Whenever there is a news story about file sharing online I get a bunch of questions asking what they are talking about. I would like to, at least for the next few posts, talk about some of what they are referring to.
To begin, as I have said in earlier posts, not all sharing of files is illegal. In fact the vast majority is legal. As an example I create worksheets that are freely shared with my consent all over the net. I do the same with photos and videos as well. However some ways of moving files on the internet have become known as places of mainly illegal files or at least ones that fall into the grey areas. Peer to Peer (P2P) is one way. At this point I should mention this is still used but it is not as popular as it once was. Also I should say I do not endorse these methods but I do feel a computer user should be an informed person. P2P uses a program like Limewire, Kazaa, or others to gain access to a network of users. A person on one end searches for a song (photo, file, etc…) and then gets a list of results. That list is showing all the computers that have these files on them that people are making available. Finally one of the files is selected and it downloads (Saves to your computer). The reason this is increasingly becoming unpopular is the rise of companies that try to track users through these services. Because P2P is user to user it is easier to be traced. Understanding both the good and bad of the net will help you to be a better user. However if you are looking for free music I do not suggest this type of service. I would recommend looking at previous posts that contain info about getting free music but are done in legal ways.