Whether it's swapping songs or swiping movies, almost every Internet user has been tempted by the huge amount of free entertainment online.
File sharing is the one of the biggest internet taboos of the 21st Century. Since the rise of Napster, Limewire and BitTorrents, file sharing over the Internet has become the guilty pleasure of the download world. It’s something that most people do but will never admit to it. Not to mention; it’s illegal.
Internet file junkies just can’t seem to get enough of torrents and the illegal downloading of media files that they have become somewhat in denial over its legality, questioning if whether they are breaking the law. Answer: yes, you are.
So who are the main culprits? A 2012 research report from Ofcom into UK illegal file sharing found that 31.4% of young adults aged 16-24 openly admitted to illegal file sharing. Probably the most shocking fact is that 30.1% of teenagers aged 12-15 had admitted to illegal file sharing.
Not surprisingly, the survey indicated that music files have the highest incidence of file sharing. Music lovers everywhere can vouch for the massive impact that illegal downloading has had on labels, artists and all involved in music production.
In 2009, Lily Allen famously personally spoke out to express her anger against illegal file sharing stating that: “Illegal file-sharing damages music because it harms new artists.” Muse’s Matt Bellamy and Dr Dre also spoke up in support!
Sadly, three years on and this is still the case. This year, album sales are at all-time low-Rihanna’s Talk That Talk, returned to the number one slot this year with sales of only 9,578 – that’s with CDs and downloads combined.
So what's the worst that could happen if you do fill your hard drive with illegal spoils?
Penalties for copyright infringement vary depending on the seriousness:
Not sure which one you would prefer? Then don’t file share. It’s as simple as that.
But it’s not just the long arm of the law you need to watch out for. Not surprisingly, e-Criminals have cottoned onto the fact that there’s a demand to download the latest Adele album for free. And when there’s demand, there’s supply. Of malware. Two wrongs don’t make a right but they could add up to a big repair bill.
Take care, don’t file share.