership fees or advertising. In the worst cases these sites are identity thieves, and the very download could contain a virus or trojan from either the site administrator or some other user that posted the content who are looking to access your most personal information. How valuable is that free construction loop set, sample pack, or music software if you download a virus that destroys your computer or worse you download a trojan that steals your identity? Many of the illegal download and torrent sizes are hosted in war-torn and poverty-stricken countries where identity theft runs rampant without effective oversight or enforcement.
Every sample sound provider and music software developer has what many like to call the fine print. Terms and conditions can be found in nearly all modern digital content. These terms and conditions lay the ground rules for using what is ultimately licensed and not owned content. Many loop and sample sound companies explain that their product is royalty free as long as you add music and or vocals. It also forbids users from giving, borrowing, lending, selling, or otherwise distributing the content without the written permission of the content owner. Therefore, by the statue of the rules an individual that illegally uploads or downloads a product falls outside the rules of royalty free usage. Simply put, this means if one downloads a product illegally, makes a hit record, but can’t show proof of purchase they forfeit all rights, publishing, and royalties while at the same time making themselves legally liable. Many sample sound companies are now using watermarking technology that digitally marks and encodes all of their loops, sounds, and samples so that they can’t track them at all times even if they are edited or included in other music.
I don’t think I have every met a musician that enjoys reading a manual or following directions, but I do know the numbers …Continue reading »