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Understanding the Legalities of Sharing Music with Friends at a Distance

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Music radio streaming has gone mainstream. At one time, only those who owned very fancy luxury cars and paid a hefty monthly subscription fee could listen to eighty-plus streaming channels of music all the time. Now, everyone can stream music for just a tiny monthly subscription price, and you only have to pay to listen to the music channels you want. 

Of course, there is a tiny problem with sharing music. Everyone wants to share something they heard with someone else. There are some legal issues with this, often with copyright laws and the loyalties rights of the musicians. When music is streamed, people are paying to hear it, and musicians are okay with that. When music is shared through certain channels, it may not be so "okay." Here is what you can share with friends at a distance and on social media, and how you can share it without breaking any laws in the music industry. 

Video-Sharing/Streaming Sites

Any video shot of musicians singing a song or in performance and shared on one of these sites is fair game for sharing with friends and sharing on social media. Most of the videos you can find are clips, and the clips predate the existence of video sharing, which means that the musicians, living or dead, are not entitled to claim royalties from the posting of these videos and the music you hear in them. Anything after the advent of video sharing sites may or may not require you to pay a small fee to see/hear and share it with others. 

Music Streamed by Artists on Social Media

Most musicians are social media-savvy, posting their songs and music videos for fans to enjoy. These streaming bits from the artists themselves are also allowed if you want to share them because that was the intent of the musicians in the first place. Cross-media streaming is also possible, where you are allowed to take just streamed music posted by an artist on one social media site and post it to another social media site. 

Downloaded Music Shared for Listening Only

You can share a song with a friend if you have paid for that song and it is yours to stream to infinity. If you did not pay for it but downloaded it another way (i.e., from a pirating site), it is not a good idea to share it. It probably was not a good idea to download it in the first place, but in the second place, it is worse for you to share something you did not pay to own because you could be caught and fined. Be careful about how you acquire and share music.