Internet File Sharing Programs

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2002

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Internet File Sharing Within the past few years, file sharing over the Internet has become increasingly popular. However, it is also a highly controversial subject. Some say that providing or obtaining copyrighted material such as music, movies, videos, text, etc., without permission from the rightful owner violates the United States Copyright Act. Others argue that this type of file sharing is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees free speech. Numerous applications have been created to provide users with the chance to swap their files with others over a central server. But due to the licensed material that is being traded among the users of these applications, many lawsuits have been filed against them. Organizations including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have sued the creators of these programs for millions of dollars. Some have been shut down, while others still remain in service.

Despite all the controversy, these file-sharing companies are expanding everyday, and so are the users. Frost and Sullivan recently conducted a study, saying that these peer-to-peer sharing networks could soon be up to 6.2 million users by 2007 (Gill).

Although the recent growth of these user-friendly file-sharing networks has only now given them public attention, methods for transferring files and information between computers have been around since computing first began. Until recently, however, systems for sharing files and information between computers were very limited; they were mostly confined to Local Area Networks (LAN). These LAN transfers were executed mostly through built-in system or network software. This type of peer-to-peer sharing was limited to users the individual already knew and had agreed to share files with. Those users who wanted to communicate with new or unknown users could transfer files using Internet Relay...