The Top Free Music Download and Piracy Sites | Digital Music News (2023)

Image by Andrew Malone (CC by 2.0)

Yes, the U.S. government just published a list of the top free music and media download sites. And, gave piracy a big, big boost in the process. Here we go (again)…

The United States government just releaseda damning report: the 2016 ‘Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets’. The list, published by the Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR), highlights notorious online markets. It’s also a handy guide for anyone looking to download free mp3s,videos, or games.

This year’s lists highlights prominent piracy hubs, as well as e-book, software, gaming, and free music download sites. The United States hopes to take down the following mega-offenders. Good luck with that!

The report states that the cyberlocker site is well-known globally. 4Shared provides legitimate file-storage services. However, according to the USTR,

The site also facilitates the streaming and downloading of high volumes of allegedly pirated videos, music, books, and video games. 4Shared mobile apps reportedly enable users to stream infringing content to mobile devices, while certain search and music player features may encourage music infringement.”

BeeVideo allows users to view infringing movies and TV shows on smartTVs through set-top boxes and mobile devices.

(Video) Best Free Music Download Sites

BeeVideo has been downloaded more than 12 million times. Once downloaded, it allegedly provides unlimited unauthorized access to infringing content.” & (Mirror sites:,,,,, book4you.or, and

Both websites allegedly make millions of books available from top publishers without permission, costing publishers huge losses.

These sites, and other mirror sites, reportedly make it possible to download—all without permission and without remunerating authors, publishers or researchers—copyrighted books by commercial publishers and university presses; scientific, technical and medical journal articles; and publications of technological standards. Information about the registrants and operators of the Bookfi and Libgen family of sites is obscured but Libgen is allegedly based in Russia.

“ is hosted in the Netherlands. It generates revenue through gift card donations. Libgen has been the subject of court-ordered enforcement action in the United Kingdom, but continues to operate.” (Mirror sites:,,,

According to the report, Ukraine provides a safe haven for piracy sites. ExtraTorrent first appeared on the Notorious Markets List in 2013. Several enforcement actions against the site have yet to take the site down.

Despite being subject to several enforcement actions, it maintains a global Alexa rank of 207, and rankings in India, Pakistan, and China of 170, 19, and 319, respectively. This illustrates the broad impact that sites facilitating infringement can have on geographically diverse markets.

“The United States encourages the Government of Ukraine to take lasting action against those who operate Extratorrent and similar sites within Ukraine’s jurisdiction.”

Gongchang is a business-to-business e-commerce platform. However, it’s reportedly one of several online markets in China that deal in counterfeit sales. The site also sells counterfeit shoplifting prevention security tags.

The GongChang platform specializes in industrial products and servicing manufacturers and retailers. Counterfeit security tags may help give an appearance of authenticity to counterfeit goods or they may fail to alert retailers who believe their goods are protected, increasing the likelihood that shoplifting will go undetected. The sale of these counterfeits at the B2B level illustrates how significant quantities of counterfeit inputs can enter global supply chains.”

Movshare Group (operating now as,,,,,, and

The Movshare Group provides countless unauthorized copies of movies, games, music, audio, books, software, and sporting event broadcasts.

These cyberlockers, linking sites, forums, and streaming sites all work together to facilitate global distribution of allegedly infringing content. The sites are said to generate revenues through advertising and premium membership or subscription fees, and to compensate users for uploading popular infringing content. Several sites reportedly engage in domain hopping to evade law enforcement and workaround search engine demotions to rise to the top of search engine results. Right holders report that Nowvideo and others in the Movshare group are entirely unresponsive to takedown notices

Based out of Russia and Ukraine, the site attracts over 860,000 visits a month. Although most visitors come from the United States, United Kingdom, and India. sells popular music tracks for pennies.

MP3VA’s FAQ page misrepresents the legality of its operations and purports to have a license from Avtor, a rogue Ukrainian collecting society. However, the site’s music download sales are not authorized and authors are not paid. Major U.S. credit card and payment processors no longer support the site. The hosting provider is located in Russia and the operators appear to be located in Ukraine.

(Video) Illegally Downloading Music

Based out of Vietnam, this illegal online marketplace facilitates legitimate goods sales with counterfeit products. The site received over 3 million monthly page views.

Site owners founded the site in 2005. provides links to infringing video game files posted daily. When copyright owners file takedown notices, the operator remains unresponsive.

This linking site was created by an anonymous web developer in Egypt, where it is regularly among the most popular sites. The MyEgy site is in Arabic and content is available in both Arabic and English. The site is hosted in Russia and, like five other listed sites this year, uses the country code top-level domain of Tonga (.to).”

Nanjing Imperiosus Technology Co, LTD (

Nanjing provides users with links to illegal online pharmacies. In turn, these pharmacies sell counterfeit pharmaceuticals, putting consumers at risk. This year, Nanjing sold domain name registration services to over 2,300 known illegal online pharmacies.,,, &

All sites share connections to Poland. They represent a major hub of infringing video games.

Between the four sites, over a hundred thousand links to allegedly infringing video game files are indexed. They are directing users to over a hundred thousand files stored in cyberlockers.”

Private Layer Hosted Sites (including and

Switzerland reportedly has a loophole restricting enforcement against pirate sites.

However, at this time, right holders report that Switzerland is an increasingly popular host country for such sites. Other listed and nominated sites, including Putlocker,,, and may also be hosted by Private Layer but are using reverse proxy services to obfuscate the true host from the public and from law enforcement.”

Putlocker is among the most-visited video streaming sites in the Asia-Pacific region. Sites, such as Putlocker, overtake torrent and other sites as the primary mode of movie and television piracy.

“The operator of Putlocker is likely based in Vietnam. The owner appears to be taking actions to evade enforcement measures”.

Commenters from the movie, television, and music industries nominated this website. The site gains prominence against competitor sites since KAT and closed down. The site started almost a decade ago targeting the Bosnian market. & (formerly

Like, comments from several industries nominated these two sites. Rapidgator, hosted in Russia, provides infringing content to visitors abroad. The site uses rewards and affiliate schemes to compensate users based on downloads and new accounts sales. Site operators score an estimated $2 million annually.

Rutracker, hosted in and operated from Russia, is a BitTorrent portal with more than 13 million active accounts. The site is currently one of the most popular in the world and a top site in Russia, with an Alexa ranking of 20.

(Video) Never Illegally Download

Taobao provides a large volume of counterfeit and pirated goods. Rights owners face a difficult time when challenging the site. The site provides a direct consumer-to-consumer marketplace. The site ranks as China’s largest online shopping destination.

Not only do counterfeit and pirated goods pose a grave economic threat to U.S. creative and innovative industries, undermining the Chinese and global market for legitimate U.S. products, substandard counterfeits such as auto parts pose a potential public health threat to unsuspecting consumers.

The Pirate Bay (,, with the following domains, .gl, .is, .sx, .ac, .pe, .gy, .gs, .am, .la, .gd, .mn, .vg, .fm, .sh, .mu, .tw, and .ms)

After a brief hiatus, The Pirate Bay returns to the Notorious Markets List. The Pirate Bay represents a symbolic importance as the longest-running (and the most vocal) torrent sites. In addition, the site provides links to music, movies, TV, books, and other copyright content.

“The Pirate Bay has allegedly had more than a dozen domains hosted in various countries around the world, applies a reverse proxy service, and uses a hosting provider in Vietnam to evade further enforcement action.” (formerly and

The popular cyberlocker provides access to unauthorized content including books, music, television, and music. Furthermore, the website uses multi-tiered subscriptions, a referral program, and a rewards scheme to generate revenue.

“For example, the site pays rewards to users based on large file sizes, such as those for movies and television. The operator allegedly employs multiple IP addresses, domain names, and server locations to evade law enforcement. In 2016 a German court found an Uploaded operator liable for infringing content shared by its users because it failed to take proactive measure to prevent the same infringing works from being re-uploaded and made available for download again. Uploaded is owned by a Swiss company and is hosted in the Netherlands.” (Formerly

Vibbo, based in Spain, connects users to a wide variety of products and services. The site’s terms of use prohibit illegal activity. Yet, some people use the platform to sell and distribute counterfeit security tags and circumvention devices and services.

Circumvention devices and services break the technological protection measures in game consoles and handheld devices to enable unauthorized uses or the copying of game software. In many countries, including Spain, this is in direct violation of the law….Right holders report that Vibbo is largely non-responsive to notices of infringing activity. (

VK, one of Russia’s top social networking platforms, allegedly facilities the distribution of copyright-infringing files. However, VK has reached licensing agreements with major recording companies. Furthermore, the site also took steps to limit third-party applications dedicated to downloading infringing content.

Despite [this],VK reportedly continues to be a hub of infringing activity and continues to be listed pending the institutionalization of appropriate measures to promote respect on its platform for IPR of all right holders…that are comparable to those measures used by other social media sites.”

The report states that stream ripping represents a serious threat to musicians, record labels, and digital music delivery models. Despite legal actions against the site, the site maintains a high Alexa rating in many countries.

YouTube-mp3 allegedly accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s stream ripping activity, and the music industry estimates that it generates hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in revenue through advertising.

Warning: US authorities have blasted the following sites.

In fact, before starting this year’s list, the report dives into a quick review of last year’s piracy sites.

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The report begins,

Commercial-scale trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy cause significant financial losses for right holders and legitimate businesses, undermine critical U.S. comparative advantages in innovation and creativity to the detriment of American workers, and can pose significant risks to consumer health and safety. The Notorious Markets List (List) highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

The U.S. government shut down the following sites (some of which came back online):

KAT (Kickass Torrents) was allegedly one of the most popular and lucrative illegal piracy sites in the world until it was taken down by a U.S. law enforcement action in cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies”.

TORRENTZ.EU shut down voluntarily.

“the closing of previously-listed CUEVANA.TV, as well as the shutdown of previously-nominated and after federal litigation in the United States.

“Ukraine’s largest file-hosting website EX.UA…will cease operations.”

However, the report pauses to focus on a growing issue. Stream rippers threaten growing digital music streaming revenues.

“Digital music revenues and streaming revenues in particular represent an increasingly important share of music industry growth. Stream ripping is a direct threat to this digital growth as it eliminates the need for users to return to licensed services, thereby depriving artists and record companies of this important revenue source.”

Then again, maybe YouTube is the bigger problem here. After all, the video giant actively encourages stream-ripping, with Google even publishing helpful tutorials on the matter.

But that’s another story entirely.

(Video) The Dark Side Of Music Piracy


Where can I download pirated music? ›

  • All-in-One: The Pirate Bay. One of the original and perhaps most famous torrent trackers is The Pirate Bay. ...
  • No Ads: LimeTorrents. In many ways, LimeTorrents fixes the cons of The Pirate Bay but lacks some of its strengths too. ...
  • Obscure Finds: TorrentDownloads. ...
  • Soundpark. ...
  • Music Torrent. ...
  • Mixtape Torrent.
27 Jan 2021

What is the best way to pirate music? ›

5 Best VPNs for Torrenting and Downloading Music Online
  1. ExpressVPN — Ultra-fast Speeds for Downloading Music Torrents. ...
  2. CyberGhost — Special Servers Optimized for Torrenting and P2P File Transfer. ...
  3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Massive Server Network for Safe And Reliable Connection.
8 Sept 2022

How can I download MP3 songs for free? ›

Free legal MP3 songs download sites list
  1. YouTube Audio Library.
  2. Amazon.
  3. Jamendo Music.
  4. Musopen.
  5. Internet Archive.
  6. Free Music Archive.
  7. Bandcamp.
  8. NoiseTrade.
20 Sept 2022

What was the first illegal music downloading site? ›

The first application that demonstrated the implications of music piracy was Napster. Napster enabled users to exchange music files over a common free server without any regard for copyright laws. Napster was quickly shut down after lawsuits filed by Metallica and Dr.

Can I go to jail for pirating? ›

A civil lawsuit could hold you responsible for thousands of dollars in damages. Criminal charges may leave you with a felony record, accompanied by up to five years of jail time and fines up to $250,000.

Where can I pirate music in 2022? ›

10 Best Music Torrent Sites
  • Torlock.
  • The Pirate Bay.
  • 1337X.
  • Torrentz2.
  • DirtyTorrents.
  • Torrent9.
  • TorrentDownloads.
  • LimeTorrents.
25 Aug 2022

What is the cheapest way to download music? ›

6 really Cheap Music Download services
  • MP3Million.
  • Soundike.
  • MP3Caprice.
  • MP3Fiesta.
  • MP3Panda.
  • MelodiShop.
9 Oct 2013

Which music downloader is the best? ›

5 Best Apps to Download Music for Free on Android
  • Audiomack.
  • Audials Play.
  • SONGily.
  • Amazon Music.
  • Hungama Music – Stream & Download MP3 Songs.
10 Apr 2022

How do I download music from Google? ›

  1. Open Google Play Music in a web browser and log in if necessary.
  2. Click "Music Library." ...
  3. At the top of the screen, click "Albums" or "Songs."
  4. For the album or song you want to download, click the three-dot menu and then click "Download" (if you're downloading a song) or "Download Album" (to download the entire album).
26 Jun 2019

How can I download songs for free on my phone? ›

  1. Audiomack. Available on: Android | iOS | Web. ...
  2. Fildo. Available on: Android. ...
  3. Audials Play. Available on: Android | iOS | Windows | Web. ...
  4. SONGily. Available on: Android. ...
  5. YMusic. Available on: Android. ...
  6. NewPipe. Available on: Android. ...
  7. TubeMate. Available on: Android.
10 Sept 2022

How do people download music illegally? ›

Among IFPI's most notable findings is that 38 percent of consumers acquire their music via copyright infringement. The most popular way to obtain music illegally, according to the report, is through stream-ripping: Thirty-two percent of all consumers get music through ripped streams, according to IFPI.

Did Spotify reduce piracy? ›

Netflix and Spotify Aren't Reducing Piracy, Study Finds.

Is there anything like LimeWire anymore? ›

Currently, uTorrent is the most popular LimeWire alternative. With about 2MB in size, the software is lightweight which also makes it very fast. You can use it to download and share files without worrying about your computer performance.

Is downloading free music illegal? ›

Most songs and movies that appear on download or file–sharing websites are copyrighted. It is illegal to download any music or movies that are copyrighted. Downloading or file-sharing a copyrighted song or movie could expose you to a lawsuit for money damages that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Can you go to jail for watching 123Movies? ›

It's not actually illegal to stream on 123Movies. However, if you share anything yourself or you download anything, which is often required at a lot of free streaming websites, you would be breaking the law and this could result in civil or criminal charges.

What happens if you download illegally? ›

Fines are by far the most common penalty for Internet piracy. The fines someone might be expected to pay differ depending on the area where the crime occurred. Even people who might otherwise be treated leniently, such as children, are usually not immune from penalties for this type of illegal activity.

Where can I download 2022 songs for free? ›

5 Best Free Music Download Sites for 2022
  • SoundClick.
  • ReverbNation.
  • SoundCloud.
  • BandCamp.
  • Jamendo Music.
  • Helpful Advice.
24 Feb 2022

How can I download 2022 music for free? ›

Best Free Music Download Sites 2022
  1. SoundClick. With over more than 5 million tracks SoundClick is the only place where every music freak will surely find something of their taste. ...
  2. The Audio Archive. ...
  3. Jamendo. ...
  4. PureVolume. ...
  5. YouTube.
4 Mar 2021

How do I download a song? ›

Tap "Artists", "Albums", or "Songs" to browse for the song or album you want to download. . Tap the "download" icon that resembles a downward arrow. If you don't see the download icon, you can also tap ⋮ next to the song or album, and then tap Download from the drop-down list.

How can I download music and listen offline for free? ›

  1. Musify. Not all music streaming platforms require you to pay for its premium version so that you can download music, and Musify is a great example of that. ...
  2. Google Play Music. ...
  3. AIMP. ...
  4. Music Player. ...
  5. Shazam. ...
  6. JetAudio. ...
  7. YouTube Go. ...
  8. Poweramp.

Where can I download albums for free? ›

The Best Popular Websites Helps You to Download Full Albums Free
  • Mp3Juices. ...
  • Free Music Archive. ...
  • SongsLover. ...
  • ...
  • Freesound. ...
  • Jamendo. ...
  • Archive. ...
  • YouTube.
9 Mar 2022

Where can I download music to my phone? ›

Make sure to use the Chrome web browser and open the Google Play Music web player. Locate the song you want to download, select the three dots menu button, then Download to start downloading the track. Once you're finished, transfer the saved music files to your Android device or iPhone.

Is Limewire coming back? ›

Back in March, we reported on the return of Limewire — but an updated, NFT-focused version of the once beloved "file-sharing service". And today, the refurbished Limewire has officially relaunched as a marketplace for them.

Who owns mp3 million? ›

Red Ventures

What app is like Apple Music but free? ›

Spotify and Tidal have free, ad-supported tiers of service, and apps like Pandora, iHeart and YouTube Music give you access to vast libraries of free popular music as well. Here are seven of the best free music apps for iPhone and Android, and why you should check them out.

Is LimeWire illegal? ›

LimeWire shut down in October 2011 because it lost its legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America. Due to a substantive number of copyright infringement cases, U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood ruled that LimeWire had to immediately halt the distribution of any copyrighted materials.

Is there anything like LimeWire anymore? ›

Currently, uTorrent is the most popular LimeWire alternative. With about 2MB in size, the software is lightweight which also makes it very fast. You can use it to download and share files without worrying about your computer performance.

Is Napster illegal? ›

Napster: Downloading music for free is legal.

How can I download LimeWire for free? ›

How to Download from Limewire for Free - YouTube

Is frostwire still available? ›

Yes, Frostwire has re-released their torrent client for Windows, MacOS and Android. As of 2022, Frostwire is back in the Google Play store. Frostwire is available for download from the official website on their downloads page.

Where is Napster now? ›

Napster's assets were eventually acquired by Roxio, and it re-emerged as an online music store. Best Buy later purchased the service and merged it with its Rhapsody branding on December 1, 2011, rebranding back to Napster, July 16, 2016.

Is Kazaa still around? ›

By August 2012, the Kazaa website was no longer active.
Developer(s)Sharman Networks
Final release3.2.7 / 26 November 2006
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
4 more rows

Is FrostWire like LimeWire? ›

FrostWire is a free and open-source BitTorrent client first released in September 2004, as a fork of LimeWire. It was initially very similar to LimeWire in appearance and functionality, but over time developers added more features, including support for the BitTorrent protocol.

Where can I download music like LimeWire? ›

Top 3 Free Music Sites like Limewire
  • Apowersoft Video to MP3. With the Apowersoft Free Video to MP3, you don't need to install any software or use peer-to-peer tools on your computer. ...
  • MP3 Ripper. Just like the aforementioned tool, MP3 Ripper is another great app among all the sites like Limewire. ...
  • BeeMP3.
15 Nov 2014

What is the best alternative to uTorrent? ›

Top 12 uTorrent Alternatives to Try in 2022
  • While looking for the best uTorrent Alternatives we have found a great platform for you. ...
  • qBittorrent. This torrent client was ideally made as a replacement for uTorrent. ...
  • Vuze. ...
  • BitTorrent. ...
  • Deluge. ...
  • Tixati. ...
  • Transmission. ...
  • Tribler.
13 Apr 2022

What killed Napster? ›

After a string of adverse legal decisions, Napster, Inc. began its death spiral on March 6, 2001, when it began complying with a Federal court order to block the transfer of copyrighted material over its peer-to-peer network. Oh, but people enjoyed it while it lasted.

Is Napster free? ›

Napster is the streaming app where music is more than sound. Meet us on stage, in the studio, and under the radar. For discovery from every angle, curated specifically for you. Try for Free 30 days free then $9.99/mo.

What existed before Spotify? ›

Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning battled the record industry in court in 2001. From the abyss, Spotify appeared. Daniel Ek, the co-founder and CEO of Spotify, has said that Spotify, launched in 2008, is a direct byproduct of his love for Napster, and his desire to create a similar experience for users.

What is a good program to download music for free? ›

  • Any Video Converter Free. A music downloader for saving tracks from YouTube. ...
  • SCD 2. A music downloader specifically made for SoundCloud. ...
  • Vuze. Download music quickly and easily with this free torrent client. ...
  • qBittorrent. Another torrent client that makes a great music downloader. ...
  • FrostWire.
7 Jan 2022

Did LimeWire get shut down? ›

LimeWire, the popular decade-old peer-to-peer network, was shut down yesterday after losing its legal battle against the RIAA, Wired reports. A federal judge found that 93 percent of the traffic on Limewire, which drew 50 million users a month, involved the transfer of unauthorized copyright material.

What is LimeWire used for? ›

What Does LimeWire Mean? LimeWire is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program used to share and distribute content on the Web. LimeWire enables users to access or share any file type, such as AVI/MPEG (video), MP3 (music), JPG (images), etc.


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