Illegal File Sharing

Topics: File sharing, Copyright infringement, Copyright Pages: 4 (1359 words) Published: October 25, 2005
According to Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, "Congress shall have the power to ... promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries..."

In the debate of whether or not file-sharing and illegal downloading of music is right or wrong, one must consider all the laws enacted to protect the original artist of the document and whether or not strict copyright laws have been breached. The fact remains that file-sharing has become one of the most popular on-line activities since the inception of Napster in 1999. In 2003 alone, there were more than three million users simultaneously sharing over half a billion files on what has now become the most popular peer-to-peer (P2P) network, KaZaA. Each week on this P2P network there are more than one billion illegal downloads of music files alone (Ipsos-Reid, 2002). The three most popular file-sharing P2P network sites have a combined 70 million active users.

Besides costing the music industry billions of dollars every year, file-sharing can also be construed as stealing. The fact that this music is readily available on-line does not mean that it is anyone's for the taking. Most of the music files that are illegally downloaded by the billions every single day in the world were copyrighted by the original artist to protect their own personal property. Piracy, as this illegal downloading of music is titled, is defined as the unauthorized duplication of an original recording for commercial gain without the consent of the rights owner. The term of piracy is generally used to describe the deliberate infringement of copyright on a commercial scale.

The basic fact attempting to be portrayed here is that file-sharing on the internet is illegal and therefore, wrong. When permission is granted to a P2P network, you also give permission to all others on the network to gain access to your hard...
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