Discover the Problems with Copyright Infringement

Discover the Problems with Copyright Infringement

Discover the Problems with Copyright Infringement

Online file sharing has led to many problems with copyright infringement. While online file sharing software may be legal, the software is capable of performing illegal activities such as copyright infringement. Documents created by a user that are shared with another user, or peer, is a perfectly legal procedure. Problems arise when files that are shared include copyrighted material such as songs, software and movies. Companies and individuals who produce creative content claim that illegal file sharing costs them possibly billions of dollars every year when added together.

The public has gotten comfortable with illegal file sharing as a normal practice. The ease in which what some would call expensive material could be obtained helped make illegal file sharing accepted. People do not think of sharing copyrighted material as stealing in the same way they think about walking into a store and running out the door after grabbing a CD they have been waiting to hear.

The perception many people share regarding sharing copyrighted material online is that it is online and can be downloaded with one click, therefore it must be free. Since there is no physical store involved to steal from, it may not seem like stealing. However, people who download copyrighted material through online file sharing software are stealing from artists, record companies, film companies, software producers, and any other organization that makes a living off selling copyrighted material to the public.

Record companies and movie companies wish they could claim those who illegally download files are not receiving quality equal to that of a CD or DVD. Unfortunately for those companies, many of the files located on file sharing software are close if not equal to the quality included on a disc if it is purchased legally.

Some people who download music or movies claim they cannot afford to pay full price for media. Companies do not believe this is a valid statement at all. To them, illegal file sharing is a crime that is being ignored by too many people including the government. The Recording Industry Association of America has begun suing individual people who provide copyrighted material to be downloaded from their computer. While this may stop a handful of people who are directly contacted by the RIAA, the majority of people will continue to download illegally.

Since file sharing has exploded in popularity, the music industry has shown large drops in album sales. Many public people claim it is due to a lack of musical talent while musicians and music companies fear illegal file sharing is going to wipe out all record companies aside from the major labels. There have also been reported drops in employment related to the closing of many CD stores. If millions of people are downloading content illegally, and millions more are downloading content legally, not many people are left to purchase music and movies from outlet stores that sell actual CD's inside.

However, recent studies have shown that with the growth of the digital music industry, drops in album sales do not necessarily indicate a drop in revenue. With now almost half of all revenue generated from music coming from digital downloads of singles and records, many are beginning to question the impact of copyright infringement on the revenue of the music industry.

A major problem unrelated to online file sharing and the entertainment business is the danger of peer-to-peer sharing. When peer-to-peer sharing takes place there is an increased chance a user's computer will become infected with spam and spyware. Computer hackers who use viruses to infect people's computers and gain access to information and files often take advantage of peer-to-peer users due to the ease in which a virus can be disguised and used to harm someone's computer.




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