Life in the Digital Age: File Sharing and You Essay

Submitted By staystrong27
Words: 1255
Pages: 6

Life in the Digital Age: File Sharing and You The topic for my research paper project is going to be life in the digital age; specifically file sharing and how it affects you and the companies that release the media. From things from the old school world of sharing such as letting a friend borrow a cd so they can rip the music from it all the way to Fair Use Act and the loop holes that one can use to somewhat abuse the system and even to touch on some taxation issues with online purchasing and p2p (peer-to-peer) sharing. In this introduction I just want to point out that I want to show a detailed timeline of how things evolved from where we in 1999 to 2013 and show the rights and also the limitations and what is legal and what is not. So let me start off with the ingenious concept of file sharing and file sharing programs. While file sharing has been around for ages through use of floppy disks and CD’s in todays advanced digital age where file sharing is mostly done online and you usually don’t even know the other person. I would like to start at the beginning of where the media file sharing really started which is with a program called Napster. “What began in 1999 as an idea in the head of a teenager proceeded to redefine the Internet, the music industry and the way we all think about intellectual property? Napster is now back in business as legal, pay-per-song music-download site; but it once was a controversial service that spurred what is still one of the greatest
Internet-related debates: Just because we can get the music we want without paying for it, should we?. Instead of storing the songs on a central computer, the songs live on users' machines. This is called peer-to-peer sharing, or P2P. Now what happened to most of these programs that came so early is that the music/movie companies would sue the programers and creators because it was a blatant violation of copyright laws which was making the lucrative music and movies companies lose tons of money. The music industry was against Napster because people could get music for free instead of paying $15 for a CD. Napster's defense was that the files were personal files that people maintained on their own machines, and therefore Napster was not responsible. “The simple fact is that P2P is here to stay, regardless of legality disputes. Since the introduction of Napster, many other similar utilities and Web sites have appeared. And most of them do not limit file sharing to just MP3s as Napster did. Some, like Gnutella, allow virtually anything to be shared.”. This is very true and the growth of P2P programs has anything but exploded and now with torrent programs such a Bit torrent and Utorrent leading the pack in many aspects there are more pressing matters. Now we know that sharing movies and music to others is illegal according to the Copyright Act of 1976 but what this also stipulates is something called the Fair Use act which says “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.". This is basically saying clips of movies / songs may be used for personal projects or presentations and is not in violation of any copyright infringement. The thing that really caught my eye about this topic is how people are when faced with a roadblock. Usually that person will just take a detour and go the designated route; in other wards
I mean if someone would like to watch streaming television or movies on the internet most people now days have some sort of pay service for it. From Hulu Plus to Netflix to the wide range of other services out there that offers streaming movie / television sites that have bought the rights to stream the services. But how is this any different from streaming it free? Take in mind that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has not always been so lenient with streaming movies sites in fact it was