Metadata in files?

Posted on 2012-08-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-31
When you download an image or audio file (.mp3 for example) from the internet and save it to your hard drive - will there be any data that will be created/added in the file which can reveal and/or link back to my (user)name?

If I send that image/file to a recipient, can the recipient see this data? A user-path or so?
Question by:watchtower66
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

SelfGovern earned 1500 total points
ID: 38350701
To answer your specific question, there is no data added to the file when you download it. What you download should be what the uploader put there.  However -- there are records of your download activity, some part of which is outside your machine, and thus able to be discovered in legal proceedings.

That said, there are ways that the RIAA can track music you're downloading.  It's as easy as them 'seeding' the download sites with songs that are identifiable.  Now when you download the song, they know it's their tagged song, and that you got it illegally (since the song with that particular tag never was sold.  

It's not even necessary that you intentionally share your illegal downloads.  See http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4110436.html -- when you use services like Limewire, what you download is shared out by default -- and this can be how they get you.

More than the fact that sharing copyrighted material like music is illegal, is the question about your ethics and character.  If you're willing to do the wrong thing for a dollar song, it doesn't say much about who you are.   I'm proud to have a large collection of CDs and music I've downloaded legally from the internet -- there's so much that's great that you'll find if you start looking for it... and then you can turn your friends on to it and help a worthy band get the fame and attention they deserve.   That's so much better than grabbing what you can for "free" only because you don't have to pay for it.

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