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For Students & Educators

For Students

We know students are some of the most avid music fans. The music habits and customs you develop early on are likely to stay with you for life, so it’s important for you to be educated about enjoying music legally and responsibly.

The FAQs below provide background information so you can help encourage a thriving music community that continues to support exciting new bands for current and future generations.

Visit for a list of authorized music services in the United States.

For Educators

Educational institutions are uniquely positioned to shape student attitudes toward intellectual property. By educating students about copyright, encouraging the use of legitimate services for music, and adopting and consistently enforcing strong acceptable use policies that prohibit music theft and other copyright infringement, educators teach their students the importance of copyright and help encourage a thriving music community for all to enjoy.

In addition, by taking these steps, schools, colleges and universities can reduce operating costs, reduce exposure to computer viruses that often go hand in hand with illegal music services, and better secure their networks.


Commonly known as “piracy,” music theft affects an enormous cast of industry players working behind the scenes to bring music to you. Songwriters, recording artists, audio engineers, computer technicians, talent scouts, marketing specialists, producers, publishers, and countless others are affected by piracy. Piracy also undermines the future of music by depriving the industry of the resources it needs to find and develop new talent and drains millions of dollars in tax revenue from communities across the United States.

While uploading, downloading, stream-ripping, synching, copying, or streaming to others one song may not feel like a serious crime, the accumulative impact of millions of songs exploited illegally—and without any compensation to all the people who helped to create that song and bring it to fans—is devastating.

Authorized use and enjoyment of music is easy and doesn’t cost much. Music companies have licensed hundreds of digital partners offering a variety of ways to listen to and engage with music. Discover the many authorized digital music models and services in today’s marketplace at

Streaming music over the Internet to the public requires a license or authorization from the rights owner, and doing so without a license or authorization could subject you to civil, and in some cases, criminal, penalties.

Absolutely. We continue to monitor illegal P2P services and send notices to internet service providers upon detection of illegal file-sharing activity.

We also continue to monitor and take action against services that “stream-rip” – i.e. copy – the audio from music videos.

We will continue to invest time and resources in pursuing the illegal services that facilitate and encourage theft.

We’re realistic. As an industry, we have lived with a degree of street and Internet piracy for years. We’re working to bring piracy to a level of manageable control so a legitimate marketplace can flourish.

We enforce our rights against people who steal music, but we also work hard to educate consumers about the law and about the many authorized ways to get music online. Because we know one of the best ways to deter piracy is to offer fans compelling legal alternatives, record companies are aggressively licensing their music to many great services. Giving these authorized digital services a chance to flourish is a driving factor in almost everything we do.

Devices and technology are not the problem. It’s when people use technology to break the law that we take issue.

Again and again, we have embraced the technological advances that have allowed millions upon millions of people around the world to enjoy the music we create. We want fans to enjoy the devices that make it easier for them to listen to music, as long as it is in a way that is responsible, respectful, and within the law.