HOME

TheInfoList




File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to
digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, listened to, and preserved on a di ...
, such as computer programs,
multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which featured little to no interaction fr ...

multimedia
(audio, images and video), documents or
electronic books#REDIRECT E-book An electronic book, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in Digital data, digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic de ...

electronic books
. Common methods of storage,
transmission Transmission may refer to: Science and technology * Power transmissionPower transmission is the movement of energy from its place of generation to a location where it is applied to perform useful Mechanical work, work. Power (physics), Power is d ...

transmission
and dispersion include
removable media Expandable storage is a form of computer storage File:Maxell DVD-RW 4.7GB crop 20051120.jpg, A spindle of DVD-RW's. Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and Data storage device, recording media that are used ...
, centralized servers on
computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communicate with each other. These interconnections are made up of technologies, based on physically wired, optical, and wire ...
s, Internet-based
hyperlink In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...

hyperlink
ed documents, and the use of distributed
peer-to-peer Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A ''distributed system'' is a system whose components are located on different co ...

peer-to-peer
networking. File sharing technologies, such as
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication Protocol (computing), protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P), which enables users to distribute Data (computing), data and electronic files over the Internet in a Decentralised system, dece ...

BitTorrent
, are integral to modern media piracy, as well as the sharing of scientific data and other free content.


History

Files were first exchanged on
removable media Expandable storage is a form of computer storage File:Maxell DVD-RW 4.7GB crop 20051120.jpg, A spindle of DVD-RW's. Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and Data storage device, recording media that are used ...
. Computers were able to access remote files using
filesystem In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softwa ...
mounting,
bulletin board system A bulletin board system or BBS (also called ''Computer Bulletin Board Service'', ''CBBS'') is a computer server In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes th ...
s (1978),
Usenet Usenet () is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up Dial-up Internet access is a form of Internet access Internet access is the ability of ...
(1979), and
FTP The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard communication protocol used for the transfer of computer files from a server to a client on a computer network. FTP is built on a client–server model architecture using separate control and data c ...
servers (1970's).
Internet Relay Chat Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a text-based chat (instant messaging Instant messaging (IM) technology is a type of online chat Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time text, real-time t ...
(1988) and
Hotline A hotline is a point-to-point communications Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing meaning among entities or groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbol A ...
(1997) enabled users to communicate remotely through
chat Chat or chats may refer to: Communication *Conversation, particularly casual *Online chat, text message communication over the Internet in real-time *Synchronous conferencing, a formal term for online chat *SMS chat, a form of text messaging *Po ...
and to exchange files. The
mp3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital a ...

mp3
encoding, which was standardized in 1991 and substantially reduced the size of
audio files An audio file format is a file format for storing digital audio data on a computer system. The bit layout of the audio data (excluding metadata) is called the audio coding format and can be uncompressed, or audio compression (data), compressed to re ...
, grew to widespread use in the late 1990s. In 1998, MP3.com and
Audiogalaxy Audiogalaxy was an Internet music service with three incarnations. From 1998 to 2002, it was a file sharing File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images an ...
were established, the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...
was unanimously passed, and the first
mp3 player#REDIRECT MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. ...
devices were launched. In June 1999,
Napster Napster is an audio streaming Streaming media is multimedia that is delivered and consumed in a continuous manner from a source, with little or no intermediate storage in network elements. ''Streaming'' refers to the delivery method of co ...

Napster
was released as an unstructured centralized peer-to-peer system, requiring a central server for indexing and peer discovery. It is generally credited as being the first peer-to-peer file sharing system. In December 1999, Napster was sued by several recording companies and lost in '' A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.''. In the case of Napster, it has been ruled that an online service provider could not use the "transitory network transmission" safe harbor in the
DMCA The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...
if they had control of the network with a server.
Gnutella Gnutella is a peer-to-peer network 200px, A network based on the ''clients'' request services and resources from centralized server (computing)">servers Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture ...
,
eDonkey2000 eDonkey2000 (nicknamed "ed2k") was a peer-to-peer file sharing Peer-to-peer file sharing is the distribution and sharing of digital media Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine- ...
, and
Freenet Freenet is a peer-to-peer Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A ''distributed system'' is a system whose compon ...
were released in 2000, as MP3.com and Napster were facing litigation.
Gnutella Gnutella is a peer-to-peer network 200px, A network based on the ''clients'' request services and resources from centralized server (computing)">servers Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture ...
, released in March, was the first decentralized file-sharing network. In the Gnutella network, all connecting software was considered equal, and therefore the network had no central point of failure. In July,
Freenet Freenet is a peer-to-peer Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A ''distributed system'' is a system whose compon ...
was released and became the first anonymity network. In September the
eDonkey2000 eDonkey2000 (nicknamed "ed2k") was a peer-to-peer file sharing Peer-to-peer file sharing is the distribution and sharing of digital media Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine- ...
client and server software was released. In March 2001,
Kazaa#REDIRECT Kazaa Kazaa Media Desktop (once stylized as "KaZaA", but later usually written "Kazaa") was a peer-to-peer file sharing application using the FastTrack protocol licensed by Joltid Ltd. and operated as Kazaa by Sharman Networks. Kazaa w ...
was released. Its
FastTrack FastTrack is a peer-to-peer 200px, A network based on the client–server model, where individual Client (computing), ''clients'' request services and resources from centralized server (computing), servers Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or netw ...
network was distributed, though unlike Gnutella, it assigned more traffic to 'supernodes' to increase routing efficiency. The network was proprietary and encrypted, and the Kazaa team made substantial efforts to keep other clients such as
Morpheus Morpheus ('Fashioner', derived from the grc, μορφή meaning 'form, shape') is a god associated with sleep and dreams. In Ovid's ''Metamorphoses'' he is the son of Somnus and appears in dreams in human form. From the medieval period, the nam ...
off of the FastTrack network. In October 2001, the
MPAA The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is an American trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by business ...

MPAA
and the
RIAA The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busi ...
filed a lawsuit against the developers of Kazaa, Morpheus and
Grokster Grokster Ltd. was a privately owned software company based in Nevis, West Indies that created the Grokster peer-to-peer file-sharing client in 2001 that used the FastTrack (protocol), FastTrack protocol. Grokster Ltd. was rendered extinct in late ...
that would lead to the US Supreme Court's ''
MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. ''MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.'', 545 U.S. 913 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United ...
'' decision in 2005. Shortly after its loss in court, Napster was shut down to comply with a court order. This drove users to other P2P applications and file sharing continued its growth. The Audiogalaxy Satellite client grew in popularity, and the
LimeWire LimeWire is a discontinued free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This i ...

LimeWire
client and
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication protocol Protocol may refer to: Sociology and politics * Protocol (politics) Protocol originally (in Late Middle English, c. 15th century) meant the minutes or logbook taken at a meeting, upon ...
protocol were released. Until its decline in 2004, Kazaa was the most popular file sharing program despite bundled
malware Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause disruption to a computer, server (computing), server, Client (computing), client, or computer network, leak private information, gain unauthorized acc ...

malware
and legal battles in the Netherlands, Australia, and the United States. In 2002, a Tokyo district court ruling shut down File Rogue, and the
Recording Industry Association of America The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busin ...
(RIAA) filed a lawsuit that effectively shut down Audiogalaxy. From 2002 through 2003, a number of
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication protocol Protocol may refer to: Sociology and politics * Protocol (politics) Protocol originally (in Late Middle English, c. 15th century) meant the minutes or logbook taken at a meeting, upon ...
services were established, including Suprnova.org,
isoHunt isoHunt was an online In computer technology and telecommunications, online indicates a state of connectivity, and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern terminology this usually refers to an Internet connection, but (especially w ...
,
TorrentSpy TorrentSpy was a popular BitTorrent (protocol), BitTorrent indexing website. It provided .torrent files, which enabled users to exchange data between one another. It also provided a forum to comment on them and integrated the user-driven content si ...
, and
The Pirate Bay The Pirate Bay (sometimes abbreviated as TPB) is an BitTorrent#Indexing, online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download ...

The Pirate Bay
. In September 2003, the
RIAA The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busi ...
began filing lawsuits against users of P2P file sharing networks such as Kazaa. As a result of such lawsuits, many universities added file sharing regulations in their school administrative codes (though some students managed to circumvent them during after school hours). Also in 2003, the
MPAA The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is an American trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by business ...

MPAA
started to take action against BitTorrent sites, leading to the shutdown of Torrentse and Sharelive in July 2003. With the shutdown of eDonkey in 2005, eMule became the dominant client of the eDonkey network. In 2006, police raids took down the
Razorback2 The eDonkey Network (also known as the eDonkey2000 network or eD2k) is a decentralized, mostly server-based, peer-to-peer file sharing network created in 2000 by US developers Jed McCaleb and Sam Yagan that is best suited to share big files among ...
eDonkey server and temporarily took down
The Pirate Bay The Pirate Bay (sometimes abbreviated as TPB) is an BitTorrent#Indexing, online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download ...

The Pirate Bay
. “The File Sharing Act was launched by Chairman Towns in 2009, this act prohibited the use of applications that allowed individuals to share federal information amongst one another. On the other hand, only specific file sharing application were made available to federal computers” (United States.Congress.House). In 2009, the Pirate Bay trial ended in a guilty verdict for the primary founders of the tracker. The decision was appealed, leading to a second guilty verdict in November 2010. In October 2010, Limewire was forced to shut down following a court order in ''
Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC ''Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC'', 715 F. Supp. 2d 481 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), is a United States district court case in which the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Southern District of New York held that Lime Gro ...
'' but the gnutella network remains active through open source clients like
FrostWire FrostWire is a free and open-source BitTorrent client first released in September 2004, as a Fork (software development), fork of LimeWire. It was initially very similar to LimeWire in appearance and functionality, but over time developers added mo ...

FrostWire
and
gtk-gnutella
gtk-gnutella
. Furthermore, multi-protocol file sharing software such as
MLDonkey MLDonkey is an open-source software, open-source, multi-protocol, peer-to-peer file sharing application that runs as a Front and back ends, back-end server application on many platforms. It can be controlled through a user interface provided by one ...
and
Shareaza Shareaza is a peer-to-peer file sharing client running under Microsoft Windows which supports the gnutella, Gnutella2 (G2), eDonkey Network, eDonkey, BitTorrent (protocol), BitTorrent, File Transfer Protocol, FTP, HTTP and HTTP Secure, HTTPS netwo ...

Shareaza
adapted in order to support all the major file sharing protocols, so users no longer had to install and configure multiple file sharing programs. On January 19, 2012, the
United States Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) o ...
shut down the popular domain of
Megaupload Megaupload Ltd was a Hong Kong-based online company established in 2005 that operated from 2005 to 2012 providing File hosting service, online services related to file storage and viewing. On 19 January 2012, the United States Department of J ...

Megaupload
(established 2005). The file sharing site has claimed to have over 50,000,000 people a day.
Kim Dotcom Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz, 21 January 1974), also known as Kimble and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, is a Germany, German-Finland, Finnish Internet entrepreneur and political activist who resides in Queenstown, New Zealand. He first rose to fame in Germ ...
(formerly Kim Schmitz) was arrested with three associates in New Zealand on January 20, 2012 and is awaiting extradition. The case involving the downfall of the world's largest and most popular file sharing site was not well received, with hacker group
Anonymous Anonymous may refer to: * Anonymity, the state of an individual's identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown ** Anonymous work, a work of art or literature that has an unnamed or unknown creator or author Organiza ...
bringing down several sites associated with the take-down. In the following days, other file sharing sites began to cease services; Filesonic blocked public downloads on January 22, with
Fileserve FileServe was an online file hosting service. FileServe, together with another file hosting service site, Megaupload, have terminated their services for Hong Kong by blocking IP addresses from accessing their websites and files. Blocks and black ...
following suit on January 23. In 2021 a
European Citizens' Initiative The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , locat ...
"Freedom to Share" started collecting signatures in order to get the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
to discuss (and eventually make rules) on this subject, which is controversial.


Techniques used for video sharing

From the early 2000s until the mid 2010s, online video streaming was usually based on the
Adobe Flash Player Adobe Flash Player (also called Shockwave Flash in Internet Explorer Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer, (from August 16, 1995 to March 30, 2021) commonly abbreviated IE or MSIE) is a disc ...
. After more and more vulnerabilities in Adobe's flash became known,
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
switched to HTML5 based video playback in January 2015.


Types


Peer-to-peer file sharing

Peer-to-peer file sharing Peer-to-peer file sharing is the distribution and sharing of digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can ...
is based on the
peer-to-peer Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems. A ''distributed system'' is a system whose components are located on different co ...

peer-to-peer
(P2P) application architecture. Shared files on the computers of other
users User may refer to: Ancient Egyptian roles * User (ancient Egyptian official)User was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River ...
are indexed on directory servers. P2P technology was used by popular services like
Napster Napster is an audio streaming Streaming media is multimedia that is delivered and consumed in a continuous manner from a source, with little or no intermediate storage in network elements. ''Streaming'' refers to the delivery method of co ...

Napster
and
LimeWire LimeWire is a discontinued free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This i ...

LimeWire
. The most popular protocol for P2P sharing is
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication Protocol (computing), protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P), which enables users to distribute Data (computing), data and electronic files over the Internet in a Decentralised system, dece ...

BitTorrent
.


File sync and sharing services

Cloud-based Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operation ...

Cloud-based
file syncing and sharing services implement automated file transfers by updating files from a dedicated sharing directory on each user's networked devices. Files placed in this folder also are typically accessible through a website and mobile app, and can be easily shared with other users for viewing or collaboration. Such services have become popular via consumer-oriented
file hosting service A file hosting service, cloud storage service, online file storage provider, or cyberlocker is an internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files. It allows users to upload files that could be accessed over the internet afte ...
s such as Dropbox and
Google Drive Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which incl ...
. With the rising need of sharing big files online easily, new
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis o ...

open access
sharing platforms have appeared, adding even more services to their core business (cloud storage, multi-device synchronization, online collaboration), such as ShareFile, Tresorit,
WeTransfer WeTransfer is an internet-based computer file transfer service based in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 2009 in Amsterdam by Rinke Visser, Bas Beerens and Nalden. In October 2018, WeTransfer relaunched its app with the name "Collect b ...
, MeeroDrop or Hightail.
rsync rsync is a utility for efficiently transferring and synchronizing Synchronization is the coordination of events to operate a system in unison. For example, the Conductor (music), conductor of an orchestra keeps the orchestra synchronized ...
is a more traditional program released in 1996 which synchronizes files on a direct machine-to-machine basis.
Data synchronization Data synchronization is the process of establishing consistency among data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualit ...

Data synchronization
in general can use other approaches to share files, such as
distributed filesystem A clustered file system is a file system In computing, a file system or filesystem (often abbreviated to fs) controls how data is Computer data storage, stored and retrieved. Without a file system, data placed in a storage medium would be one ...
s,
version control In software engineering Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, v ...
, or
mirrors A mirror is an object that reflects an image An image (from la, imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment (biophysical), environment thro ...
.


Academic file-sharing

In addition to file-sharing for the purposes of entertainment, academic file-sharing has become a topic of increasing concern,Rogerson, A. M. (2014, June). ''Detecting the work of essay mills and file swapping sites: some clues they leave behind''. Paper presented at the 6th International Integrity and Plagiarism Conference, Newcastle-on-Tyne, United Kingdom.Rogerson, A. M., & Basanta, G. (2016). Peer-to-peer file sharing and academic integrity in the Internet age. In T. Bretag (Ed.), ''Handbook of Academic Integrity'' (pp. 273-285). Singapore: Springer. as it is deemed to be a violation of
academic integrity Academic integrity is the moral code Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intention is a mind, mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities s ...
at many schools. Academic file-sharing by companies such as
Chegg Chegg, Inc., is an American education technology company based in Santa Clara, California Santa Clara () is a city in Santa Clara County, California Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Clara, is California's List of counties in ...
and
Course Hero Course Hero is an American educational technology, education technology website company based in Redwood City, California, which operates an online learning platform for students to access course-specific study resources contributed by a communit ...
has become a point of particular controversy in recent years. This has led some institutions to provide explicit guidance to students and faculty regarding academic integrity expectations relating to academic file-sharing.


Public opinion of file sharing

In 2004 there were an estimated 70 million people participating in online file sharing. According to a
CBS News CBS News is the news division of the American television and radio service CBS. CBS News television programs include the ''CBS Evening News'', ''CBS Mornings'', news magazine programs ''CBS News Sunday Morning'', ''60 Minutes'', and ''48 Hour ...

CBS News
poll in 2009, 58% of
Americans Americans are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recogn ...

Americans
who follow the file sharing issue, considered it acceptable "if a person owns the music CD and shares it with a limited number of friends and acquaintances"; with 18- to 29-year-olds this percentage reached as much as 70%. In his survey of file-sharing culture, Caraway (2012) noted that 74.4% of participants believed musicians should accept file sharing as a means for promotion and distribution. This file-sharing culture was termed as cyber socialism, whose legalisation was not expected - a utopia.


Economic impact

According to David Glenn, writing in ''
The Chronicle of Higher Education ''The Chronicle of Higher Education'' is a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and ...
'', "A majority of economic studies have concluded that file-sharing hurts sales". A literature review by Professor Peter Tschmuck found 22 independent studies on the effects of music file sharing. "Of these 22 studies, 14 – roughly two-thirds – conclude that unauthorized downloads have a 'negative or even highly negative impact' on recorded music sales. Three of the studies found no significant impact while the remaining five found a positive impact." A study by economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf in 2004 concluded that music file sharing's effect on sales was "statistically indistinguishable from zero".Levine, Robert. ''Free Ride: How the Internet Is Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back'', Bodley Head, February 2011, . This research was disputed by other economists, most notably Stan Liebowitz, who said Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf had made multiple assumptions about the music industry "that are just not correct." In June 2010, ''Billboard'' reported that Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf had "changed their minds", now finding "no more than 20% of the recent decline in sales is due to sharing". However, citing
Nielsen SoundScan MRC Data (formerly Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Music Products) is a provider of music sales data Data (; ) are individual facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that ...
as their source, the co-authors maintained that illegal downloading had not deterred people from being original. "In many creative industries, monetary incentives play a reduced role in motivating authors to remain creative. Data on the supply of new works are consistent with the argument that file sharing did not discourage authors and publishers. Since the advent of file sharing, the production of music, books, and movies has increased sharply." Glenn Peoples of ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ...
'' disputed the underlying data, saying "SoundScan's number for new releases in any given year represents new commercial titles, not necessarily new creative works." The RIAA likewise responded that "new releases" and "new creative works" are two separate things. " is figure includes re-releases, new compilations of existing songs, and new digital-only versions of catalog albums. SoundScan has also steadily increased the number of retailers (especially non-traditional retailers) in their sample over the years, better capturing the number of new releases brought to market. What Oberholzer and Strumpf found was better ability to track new album releases, not greater incentive to create them." A 2006 study prepared by Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz, published by
Industry Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED; legally, the Department of Industry; french: Innovation, Sciences et Développement économique Canada) is the department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larg ...
, was "unable to discover any direct relationship between P2P file-sharing and CD purchases in Canada". The results of this survey were similarly criticized by academics and a subsequent revaluation of the same data by Dr. George R. Barker of the
Australian National University The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the Federation of Australia, federation of the colonies of Australia as t ...
reached the opposite conclusion. "In total, 75% of P2P downloaders responded that if P2P were not available they would have purchased either through paid sites only (9%), CDs only (17%) or through CDs and pay sites (49%). Only 25% of people say they would not have bought the music if it were not available on P2P for free." Barker thus concludes; "This clearly suggests P2P network availability is reducing music demand of 75% of music downloaders which is quite contrary to Andersen and Frenz's much-published claim." According to the 2017 paper "Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU" by the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
, illegal usage increases game sales, stating "The overall conclusion is that for games, illegal online transactions induce more legal transactions."


Market dominance

A paper in journal ''
Management Science Management science (MS) is the broad interdisciplinary study of problem solving and decision making in human organizations, with strong links to management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a busin ...
'' found that file sharing decreased the chance of survival for low ranked albums on music charts and increased exposure to albums that were ranked high on the music charts, allowing popular and well known artists to remain on the music charts more often. This had a negative impact for new and less known artists while promoting the work of already popular artists and celebrities. A more recent study that examined pre-release file sharing of music albums, using BitTorrent software, also discovered positive impacts for "established and popular artists but not newer and smaller artists." According to Robert G. Hammond of
North Carolina State University North Carolina State University (NC State) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation ...
, an album that leaked one month early would see a modest increase in sales. "This increase in sales is small relative to other factors that have been found to affect album sales."
"File-sharing proponents commonly argue that file-sharing democratizes music consumption by 'levelling the playing field' for new/small artists relative to established/popular artists, by allowing artists to have their work heard by a wider audience, lessening the advantage held by established/popular artists in terms of promotional and other support. My results suggest that the opposite is happening, which is consistent with evidence on file-sharing behaviour."
''Billboard'' cautioned that this research looked only at the pre-release period and not continuous file sharing following a release date. "The problem in believing
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publi ...
helps sales is deciding where to draw the line between legal and illegal ... Implicit in the study is the fact that both buyers and sellers are required in order for pre-release file sharing to have a positive impact on album sales. Without iTunes, Amazon and Best Buy, file-sharers would be just file sharers rather than purchasers. If you carry out the 'file sharing should be legal' argument to its logical conclusion, today's retailers will be tomorrow's file-sharing services that integrate with their respective cloud storage services."


Availability

Many argue that file-sharing has forced the owners of entertainment content to make it more widely available legally through fee or advertising on-demand on the internet. In a 2011 report by
Sandvine Sandvine Incorporated is a networking equipment company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canad
Sandvine network policy control products are ...
showed that
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
traffic had come to surpass that of
BitTorrent BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication Protocol (computing), protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P), which enables users to distribute Data (computing), data and electronic files over the Internet in a Decentralised system, dece ...

BitTorrent
.


Copyright issues

File sharing raises copyright issues and has led to many lawsuits. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, some of these lawsuits have even reached the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
. For example, in '' MGM v. Grokster'', the Supreme Court ruled that the creators of P2P networks can be held liable if their software is marketed as a tool for copyright infringement. On the other hand, not all file sharing is illegal. Content in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
can be freely shared. Even works covered by
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
can be shared under certain circumstances. For example, some artists, publishers, and
record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and ad ...
s grant the public a license for unlimited distribution of certain works, sometimes with conditions, and they advocate
free content Free content, libre content, or free information is any kind of functional work, work of art, or other creative Content (media and publishing), content that meets the definition of a Definition of Free Cultural Works, free cultural work. De ...
and file sharing as a promotional tool.


See also

*
Comparison of file sharing applications File sharing File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data forma ...
*
File hosting service A file hosting service, cloud storage service, online file storage provider, or cyberlocker is an internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files. It allows users to upload files that could be accessed over the internet afte ...
* File sharing news sites *
Graduated response Graduated response (also known as three strikes) is a protocol or law, adopted in several countries, aimed at reducing unlawful file sharing. In response to online copyright infringement, the creative industries, who are reliant on copyright, advoc ...
* ''Love for Sale'' (Bilal album), an unreleased but infamously pirated album by
Bilal__NOTOC__ Bilal may refer to: People * Bilal (name) Bilal ( ar, بلال) is both a given name and a surname of Arabic origin. Notable people with the name include: {{TOC right .... Mononym *Bilal Ibn Rabah, Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi (c. 580 – ...
*
Missionary Church of Kopimism The Missionary Church of Kopimism (in Swedish ''Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet''), is a congregation of file sharers who believe that copying information is a sacred virtue and was founded by Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old philosophy student, and G ...
* Open Music Model *
Publius (publishing system)Publius was an attempted communication protocol developed by Lorrie Cranor, Avi Rubin and Marc Waldman to give individuals the ability to publish information on the web anonymously and with a high guarantee that their publications would not be censor ...
* Torrent poisoning * Trade group efforts against file sharing *
Warez Warez is a common computing and broader cultural term referring to pirated software (i.e. illegally copied, often after deactivation of anti-piracy measures) that is distributed via the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the g ...

Warez


References


Further reading

*Levine, Robert. ''Free Ride: How the Internet Is Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back'', Bodley Head, February 2011. * Ghosemajumder, Shuman.
Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models
'.
MIT Sloan School of Management The MIT Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan or Sloan) is the business school A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in business administration Business administration (also known as business management) is t ...
, 2002 * Silverthorne, Sean.
Music Downloads: Pirates- or Customers?
'. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 2004. * Ralf Steinmetz, Klaus Wehrle (Eds)
Peer-to-Peer Systems and Applications
, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 3485, September 2005 * Stephanos Androutsellis-Theotokis and Diomidis Spinellis

ACM Computing Surveys, 36(4):335–371, December 2004. . * Stefan Saroiu, P. Krishna Gummadi, and Steven D. Gribble
A Measurement Study of Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Systems
Technical Report # UW-CSE-01-06-02. Department of Computer Science & Engineering. The University of Washington. Seattle, WA, USA. {{DEFAULTSORT:File sharing
Internet terminology Internet, Terminology Computing terminology World Wide Web, Terminology Internet culture, Terminology {{CatAutoTOC ...
Internet Relay Chat Instant messaging Intellectual property law