File-sharing’s hold on the entertainment industry

By Paul Williams
September 5, 2002

Two words, file sharing, have become synonymous with the Internet. File sharing, which was made famous by Napster, continues to grow. Now, any person with a fast Internet connection can download more than just music before the official release date, movies, video games and television episodes can be downloaded with the mere click of a mouse.

Peer-to-peer file sharing is when an individual puts a stored file on a hard disk and shares them directly with other people. These people connect to each other through a network. The network then searches for media by the user typing in an IP address, which is a 32-bit number. The machine where the 32-bit number is entered then connects to other machines that it is connected with and puts through a request.

“Napster was not a true peer-to-peer file sharing program,” Ryan Dixon, a junior management information systems major, said. “Napster had a central server, which indexed all of the songs that users would have on their hard drives.” Napster had to remove its central server during a court order.

Dixon said, “Other file sharing programs that run on the Gnutella network are considered to be true peer-to-peer file sharing programs.” These are programs like Morpheus and WinMX.

Conor McLaughlin, a freshman philosophy major, said, “I download music videos, and ‘The Simpson’s’ television episodes from Kazaa. The most important thing is to have an updated virus protector on your computer.”

Matt McGlade, a freshman business administration with finance major, said, “I use WinMX to download the band Tool’s latest videos and music that has not yet come out.”

Dixon said, “Music is still the best thing to download using a peer-to-peer network. Movies that you find are usually of poor quality and are much better on DVD. I do know a lot of people prefer to watch music videos online because MTV does not play them anymore.” Dixon continued, “The peer-to-peer world is the last place to be if you do not have an updated virus protector. Firewalls only keep your computer safer from viruses and I have a linksys router acting at home, instead of a software firewall.” Dixon recommends that if you need a firewall to use Zone Alarm. “It’s free and very easy to setup and use.”

Internet connections on campusus are hot spots for these music and movie lovers. Students of Delaware County Community College may not have the opportunity to live on their campus, but one student’s connection at home allows him to get whatever he needs. “I use Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to download movies that have not come out in the theatres or on film. Most of the films from movies at the theatre are taken by camcorders, however some are reel-to-reel and have a DVD like quality.” He continued saying, “Some movies I was able to download before they were in theaters were ‘Signs’ and ‘Austin Powers 3.'” He was also able to download various Playstation 2 games before they came out.

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