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You will hear a lot of people who use the Internet talk about file sharing with respect to music and movies downloads. Technically the Internet is all about file sharing - we share information with each other by viewing websites everyday.

The issue is really about copyrighted material. It is the same issue that was big when the VCR became popular. However, unlike the VCR, when you copy or use file sharing programs, because it is all digital, everything keeps the same high quality format - no many how many times a file is copied (shared) from computer to computer.

It all started with Napster, a program that was designed by Shawn Fawning, a freshman in 1999. This file sharing program enabled computer users to share their music from music cd's that they copied onto their system in a specific folder, to be shared with any other user that had Napster loaded on their computer. This quickly became popular because why would anyone buy a cd for one song, when all they had to do is download a program, and do a search to see if anyone had a specific song in their file sharing folder? Now Napster is closed down, and a movie is actually being made about this event.

Presently there are so many file sharing programs, that you can download and share not only music files, but movies, etc. - many of which are copyrighted. The other aspect of this whole file sharing concept is that much spyware and many viruses have been downloaded, hidden in the file sharing programs and the multimedia downloads onto your system. However many people are willing to take that risk to get free copies of movies and songs and books and pictures or whatever multimedia they can find through file sharing program searches.

There are some files that are ok to be shared - such as upcoming musicians or would movie producers who put their files in a file sharing folder to be found by the file sharing program searches.

You can decide for yourself whether or not you wish to get involved with file sharing programs. You will have to find them yourself through search techniques as this class cannot promote illegal use of copyrighted files.


See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • () ValHaring - 08 Oct 2002
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Topic revision: r2 - 2002-10-21 - ValHaring
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