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To Share or Not to Share

In: Computers and Technology

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To Share or not to Share
Peter Todd
Shawshank University

To Share or not to Share

Have you ever taped music off your favorite radio station? That's the old way you would do it if you can't afford the albums. Today people are not only downloading music off the internet but also pictures, movies, games, software and any other kind of computer files that could be beneficial. Each week there are more than one billion downloads of music files alone. Participation in file sharing has also grown. Over 60 million Americans above the age of twelve have downloaded music (Ipsos-Reid, 2002b). File sharing is heavily linked to youth. While a majority of Americans under 18 years old have downloaded and half of those are heavy users, only a fifth of those aged 35-44 have downloaded files (Edison Media Research, 2003). Among U.S. adults at least 18 years old, the number of downloaders has about doubled since 2000 (Pew Internet Project, 2000 and 2003). Because physical distance is largely irrelevant in file sharing, individuals from virtually every country in the world participate. When peers download, they don't all download from one place. Millions of peers around the world are connected and they download files off of each other's computer. Popular networks are Kazaa, WinMX, Limewire, Morpheus, Frostwire and many more. Downloading files is free, but many people are confused that it would be stealing. The RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) had announced that it is stealing, but people won’t stop. Peers know that P2P programs still exist and they keep on trading, sharing and downloading. "Music Industry Officials estimate that they have lost more than $300 million worth of CD sales due to free Internet trading" For this, they say trading MP3's (music files) is stealing. In the year 2000, Napster was the P2P network that got other P2P networks started. The RIAA...

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