Negative media attention on music piracy comes at a time when technology has made it easier to download free music than ever before. While music piracy has resulted in changes to copyright law, many internet communities exist that are downloading music for free. Not only is it possible to get free downloads, many music fans and enthusiasts are doing it legally without breaking any laws.
Digital recording allows many aspiring artists to create and upload mp3 files of their own music, often recorded at home for low cost. Many major label and unsigned bands, underground artists, singer-songwriters, and DJs have websites promoting their music and offer new or existing fans the option to download free music. Social networking sites will often feature the option for download music for free from new and local artists looking to promote themselves by offering curious fans music for free to download. This form of promotion is encouraged by many artists.
Many bands and musicians today are taper-friendly. This means that they permit and often encourage fans to record their concerts and live shows to share on the internet. Most taper-friendly bands actually require that downloads of their shows remain free. By offering live shows to fans free of charge, artists form a friendly bond with their audiences and inevitably help attract new fans to their concerts. Fans are treated to download free music and participate in growing the artist's fan base through word-of-mouth promotion.
Not all music that is free is piracy. Many artists harness the internet, digital recording and distribution to further their careers and allow fans to download free music legally.