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File sharing...

File sharing

The common myth is that all file sharing is illegal. That’s not true: If you want to share original, non-copy written material with your mates then there’s no law stopping you. However, you do need to know where you stand with using Peer to Peer networks, and how to know when you are the other side of the law.

  • The problem with file sharing is that most of the files that people want to share (or copy) are protected by copyright laws.
  • If you copy a CD onto your computer or burn your own CD, then you’re breaking copyright.
  • You can get into serious trouble by downloading copyrighted material. At this time in the UK it is illegal to download even one file from the Internet which is protected by copyright.
  • The risk is greater if you download and upload a lot e.g. 1000 songs.
  • The recording industry is trying to sue users; the youngest person ever to be sued was 12 years old!

Your privacy is at risk in two ways with file sharing software. P2P services, like Kazaa for example, don't tell users they should be careful about which folders on their hard drive they open to the file-sharing public (remember; millions of people use them). Emails, medical records, and family financial information have all been exposed on P2P networks, so the software needs to be configured carefully.

The P2P services are also known to have spyware on them. Spyware can be secretly put onto your computer when you download software from the Internet. File-sharers can easily download this software and record Web activity – even a person's keyboard strokes. It is usually used by commercial companies to send advertising pop-ups and SPAM to you.



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