Is It Legal to Upload Music Files for Free?


Quick Answer

Uploading copyrighted music to the Internet is against the law, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Unauthorized Copying can lead to criminal charges and a felony on a person's record.

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Full Answer

Examples of copyright infringement including making an MP3 of a song from a CD that was legally bought and uploading it to a file sharing site, burning CDs of music ripped from a legally bought CD, downloading MP3s from an unauthorized website, emailing or being emailed MP3 files, and transferring music through an instant messaging service, states the RIAA.

People caught infringing on copyrighting laws can be prosecuted in a criminal court or sued in civil court, notes the RIAA. As of 2015, the minimum fine for copyright infringement for civil penalties is $750 per song copied. For criminal penalties, the fee can be as high as $250,00 and a person may have to serve five years in prison.

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