The issue of downloading music over the internet continues to be a debated topic. Granted, downloading music in such a way to circumvent having to appropriately purchase it is considered illegal, though there is still some inherent confusion of the legality of downloading music.
The downloading of music has garnered a stigma to be an illegal act by many, largely due to the court case involving Napster, where many people were sued for illegal music downloads. However, there are ways in which legal music downloads are allowed.
Legal music downloads can generally be said to be those in which the music is being purchased. A legal mp3 download can be done through various websites and file sharing services which charge for such downloads.
Many services are now providing subscriptions to users where a monthly fee is charged and there are certain amounts of downloads that can be done within a monthly period. Furthermore, there various legal mp3 download sites which charge a monthly fee for unlimited downloads, usually at fairly reasonable prices.
Even though legal music downloads are available, illegal music downloads continue to occur. The fact is that there is still software available in which music files are shared without being purchased. Generally speaking, when confronted with the issue as to what a legal mp3 download is, it is best to simply assume that any download of music in which there is no purchase required should be deemed illegal, unless it is strictly allowed by the copyright owner of such music.