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File sharing over the internet ought to be free. File sharing over the internet encompasses distribution and/or provision of access to the information that has been digitally stored. Examples include e-books, documents, multimedia, and computer programs. The file sharing is usually done through computer networks, peer-to-peer networking, hyperlinked documents that are web-based and other computer networks.
File sharing is important in the academic, business and social fields which form very important aspects of the human life. One’s computer can be connected to the internet by the appropriate software and this ensures easy access to online files that can be viewed and downloaded at any time and place at the person’s convenience and within a short time (Sudo 151).
Significance of Free File Sharing
With computer connections like the Local Area Network, one is able to access files stored in another person’s computer once the owner allows access to such files. The internet has made it possible for people to upload and download large volumes of files and send them anywhere in the world at a very fast pace and in a very secure manner, at a very low cost.
With the technological advancements in the Information Technology, it is now possible for one to learn by using the internet through e-learning. The tutor and the student are now able to communicate and exchange file over the internet in form of lessons, instructions, and assignments online. With the introduction of free online file sharing, the whole activity is now less costly. This is therefore beneficial both to the tutor and the student (Sudo 155).
The online applications allow the student to do online research and even hold discussions concerning a given subject matter. The student is also able to check his/her performance over the internet without necessarily having to travel to the school. It also eliminates geographical barriers as anyone who is anywhere in the world is able to access the internet can get such services.
There are many online businesses that mainly depend on the internet to market and carryout transactions. Such businesses mainly depend on the online file sharing to carry out their activities. Free online file sharing makes these businesses to be viable and the cost of doing online business is relatively low and hence maximize the profits. If the internet file sharing was expensive, then such businesses could probably become bankrupt (Malecki and Moriset 98).
Workplace File Sharing
For any organization to be effective, information sharing is very vital. Instructions are constantly being channeled from the top management to the subordinate while at the same time feedback is send to the top management from lower offices. Files are also shared among departments.
The sharing could be through email, message boards and other instant messaging applications. With the advent of free online file transfer, the activity is made easier and cost effective as it is not very expensive. It also saves the organizations revenue as there is no or less need for office messengers.
Music and Movie Downloading
Currently unauthorized copying and distribution of material that is copyrighted is an offense under the copyright laws. There are however a few exemptions as in the case of recording small portions of such materials for academic purposes or news reporting. In the case of music the matter is a bit complicated given that there are exemptions for private copying.
For the task to be termed as private copying, the work has to be copied on the audio recording media. There are many controversies concerning the issue for instance, it has been hard to categorize digital music players and that stored on the computer hard drive (Lang 56). There are also private copying exemptions for the copying done via the internet and this complicates the matter even further.
Downloading of musical works over the internet for personal use is allowed by most copyright laws. The issue of availing copyrighted music on the peer-to-peer networks has also been a very controversial issue. The copyright laws tend to be challenged with the increase in technological advancements and they tend to be amended with time (Lang 56).
The copyright laws vary from country to country and they govern the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted work. They are all aimed at minimizing piracy. The internet has particularly posed a big threat to the war against piracy. It is not very easy to monitor all the illegal distribution and downloading of copyrighted material.
The main question is now whether downloading should be made free or not. The answer cannot be an absolute yes or a no. It all depends on what the purpose for the downloading is. If it is for personal use, it should be allowed.
One may also need to quote the music or movie for academic purposes. In the event that free downloading is not allowed, the there should at least for a provision for watching the movie or a section of it over the internet. There are several sites on the internet where one can freely download movies or music over the internet.
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A good example is the ‘waptrick’ site which allows one to download music in the Mp3 form or download movie or music video clips. This however needs to be regulated given that the music and movie industry is a profit making industry and it needs not to be driven into losses. There are also other online applications that allow one to watch and share videos without having to download the same as in the case of video streaming (Strowel 100).
In conclusion, the digital economy is bound to bring more benefits as well as risks. Free file sharing over the internet reduces the burden of having to manually transport files and other products. Instead, music, video and hardcopy files are converted to the weightless digital format and transported across different places within seconds.
The services that depend on the internet are increasing day by day and they include education, banking and business transactions. By embracing free online file sharing systems, these operations will be cost effective and given that they are efficient and convenient, they are bound to ensure an increase in the economic growth.
There are risks associated with the same though. For instance, the systems are susceptible to online fraud stars and hackers who may take advantage and interrupt the system. The movie and music industry is bound to witness significant losses due to the piracy cases (Fisk 1-4). Efforts must therefore be channeled towards reducing piracy by passing and enacting laws to govern the same. Relevant measures should also be taken to eliminate internet crime.
Malecki, Edward and Moriset, Bruno. The Digital Economy. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Fisk, Nathan W. Understanding Online Piracy: The Truth About File Sharing. Macmillan: London, 2009. Print.
Lang, Peter. “Internet Research Annual.” Association of Internet Researchers Conference. NewYork: Library of Congress, 2007.Print.
Strowel, Alaine. Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Secondary Liability in Copyright Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2009. Print.
Sudo, Osamu. Digital Economy and Social Design. Tokyo: The University of Tokyo, 2005. Print.