If I download music from limewire, bearshare, or any other file sharing sites, am I breaking the law?
will I be fined if I download from file sharing sites??
Most definitely. It's still obtaining music which you most likely do not own, and the individual sharing the music with you most likely has no rights to share it. It makes it completely illegal. Besides, the risk incurred in such activity is very high. Viruses, ad ware, and spy ware abound on such programs. You have no clue what you're really getting, even if it looks like you do.
Yes, it is illegal.
Well as the others say, yes, technically, in probably most cases, the music is will be copyrighted material and so it is illegal to take it for free, or indeed to give it out (share it) for free - without the copyright-holder's permission. Despite some high-profile cases where individuals have been, successfully of course, prosecuted by record companies for illegal filesharing, this is obviously a scare tactic by the record companies, and we are talking about a handful of individuals being prosecuted - out of, I imagine hundreds of millions of file-sharers - so the risk to you is really extremely small.
As regards what Mr. Edwards says about viruses, well I have to say it seems like he is anti-filesharing and therefore he would say that to put you off - although I may be wrong(?). In reality I would say, although he is right there are many viruses on filesharer's computers, the risk is no greater really than that associated with using the rest of the internet - I mean to put it in perspective, if you don't use filesharing because you're worried about downloading viruses through it then you shouldn't really use the internet either.
**This is not to say of course that you shouldn't be careful** Take all the precautions that you do with the rest of the net - make sure you have proper anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware software and use it! Virus-scan your downloads - you'll find, handily that many popular filesharing software - this may help you choose - will have a setting in the options to *automatically* scan all incoming files using you installed anti-virus software.
And if you do get a virus etc through filesharing, just bear in mind it could *equally* happened through email, browsing etc.
Rather an essay there but hope that helps!
when you sign up for limewire you agree that you will not use their file sharing program for illegal activities & by pirating music you are breaking the law