P2P, or peer-to-peer, file sharing is all the rage now. Millions of people (including 75% of all college students) have gotten online at some point to download file sharing software and then upload songs, movies, video, and other forms of media and software for no cost. Many people see this as the perfect way to build their music library without having to pay a fortune on CDs.
With a P2P file sharing network, people can get online, download that network’s software, and then search for and download music, movies, and more. People can also log on to that person’s computer and upload their files as well, so it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.
However, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding many of these P2P file sharing sites. Some of these include:
Many people have been fined thousands of dollars for downloading and providing for download songs, movies, and other forms of media for free. This is because more often than not, P2P file sharing networks violate copyright laws. It’s not just artists who are upset about these sites either; many record producers and executives feel that by downloading songs, record sales have dropped considerably and they are all losing money. As a result, they have gone after and successfully prosecuted those who violate these laws.
Stores going out of business
With the ability to download music online for free, many stores have noticed considerable drops in their record sales. As a result, small, independently run record stores have gone out of business in recent years, and this if often attributed to the surge in P2P file sharing. Because people can download music off the internet for free, since 2003, over 1,000 small, independent record stores have closed nationwide.
And it’s not performers and record executives that are just losing money. Everyone involved in the music industry, all the way down to the clerks in the record stores, are affected by illegal file sharing, and some of them lose their jobs over it.
Computer and network problems
Because downloading music online is so popular with college students, many college campuses across the country have experienced problems with their networks. Because millions of people access these sites and computers at a time, bandwidth is slowed considerably, causing problems for people who need to do legitimate school work. In addition, many of these sites load adware onto computers, which can in turn harm various computers and networks and infect them with viruses.
There are many other reasons why people feel that P2P file sharing is controversial. In order to keep yourself free from lawsuits and computer problems, make sure you take steps to find out whether the software and network you are using to download music from is legal. Many sites are legal and will not violate copyright laws. In addition, make sure you’re not sharing any music unknowingly. Protect your own computer by running virus software on it frequently and keeping it updated. If you are downloading music on a college campus, be sure you know your school’s policy regarding music downloading and uploading.
There are many reasons P2P file sharing is considered controversial. By staying informed and making sure you and only downloading and sharing music, movies, and other forms of media legally, you can protect yourself and your computer from the problems caused by file sharing.