MP3skull is the most popular website that is used by people to illegally download music. Ever since the site was founded in 2010, it has been a thorn in the flesh for the corporate part of the music sector. Internet users however, cannot get enough of it and similar sites.
In today’s article, I will share with you everything you need to know about mp3 skulls, and will introduce to you the 5 best legal alternative sites that you can download free music from.
Reasons – For Mp3skull Popularity
As of march 2015, the site has been getting over one million internet visitors per day. It is quite difficult to conclusively pinpoint the reasons for the sites popularity. There have been several suggestions forwarded as to why this is the case.
Currently, it is largely attributed to the fact that the site offers direct download links to music downloads on third party sites. Therefore the widespread popularity boils down to users being able to access copies of copyrighted music for absolutely no charge. If we are to face the truth here, all of us are attracted to free things subconsciously or otherwise.
Another possible reason for the site’s popularity is that mp3skull seemed to always be a step ahead of authority with its private domain shifting tactics. Even after penalties from authority search engines such as Google and complaints from copyright organization, mp3skull simply shifted domains or employed other evasive strategies. This made the complete seizure of the website very difficult if not nearly impossible.
Before the 24th of February, 2015 the site had the web address mp3skull.com, then users would be redirected automatically to mp3skull.to and currently their web address is mp3skull.vg. The site has also had a list of other domain tags. These are the least of reasons why mp3skull was banned.
The major reason could be attributed to the collective complaints and subsequent lawsuit from record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The complaints indicated that the site was designed to promote the exploitation of unlimited copies of records without official authorization. The lawsuit claimed that mp3skull’s daily copyright infringement was massive, widespread and deliberate.
The operators of the site do not do well in concealing their complacency in the matter. The website touts itself as the easiest way to listen to and download music while boasting its multimillion databases of links to high quality music downloads. Over the last five years mp3skull has compiled a wide array of indices of links with unauthorized copies of the most popular recordings.
The links are surprisingly well organized and published on the website. Mp3skull has risen to become one of the most notorious free music download sites on the internet. Through tactful social media campaigns, their reach is incredibly wide and affects the music industry on a global scale. A good number of internet users are quite aware of the nature of the site but the convenience of downloading free music it provides, seems to be too big a motivating factor.
Part of the reason that made mp3skull so difficult to curtail was the fact that its owners are unknown. The operators of the site function from outside the United States, somewhere in the Russian Federation. The website does not publish any information about its ownership or base of operations. This information is often concealed through private domain registrations.
In October and December 2013, the site’s domain registration was open to the public for a brief period. At the time, it was revealed that the site owner was Monica Vasilenko. The address was traced to Petrozavodsk in the Russian Federation.
Reaction To The Ban
There is speculation that there are between 1 and 10 people who are working with Monica Vasilenko in the day to day operations of the site. The real identity of these individuals is unknown to date. This could be the reason why the reaction to the ban has not been exactly positive and largely lackluster. The public had always been anticipating this move.
Although record labels, the music industry are artists welcomed the news, they were quick to state that this was just but a small battle whose victory does little to online piracy as a whole. The court’s decision to award the RIAA a total sum of $22 million in reparations costs following the law suit is bitter-sweet because they will not actually receive anything from the owners of mp3skull. No defendants appeared in any of the court proceedings and no one responded to the complaint claims.
There are numerous other sites that offer almost similar services but through legal channels. However, they still fall short in terms of the depth of music databases that mp3skull provided access to. In any case, these are still very legit sites to download music from and the best part is, you don’t have to worry about braking the law. As I promised, Below are several such sites where you can build your music library from.
Numerous artists offer free downloadable records on Soundcloud through their verified profiles. It is a good platform to access really good music from relatively unknown artists as well as industry bigwigs.
Users also have access to the Creative Commons license records which they can freely download and modify. The major disadvantage of Soundcloud is that various artists do not always offer free music thus the spectrum is relatively limited.
Jamendo has one of the largest data repositories for free music online. The records are displayed in terms of popularity, most downloaded and latest releases and are based on ratings enabling users to quickly locate popular music.
This online retail giant has a considerable collection of free music that is available to users and the list is expanding. The tracks are based on user reviews. The drawback of this site is the difficulty in navigation to the free content. Also, the user reviews can be sometimes biased and misleading.
Emusic.com is a subscription service website that offers legal and mp3 downloads that are free of viruses. The main advantage of this site is that it’s an affordable premium service and also has a free version. The site is very user friendly and makes it easy to find your favorite tracks via an internal search engine.
This site is among the earliest legal free music download sites. The best thing about MP3.com is its simplicity and its vast collection of free music across all genres and time periods. It also offers complementary autobiography of all artists therein. The only drawback is that the website’s features are not regularly updated.
The sad news is that following the legal shut down of the site, another similar version is already in operation at mp3skull.yoga and the number of users is steadily increasing. This site however may not last long due to online streaming services gradually eliminating the need to download unauthorized music.