Yes. Downloading a program can be viewed as “making a gift” to a company and the legality of this practice is very important. A federal appellate court ruled that copying a program to your desktop or mobile device is only legal if doing so doesn’t materially affect the use of the product.
It is also important to note that the Supreme Court has recognized that copyright infringement can be considered an intentional act of copying, which would put downloaders in the same category of copyright infringement as the artist. Therefore, if you are downloading a program for free without intending to make something of it, you’ll most likely be treated as an infringer.
What if I’m looking for a tool I can use to create my own music or photos?
There’s also a case out in Virginia that has a case in court about using a music application or a photo viewer to create your own compositions and upload it to the Internet.
Can I use a program to find an artist or artist’s artwork?
Yes. While there hasn’t been a ruling specifically from the Supreme Court, the courts have previously ruled that copyright can be extended to include electronic resources such as computer files.
Can I use a program to track or search for artists or musicians?
Yes. Search engines such as Google, along with the popular music sites that allow you to search for artists or members of a particular genre, have a legal monopoly on data that they own and which are used to provide the data for search. However, the ability under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to obtain any of your data is only available if it is used for an “indefinite” length of time.
However, there’s also a case in New York Supreme Court that may give downloaders the ability to search for free music.
There are three different types of copyright that can be granted, but two of them are reserved for authors: original works and performance-rights copyrights. A work is considered original if the work is original to the owner of the copyright. Performance-rights copyrights are used to control and restrict usage of copyrighted material through recording and broadcasting of the material.
Where can I find free software or software for your computer?
There are many free software and open-source operating systems available for free download from the Internet and from commercial websites. The free software distribution network Sourceforge offers a comprehensive listing of this and other free software.
If you have a CD (the first program