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Information and Policies > Advice on Peer-to-Peer Filesharing >

Legal alternatives for obtaining music, videos, and TV

There are many sites that offer legal alternatives to illegal file sharing. These typically fall into some general categories:

  • Buy and Download
    You download and pay for single songs, albums, or movies. You are able to keep what you have downloaded. For music, many people use iTunes.

  • Rent and Download
    Renting is more often done with movies. Normally you are able to keep the movie for only a certain period of time.

  • Subscriptions
    Subscriptions are similar to renting, but for a fee you are able obtain music or movies on demand from their libraries. An example of such a service is Netflix.

  • Online listening or viewing
    There are many online radio stations that provide online music at no cost.

    Many TV shows are available online from the major networks such as   ABC,   Comedy Central,   CBS,   and   NBC.

These links are just examples. We are not endorsing one site over another or one method over another.

Caution:   if you legally obtain music or movies on your computer and have a peer-to-peer filesharing program such as Limewire, your computer may start sending out your music or videos. That is a copyright violation and it puts you at risk of a lawsuit.


How to find these sites with music, videos, movies, and TV

One of the best ways to find the latest information on sites offering legal alternatives is to search the web for a phrase like:

Here are some good places to start looking:

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Advice on Peer-to-Peer Filesharing
This page maintained by the Department of Networking. Last modified on August 24, 2008.