Ken Colburn of Data Doctors answers Jay, who writes:
What can you tell me about www.winmx-software.com as a download media for movies/music, etc.? Their prices seem reasonable (perhaps too reasonable) and I am curious if they are a legitimate outfit or one that is trying to scam the music industry. Trying to avoid getting involved with litigation such as occurred with Napster and Kazaa not long ago.
The popularity of file-swapping on the Internet has created quite a bit of confusion among law-abiding, well meaning Netizens. When Napster went from an illegal downloading program to a legitimate pay-per-song download site, it just added to the confusion.
When it comes to any media related site that deals with copyrighted materials, the first sign that something is not above-board is when a site offers an ‘all you can eat’ plan for music, movies, or software for a fixed fee. In order for an artist to be properly compensated for the materials they create, there must be a way to charge for each time that the item is downloaded.
In the case of the Winmx-software site, how could a measly $1.50 per month even begin to cover the actual costs for the thousands of songs, movies, and software programs that could be downloaded by a single user every month? How could legitimate sites such as iTunes.com possibly stay in business charging $.99 per song if the competition could legitimately charge $1.50 per month for an unlimited number of downloads? The answer is simple: they can’t. If you read closely, the site states that it is “100% legal software” which technically is true… the software itself is legal, but what you do with it is a completely different subject altogether. They also fail to mention that the software that they are selling you for $1.50 per month is actually freely available at hundreds of other sites, including (you guessed it) www.winmx.com.
These sites are trying to fool you into thinking that since you paid (someone) that you are somehow absolved of all copyright laws, the laws of gravity, inertia, and cause and effect for that matter! Do not pay any site that does not specifically charge you per song (as that is the only way for the artists to get fairly compensated) unless you want access to a worthless music library (no big name artists) or worse yet, encouragement to participate in illegal activities.