File sharing is the technology that allows online file sharing. The past the files sharing software that existed were designed as pear-pear networks that had a centralized file list. In this network the user could send their requests from the central server that could then send a list of pears that contain the data that the user requires and at the same time facilitate the linking and download of files. Currently this technology has being replaced by web-based file sharing and File sharing from the social graph. These two other fashions are more effective and efficient than the later. This fashion is such effective due to its decentralization that helps it to overcome request conflicts that are common on the centralized server that renders its execution of these requests slow. The growth of music industry, the high speed internet connection and the moderately small size and high quality MP3 audio format has facilitated the popularity of file sharing.A unique aspect of file sharing is its ability to allow users to download the shared files while at the same time retaining its original copy. This reduces the costs of files sharing greatly.
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This is one reason why files sharing and mostly sharing of and downloads of music has become a major activity for many in the 21st century where many people are spending most of there times downloading songs from the internet both at home and at work. Creating a major social problem in the society and at work due to increased piracy and bad use of official time where people are paid more hours than they have worked due to wastage of time while downloading illegal music.
File sharing relies on computers forming networks which allow the transfer of data. Each computer (or node) may agree to share some files and has the ability to search for and download files from other computers in the network. Individual nodes are referred to as clients if they request information, servers if they fulfill requests, and peers if they do both. Clients, servers, and peers are connected in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. In a decentralized P2P network there is no central server, and every node acts a peer. Each peer is connected to some small number of other peers, and some set of associations interconnect any peer pair. A peer’s searched requests are sent to neighboring peers that in turn transmit it to their adjacent pears. Positive matches are sent back though the intermediate peers, though transfers occur directly between the nodes as with centralized P2P. (Charles 2003).
Impacts of File Sharing
The effects of file sharing in relation to the sale of CD can either be discussed from a positive or negative perspective. File sharing is a legalized activity all over the word. Therefore sharing of songs through the internet can greatly acts as very economical method of existing and new musicians to market their songs globally. This is because this method allows musicians to sell their songs all over the world at a very low cost. This enables even the upcoming musicians that may not have enough resources to market their music to produce their music and sell them online in the global market. Hence through this method file sharing helps greatly to accelerate the sales of CDs. Also sharing of files enables users to learn about new and good songs from upcoming musicians that otherwise they could not have come across hence increasing their sales. File sharing allows browsing of files of other users and initiating a chat on the file server chat room. This can promote the number of CDs sold because of the positive feedbacks the users may receive from the chats. File sharing can also boosts the CD sale since it provides users with an opportunity to sample their music of interest s before going ahead to purchase them. On the other hand File sharing can affect the sale of music CDs negatively.
This occurs when users samples the music before buying them and do not like them thus making a decision of not purchasing them. Such incidences are very often where many users do not purchase some music when they test them and find that they do not match their expectations. Therefore to prevent this effect, musicians should only allow sampling of their best music but not all to facilitate users buying their music. The sharing of files also has another negative effect on the sales of CDs which is unauthorized downloading of music. Although file sharing is a legal technology with legal uses, many users use it to download and upload copyrighted materials without permission, which can be copyright infringement if done without authorization for improper purposes. Despite the existence of various international treaties, there are still sufficient variations between countries to cause significant difficulties in the protection of copyright. This has led to attacks against file sharing in general from many copyright owners and litigation by industry bodies against private individual sharers. Increasing piracy and reducing CDs sales. The legal issues surrounding file sharing have been the subject of debate and conferences, especially among lawyers in the entertainment industries. The challenges facing copyright holders in the face of file-sharing systems are many. They include: (Dickson 2001)
- Ambiguities in the interpretation of copyright law
- The new challenges posed by international communications and varying legislations
- Mass litigation and the development of processes for evidence and discovery
- Rapidly developing new technologies and uses
- File-sharing approaches developed in response to litigation against sharers, which obfuscate or hide the fact that sharing is happening, or the identities of those involved. For example: encryption and darknets.
- The transfer of segmented files that; arguably, by themselves do not constitute a copyright issue.
Other new challenges that have cropped up involve striking a balance between self-protection against legitimate use and unauthorized uses. (James 1997)
To conclude we can say that the lack of sound rules that regulates file sharing can be narrowed as the major problem that has rendered this method disadvantageous on CDs sale. This is because it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that files sharing lowers the overall sale of CDs due to increased piracy or unauthorized CDs downloads. Also it has been identified that many users makes a decision of not purchasing music CDs after listening to them due to online sharing. Therefore to eradicate this problem the music industry requires to develop and enforce strict policies that will regulate unauthorized downloads of their music. (Stephen 2006)
Charles M. (2003) Files Sharing Technology: Oxford University Press: London.
Dickson T. (2001) Effect of File Sharing in Music Industry: Oxford University Press: London.
James K. (1997) The Challenges Facing Files Sharing Process: Prentice Hall1: New York.
Stephen A. (2006) How to overcome Piracy: Chicago University Press: Chicago.