Prosecutors don’t care if you don’t know about copyright laws, they work to defend them regardless of the ignorance or knowledge base of the offending person. Just don’t put yourself in a compromising situation, especially when you can use royalty free music that is so affordable and easily accessible. You may also want to brush up on copyright law to be on the safe side. Here are some important facts about copyright law that you need to know about downloading anything other than royalty free music. Remember that you cannot use the music on a CD you bought for a website. Just because you paid for the CD, that doesn’t mean you have permission to use the music for anything other than your listening pleasure. Even nonprofits don’t have rights to the music even thought they don’t generate a profit. They are still subject to copyright the same as Goldman Sachs or any other multi-billion dollar company would be.
Furthermore, death does not magically erase a musician’s copyright rights and ownership. Currently, the law says that the music’s creator has the rights to his or her work for about 70 years after death. Even Mozart’s rights are protected or at least his interpretation of his work. The only way you don’t have to worry about a music composer’s rights is to use royalty free music or get permission to use copyrighted music and pay for it. Often times, this can be a lengthy and frustrating process as you weave through the intricacies of getting a sync license from a major publisher or record label. Sometimes, the track you want might not be available for any price per the artist’s agreement with the publisher…in that case no matter what price you pay, you will not get the song you want for legal usage.
If you are still unsure or wary as to whether or not you should use the music you downloaded from the Internet, think of it this way: Would you take the corn growing in a farmer’s field without leaving money for the cobs that you took? Nope. So, why would you do what amounts to the same thing to a music composer? Your best course of action is pay the high price for the music you want to download or get the same quality of music without the hefty price tag with royalty free music.