Is peer-to-peer file sharing actually legal?

I'm getting really paranoid about this issue, especially because I'm looking for a place to download movies for making youtube vids. A couple of months ago my older brother (who happens to be a very knowledgable IT person or similar) explained to me that when downloading things like music, iTunes is certified... show more I'm getting really paranoid about this issue, especially because I'm looking for a place to download movies for making youtube vids.

A couple of months ago my older brother (who happens to be a very knowledgable IT person or similar) explained to me that when downloading things like music, iTunes is certified to do it because they get the artist's permission to distribute it and sell it. When it comes to file-sharing, he said, nobody asks for the artist's permission.

It's like those big FBI warnings at the beginning of movies: redistributing, copying, etc. is strictly prohibited. But everyone uses stuff like BitTorrent and Limewire.

Cold, hard truth: legal or not?
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