Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
back
Church Internals
Church History


Joe wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am concerned if downloading free music online is wrong in the eyes of God. I am using a site called [site hidden] which claims to be legal, granted the law around this site and YouTube is hazy.

On a moral ground, the site claims to compensate artists through paying performance rights organizations for streaming content. They also are trying to get blanket licenses from recording groups. I see no moral issue with listening to free music on the radio.

  • Is it wrong to download this music without paying?

Thanks,

Joe

  { Is it wrong to download this music without paying for it? }

John replied:

Hi, Joe —

I tend not to be very legalistic about this sort of thing.

If the site is compensating the musicians then you are acting in good faith.

John

Mike replied:

Hi, Joe —

From what I read it appears that once you sign up and pay a monthly fee, you can download whatever music you wish. My assumption is you can't do this unless you are a member.

The only other way to download the music is if you hacked into the web site, which is obviously immoral and illegal. If you are not sure of what your agreement is, try calling or e-mailing the people at the web site.

Mike

Eric replied:

Joe —

If in good faith you believe the site is legitimate, and have no reason to believe it is not, and based on your description, those sound like good assumptions, then it's OK to download the music because the sites have worked out licenses for all of this.

I'd take the site at its word on this; if they lie, the guilt lies with them, not with you, unless there are clear warning signs you recognize but willfully choose to ignore.

Eric

Joe replied:

Thank you for the guidance.

To answer Mike,

Membership at the site is free but they claim to be compensating or negotiating ways to pay artists.

Joe

Eric replied:

Hi, Joe —

If Pandora can do this, so can others.

Eric

Joe replied:

Thanks!

I am going to take away from this that, in your judgement, it seems OK.

Right?

Joe

Eric replied:

Joe —

We can't offer legal advice or make decisions for you; we can only offer general principles and let you make the decision.

Doing some research into [site hidden], it seems to have traveled through some murky waters and I'd caution you to examine them carefully. I'd do some good old-fashioned detective work:

  • using the web to look up news articles and reviews from trusted sources
  • reading their terms of service and FAQ's
  • reviewing the Wikipedia entry
  • examining the controversy surrounding them, and
  • so forth.

I note that both Google and Apple have kicked them off their smartphones, not a particularly good sign, but not a sure sign of malfeasance, either. The real condition boils down to this:

  • After due diligence, can you ascertain that the songs you are downloading are properly covered by a license to the best of your knowledge?

Eric
[Related posting]

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.