Who doesn’t like movies and music? [If your answer is “me,” you can stop reading now.] The Internet offers such an amazing array of entertainment, allowing us to listen to or see favorite artists or shows in our rooms or while we walk around campus. There’s just one problem: Some ways of accessing entertainment on the Internet are illegal, putting you at risk for being sued and/or perhaps losing your access to the Internet (thanks to the University’s acceptable use policy). Further, file sharing can put your computer or other device at risk for viruses and malware that can be present in the files you download. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that there are ways to find legal sources of digital entertainment, including Bird Trax from Illinois State University. Legal Sources of Online Content, provided by EDUCAUSE*, lists many other legal sources. Check them out!
An important note from EDUCAUSE: Some of the sites listed provide some or all content at no charge; they are funded by advertising or represent artists who want their material distributed for free, or for other reasons. Just because content is free doesn't mean it's illegal. On the other hand, you may find websites offering to sell content which are not on the list below. Just because content is not free doesn't mean it's legal.
“Legal Sources of Online Content,” EDUCAUSE | Policy Analysis and Advocacy.
Accessed March 17, 2011. <http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent>
* EDUCAUSE is a non-profit policy analysis and advocacy organization serving higher education.