Is It Okay To Use Illegal Downloads?

Are The Risks Worth The Savings?


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As a struggling artist you no doubt realize that you have to find a way to make things work without a lot of money. Doing this often means skimping on necessities or using older equipment for longer than you would like. But that is the price we have all paid in order to do a job that we love.

Since digital DJing has been growing in popularity from one year to the next, the controversy that follows piracy or illegal downloads or whatever you want to call it, continues to grow. DJs aren’t in agreement on this issue so as a newbie you’re probably not sure either. That’s okay; as long as you understand the pros and cons you can decide what to do for yourself.

Why It Is OK

Some DJs will tell you that illegal downloads are a perfectly acceptable way to build your DJ music collection. They will say that if artists and record labels worked harder on putting out quality material, they would be the first in line to purchase new tracks and albums when they come out. Then they will tell you that as an up and coming DJ you will have a tone of expenses and illegal downloads allow you to cut down on costs until you can afford it.

While I do agree that the quality of many records in their entirety has gone down…a lot. I remember when you could pop in a CD and listen to it straight through, skipping maybe one or two songs out of 20. These days that isn’t the case, but you also have the option of purchasing only the tracks you love legally.

The money issue is why so many DJs will agree that building your DJ library with illegal downloads. I can’t tell you how to handle your money, but I can tell you that doing so can potentially put your freedom and wallet in jeopardy.

Why It’s Not OK

I’ve already mentioned that one of the reasons illegal downloads are not okay is that the penalties include stiff sentences, including as much as 5 years in prison and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollar range in America. That is quite a hefty fine to pay to save what amounts to literally a few dollars here and there.

Then there is the issue of being a working artist. You have aspirations to produce original tracks, right? Well when you get there you will realize that every person who illegally downloads your tracks or records, are depriving you of income. That is what you are doing too, if you download tracks illegally.

Even if you have a very good reason for why you’re doing it, just remember that you could go to jail, go broke or at a later date become a victim…of karma!

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Go Free Or Go Home

Believe me, I know the temptation of heading on over to a torrent download and just grabbing tons of music. It’s free, after all, so you can just download everything and chuck what you hate, right? It is soooooo tempting, but honestly even with the whole ‘artists solidarity’ thing aside, do you really want to go to prison for some Top 40 track?

I doubt you do, which is why you should make your first stop when you’re looking to expand your DJ music collection to the many free music sites available online. There’s SoundCloud, Facebook, Bandcamp and Jamendo just to name a few. These sites are free so the only thing you need is time to sift through what’s offered to find what you do and do not love.

You can get top selling artists, indie tracks and completely unknown artists. The good thing is that you can find music no one else is probably playing and add to your sets, but the bad news is that you aren’t likely to find everything you want or need on a free site. But with these free DJ music sites at your disposal you can afford to fork over a few bucks for other tracks you really want.

Don’t expect a lot of big name artists and producers to have music here because they are almost certainly with a major music label and you know those guys aren’t giving away anything for free.

What To Do

Using illegal downloads isn’t as taboo as it once was but it is still against the law so it is something you should always think carefully about before going forward. As long as the music industry attempts to find ways to circumvent the wave of digital piracy, there will likely always be sources for you to get music for free in ways that are…less than legal.

The fact is that as a DJ you need music and you need to own the digital track rather than borrow it because you may need to manipulate it, so for now illegal downloading is probably a dirty little secret within the industry; something no one admits to but everyone does.

Just remember this: be careful and don’t go crazy.

I hope I helped you make up your mind about DJs using illegal downloads. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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