Don't use filesharing programs.
Most filesharing networks are used to distribute content that is protected by copyright and cannot be legally used without the permission of the content owner. Receiving or distributing copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright owner is against the law and can result in an expensive lawsuit. It is also against Columbia policy.
Columbia does not monitor uploads and downloads on its network, but it's very easy for copyright owners and their agents to join filesharing networks and collect this information for themselves.
The programs and networks also present security risks. The programs often come packaged with spyware, and the networks are congested with viruses pretending to be popular songs or movies.
There is a wealth of entertainment available on the Internet that can be enjoyed legally. If you're interested in an artist, check out their personal website or that of their record label to buy albums or sample tracks. If you enjoy a television program, check its network's website. Several popular television programs are streamed at no cost from these sites. Here are some other places you can look for entertainment:
Legal Sources of Online Content
List of legal sources for downloading music, movies, and other entertainment media.
Other Sources of Legal Entertainment Content Online:
- iTunes - The Apple iTunes store provides individual track and album downloads, as well as films, television shows, and podcasts. Requires client download for a personal computer, or an iOS device. Some content contains DRM.
- NetFlix - NetFlix basically changed what it means to rent movies, twice over. All subscriptions offer unlimited TV shows and movies streaming directly to your computer, smartphone, console or set top box. For a slight premium, you can also gain access to otheir collection of physical DVD's and Blu-Rays shipped directly to your door.
- Amazon - Actual CDs and DVD's with, like, plastic cases and little booklets! Remember those? In addition, Amazon offers digital media in the form of DRM-less MP3's for music and DRM'ed TV shows and movies. Music and video is available on an a la carte basis, but a large portion of video is also availble by yearly subscription through their Amazon Prime service.
- Hulu - Hundreds of free television shows and movies streaming through your web browser. Paid subscription to their Hulu Plus service gives you accses to hundreds more and lets you stream it all through your smartphone, tablet, console, or set top box.
- Redbox Instant - Hundreds of kiosks all over the city and a large library of streaming titles let Redbox users enjoy movies at any time for low prices. Whether it's renting a DVD from a kiosk or streaming through their devices.
- Pandora - More Internet radio, including the results of a method of music analysis they call The Music Genome Project
- Spotify - Search for any song or album anywhere and stream it to your desktop or laptop. Paid subscriptions also offer downloads and portable device support.
- eMusic - eMusic operates a bit differently than iTunes while also working on both Mac and Windows. Subscriptions cover a certain amount of downloads per month, and the music is presented in MP3 format which can be transferred to any portable music player. They offer a free trial.
- Rhapsody - Rhapsody offers a subscription service for streaming music online through their client. Downloads are also available on individual songs. Emphasis is placed on reviewing as well as presenting material.
- ShoutCast - Internet radio from the creators of WinAmp.
- Insound - Insound is a nice merchant site for ordering music, especially if you're looking for new vinyl.
- GameFly - GameFly is best described as "The NetFlix of Console Games." Free trial available.
- Live365 - An elder statesman among Internet radio communities.