Frequent ask question about File Sharing?

What is file sharing?
Basically sharing any type of file (digitally stored information) is considered file sharing, including text files, electronic books, computer programs, pictures, music, and films. It may be implemented through a variety of ways. Common methods of storage, transmission, and distribution used in file sharing include manual sharing using removable media, centralized servers on computer networks, World Wide Web-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking. File hosting services are a simple alternative to peer-to-peer software.

What are the benefits of file sharing?
File sharing networks can develop a sense of community among users, particularly in areas such as gaming. The use of file sharing networks is primarily a recreational activity and they do not really have any application in educational settings at this point in time.

Is file sharing illegal?
File sharing is not illegal if it involves sharing your own files that means the sharing of non-copyrighted material or material with permission of the creator is legal. However, the majority of P2P file sharing involves sharing copyrighted or restricted material such as music, which is illegal.

A copyright grants the creator/owner of the material exclusive rights to the material and its distribution. By distributing this material without permission, the person distributing the material is violating copyright law and is subject to penalties under the law.

Is file sharing the same as Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks?
A peer-to-peer network is a technology that allows those that are connected to the network to exchange files. It is only one of several ways files are shared on the internet. But because of the anonymity these peer-to-peer networks have offered, they have often been associated with file sharing.

The University of Chicago maintains an article entitled Disabling Peer-to-Peer File Sharing. This article lists the more common P2P file sharing programs along with instructions on how to turn off the file sharing functions in these programs. We also recommend checking the manufacturer’s web site for instructions.

Peer-to-peer service and peer-to-peer technology are increasingly being used by the film and movie industry in legitimate online content services.

What is copyright?
Copyright is an exclusive right for authors to distribute, reproduce and make their works available to the public. Its purpose is to allow creators to make a living from their creativity and copyright provides them with a tool to control the use of their work. There are certain exceptions to the exclusive right that allows users of protected works to make limited amount of copies for private use, make copies against remuneration for use in schools etc. Before the internet, making copies of pages in a book for private use was in most countries considered legal. The extent of this right to make private copies and share them with friends and a larger audience in the digital environment is, in essence, what the debate on file sharing is all about.

Can I install file sharing P2P software to play music or videos only?
Yes, you can, but why would you? Both Mac and Windows computers come with media players installed (QuickTime, Windows Media Player).

In addition, most P2P software turns file sharing on by default as soon as the software is installed. This means that others may access materials on your computer without your knowledge, whether you have given permission or not. Downloading copyrighted music or movie files without permission is illegal. It is also illegal to share even purchased music or movie files with others, whether you know you have done so or not.

If you install P2P software to play music or video only, be sure to turn the file sharing options off. If you legally own and are playing copyrighted materials, but are sharing them inadvertently, you are still liable for violating copyright law.

How do I turn off P2P file sharing?
The University of Chicago maintains an article entitled Disabling Peer-to-Peer File Sharing. This article lists the more common P2P file sharing programs along with instructions on how to turn off the file sharing functions in these programs. We also recommend checking the manufacturer’s web site for instructions.

What harm can P2P software do to my computer?
Several commercial P2P file sharing programs install adware and/or spyware on your computer. In addition to serving up unwanted advertisements, these programs may gather personal data from your computer to send back to the parent company, alter your computer settings, and may interfere with your computer performance.

What is the RIAA?
RIAA
stands for the Recording Industry Association of America. RIAA is the trade group that represents the US recording industry.

For more information You can visit the following links:
Wikipedia:

You can also check the saferinternet.org

 

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