Unfortunately, some sites may be happy to take your money, and may leave you with the impression that they are legal sources of a full range of music – including the top performers and music labels – but they are not licensed distributors of at least a substantial quantity of mainstream music. In particular, the sites on our list promote themselves in ways that suggest their music catalog is relatively comprehensive, when in fact they appear to have done nothing to license or otherwise ensure the legality of any downloads from the major music labels. Even where these sites include “legal information” cautioning users against illegal downloading, that information is not sufficiently clear, or prominent, or specific to prevent users from mistakenly perceiving the sites as sources of lawful copies of most mainstream music.
In short, if you are an Internet user in the United States and you pay money to one of these services with the intention of being a lawful online music user, you may get less than you bargained for.I find myself with a lot of questions about this group and exactly what and more importantly whom they represent. I certainly like words like "democracy" and "technology" as much as the next person, but I don't know quite what to make of their repetition of the word "reasonable" with regard to the merging of hardware and software in certain kinds of architectures of control.
The Center poses as a "consumer" group, and yet it also posts documents like this one that suggest that there should be analog rights management as well.
When I looked at their funding information, I wonder why their most recent information is from a relatively outdated 2004 pie chart and why such a large portion of their funding comes from technology firms who benefit commercially from protections for proprietary systems. The group also seems to have a strong anti-regulatory bent, which can sound good from a free speech advocacy perspective on decency legislation like COPA but not very helpful if the market is left to decide about network neutrality issues in a time of increased media and telecommunications consolidation.
Since Virgil Griffith's Wikiscanner indicates that they are doing a lot of anonymous edits of their own page, they certainly make no secret of the fact that their director parted ways in 1994 from the more clearly civil libertarian Electronic Freedom Foundation.