In the big, bad, and mad world called “The Internet,” so much goes on when it comes to data being shared and people using it to create and or recreate their own contraptions; whatever the medium may be… Weather it sharing a document via email, a quote via Facebook, or retweeting a tweet from another person, we are all sharing. I mean, when was the last time you received or sent an email, a Facebook message, or a text showing a funny picture someone found or a link to a video or website, let alone a document for work. We share things everyday. It’s woven into our blood (Not literally).
According to Wikipedia, “File Sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. File sharing may be achieved in a number of ways. Common methods of storage, transmission and dispersion include manual sharing utilizing removable media, centralized servers on computer networks, World Wide Web-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking.” Heck, even this blog is a form of sharing because I am referencing other material and providing images and links to view.
Now, there is a lot of negative connotation that comes along with this topic. Majority of this pertaining to torrenting. Torrenting of TV shows, music, video, programs, and many other forms of media. Of these the music industry is probably the most notorious. Suing everyone and their grandmas for downloading or obtaining music illegally and in turn preventing creativity. Given that, it has not stopped the progress of the industry, but has not allowed it to adapt and advance in the times as some other industries have. The record companies have decided that they want to keep as much under their control as they can. What needs to happen, is adaption. They need to adapt to the times so that the industry can thrive more than ever before. Look at how iTunes changed everything and now how Spotify and other services are doing the same. These are now becoming the powerhouses for
But getting back to the point, torrenting is often viewed as a negative thing, while others think that the ability to copy and distribute are a benefit to society and the industries in which they partake. An advocate for sharing and the easy of access is, Lawrence Lessig. Lessing is a professor of law at Harvard Law School, a founder of the Creative Commons, and is potentially making a run for presidency in the coming election. In a Ted Talk he did, “Laws that choke creativity,” Lessig talks on the matter that the laws in place are not allowing creativity to flourish, but instead are hindering the ability to be innovative; in effect, slowing the progress of society. Thus, the laws need to be lessened and that allow the creators to set the terms of usage in one easy place. From this idea and type of thinking, the Creative Commons was born.
The final verdict? Well, people will be people and they will take what they want that is easily accessible. They will find ways to watch a show, listen to a song, and download a software for “FREE” (Not really free with all of the adds on the internet). Whether that be downloading it illegally, streaming it from some site with degraded quality, or using a friends service. Some say that this promotes business and sales and that it actually increases the amount of publicity such things would get without them being shared in these manners. Now, this is not to say that what the people are doing is not wrong, but is to say that industries need to find ways to innovate and get with the times. They need to generate more content that is open to the public and that allows the users to have the freedom to chose. I personally believe that it is important to pay for what you buy or use if you are or are not making money off of it. But, I will say that I am not perfect and have succumbed to subjects of discussion.
To better understand the whole idea of copyright, checkout this infographic…