What should I teach my children about downloading music?

When it comes to downloading music, it is important to teach your children about safe, and legal, downloading practices. Here are some great tips to share with your children:

1- Teach them the word “copyright.” Downloading and/or sharing music that is copyrighted without the consent of the copyright owner is illegal. Alert your children that the federal government takes illegal download of media very seriously, and criminal penalties have been as much as five years and prison and/or $250,000 in fines.

2- Remind them that torrenting (peer-to-peer file sharing) or illegally downloading music can also result in unknowingly downloading malware to your computer. These pieces of malware are hidden in the MP3 file, and are designed to steal login information.

3- Tell them the good news: there are many websites from which it is legal to pay for and download music. It is up to you to decide whether you want your children to use pay-for-music sites. Some of the sites include:

    - iTunes
    - Amazon MP3
    - Yahoo! Music
    - AOL Music

    4- Make downloading music fun and interactive. Many of the legal sites allow you and your children to create and maintain playlists, review music, see the top songs in many categories, and more. It is a great opportunity for you to explore different kinds of music with your children.

    Also see,
    How does music and file sharing work?
    Is it legal to share music and movie files?
    What is online streaming music and where can I find this service on the internet?
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