Internet Piracy Essay

Internet Piracy Essay

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In recent years, internet piracy or "file sharing" of copyrighted material has gained much popularity. It is a topic that has incessantly sparked debate and has even received global attention. Although on the surface the act of file sharing may seem harmless, it is far from it. Each year, film and record production companies as well as software and video game development companies suffer from billions of dollars in lost profits. This loss comes as a direct result of internet piracy. Many agree that file sharing is unethical and consider it to be no different than downright theft. On the other hand, there are those that support file sharing and claim that their actions are easily justified and ethical. This essay will provide a brief overview and history of file sharing, will consider the arguments of each side, and will offer my personal observations and stance on the issue.
File sharing, put simply, is the process of making available and distributing files via the internet. Many freely developed applications have been made available that simplify this process, providing the ability to easily search for, download, and upload any piece of digital content imaginable. These applications are commonly referred to as P2P or peer-to-peer applications as they allow individuals (peers) to directly connect with other peers to share files. By themselves, such applications are useless; a central network must be available that allows each peer to see one another. These networks are typically hosted or paid for by the developers of the P2P application. Although P2P networks are probably the most common and accessible to the average internet user, there are a host of other applications and/or methods that provide the same services a...


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References
Norbert, J. M. (2004). Internet File Sharing: The Evidence So Far and What It Means for the Future. Retrieved April 13, 2007, from http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternetandTechnology/bg1790.cfm.
Powers, J. (2003). Copyright, Piracy and Personal Ethics. Retrieved April 13, 2007, from http://www.in3.org/articles/personalethics.htm.
Anti-Piracy. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from http://www.mpaa.org/piracy_internet.asp.
(Copyright). Retrieved April 12, 2007, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/copyright.
File sharing. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_sharing.
The Ethics of Piracy. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from http://cse.stanford.edu/class/cs201/projects-99-00/software-piracy/ethical.html.
Piracy. Retrieved April 13, 2007, from http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/pctech/child/ethics/piracy.shtml.


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