October 11th, 2007 Jamie
A lot of kids get pretty excited to use P2P software like LimeWire when they get to college—away from Mom and Dad’s watchful eyes. I’m sure you’re aware that sharing copyrighted music and videos is illegal, and you’ve probably heard that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is tracking down students who pirate music. They even try to get your school to work against you by matching your name to your IP address for them.
The other issue with P2P software is that, if you aren’t careful, it can give anyone access to your personal files, which may contain credit card numbers or your Social Security number. You may not think so now, but that is a big deal. If someone gets a hold of those numbers, they can potentially use your credit card or steal your identity—and that could really mess you up, even later on in life.
Luckily, there safer options—you can often get free music and videos legally. Check out these spots to download, watch, or listen to free, legal music & video:
Ruckus is a website that offers totally free album downloads to college students. They offer music from current popular artists like Kanye West and Boys Like Girls to older hits like Bruce Springsteen. Not every school is signed up for Ruckus, but you can always petition to have it offered at your school by submitting a request on the website.
iTunes offers free album tracks every week, both from little-known artists and from more popular artists like Colbie Callait. They also have quite a few TV shows that you can download for free—usually the pilots (first episodes) of new shows, but sometimes other episodes as well.
TV Network Sites
Networks often post full episodes of their most popular shows for free on their websites. For example, you can watch full episodes of popular shows like Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Heroes, and more on the ABC Full Episode Player and the NBC website.
MySpace.com is a great place to find free music. Most popular bands have music you can listen to for free in their music players, and some—from the up-and-comers to the basic garage bands—let you download and keep their songs for free.
Know of more places to get free, legal music? Email me or add a comment below!