Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Social Aspect of Computing Essay Example for Free

The Social Aspect of Computing Essay How has the online sharing of information, such as film and music, changed western buying habits? Record shops, cinemas, radio stations, video rental stores and even libraries are losing customers to the global trend that is OIS (Online Information Sharing the official MPAA and RIAA term for internet piracy). It once used to be a common sight to see small record shops filled with teens picking their favourite artists new records from the well stacked shelves, paying at the desk, discussing music with others and making new discoveries. It was not uncommon for people to buy or rent VHS tapes or sit at home listening to the radio. Piracy of course was alive here, the market for pirate radio, pirate tapes and pirated videos was enormous, the difference between then and today? Equipment. Nearly every person below 40 has a computer in MEDCs and also has the knowledge to share everything they want from their media collection with others. The most significant difference between the days of pirate radio and the days of worldwide networking is that you no longer need to know how it works to do it; millions of parents mindlessly expose their young kids to P2P networks such as KaZaA and LimeWire which are full of adult content, viruses and include open chat programs which might allow sexual predators access to their children. The first consumer P2P (peer-to-peer) network of note (others such as MC2 , Direct Connect and TinyP2P had existed before but were not widely adopted by the average user) called Napster allowed only for the sharing of music files such as WAVE and .mp3 (leading to MPEG 3 becoming the most popular music format in years to come). This was the most organised piracy or the time among teenagers and young adults through the internet but had problems in terms of the danger that faced the user (being caught) in that the centralized nature of the service meant that the server not only listed the files bring shared by members but all of the files passed through it in an effort to prevent the proliferation of malicious programs. This was extremely bad news for the user as Napster now had the IP address of each and every user, an integral flaw which would come back to bite the company and its user base later on before it could change its process and remove the evidence from its servers. Napster h ad finally made stealing music easy but was considered flawed by many in the IT community who wanted easier methods of sharing software, video and text files and a safer method of sharing music. Audiogalaxy was the first mainstream centralized P2P client that was capable (although not by design) of sharing any kind of file whatsoever, it gained popularity after the downfall of Napster and was the first time that the MPAA took note of file sharing software as connections became more capable of allowing fast download of high quality video. Audiogalaxy only indexed *.mp3 files, the obvious way round this limitation was found quickly: by (for example) naming a *.exe piece of software from tree.exe to tree exe .mp3. This made AG extremely useful for illegal distribution of both legally and illegally purchased data between users with experience in CGI and Batch (CGI parameters had to be edited to share non mp3 files) but was not as popular as eDonkey2000 (another P2P later to become known as eMule) program which did not have the security limitations of previous P2P clients as it was much faster to decentralize and allow open sharing and indexing. Especially in the case of Napster, facilitating thousands of minor crimes led to a series of lawsuits launched by musicians against the company (Metallica, Dr. Dre, Madonna) but received praise from other artists (Radiohead, Dispatch, Editors) for allowing distribution of singles prior to an albums release. Eventually a larger lawsuit was filed against the company which eventually resulted in bankruptcy after a lawsuit (which inadvertently increased the services user numbers) filed by the RIAA resulting in Napster closing down their network and being blocked from selling the company without liquidating assets under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Act meaning that the company was forced to close. The name was later sold to Swedish pornography company PMG who run it as a paid for service using similar looking software. AudioGalaxy was also sued and shut down as its out of court settlement rendered the service effectively useless and resulted in the services user base abandoning it en ma sse as a result AG too, opened a pay service to distribute music. In efforts to decentralize and avoid federal prosecution, modern networks designed for file sharing are de-centralized, often encrypted and use proxies to disguise IP addresses, for these reasons modern networks make it much less likely for a user to be discovered and served with a court order or other legal reprimand. A de-centralized system does not have a server which holds the files but instead a server that indexes a list of all available files rather than storing them. Most modern p2p systems also use (as mentioned previously) a process of encryption and proxy servers to make them untraceable. The servers often do not ask uploaders and downloaders of content to register accounts as they have previously done, this prevents user name linking: a process that the CIA reportedly used wherein they would search a napster username through a series of websites trying to gain personal data on a pirate in order to find and prosecute them. Another security feature of modern P2P protocols is the streaming swarm structure which works on a rarest first basis, splitting files into multiple parts and downloading these parts (to be reconstructed into a usable file on the leech (downloading) computer) rather than an actual file. As none of these individual parts is usable as the intended finished product on its own Swedish law allows the redistribution under its own piracy laws for this reason, the most prolific pirating groups are based in the country. One such group is the Swedish pirate political party called Piratbyran, the Piratbyran, (whose motto Pirate and Proud has itself caused problems for the group) this organised group has demanded that (along with the Pirates website pirates be treated fairly by the law of the world as they believe they have the right to appraise things and decide if they are worth purchasing before doing so. For this reason, Piratbyran have set up Kopimi, a copywright alternative (said copyme) which declares others right to use your work as they see fit (this being a more extreme version of many other previously concocted alternatives like creative commons which permit a user the right to use works for non commercial reasons of their choice) for anything at all. The group also used Bram Cohens bit torrent protocol and created the worlds largest tracker a website that indexes all of the files available through the protocol which is called (a.k.a. TPB), this site is distributed in over 20 languages and is currently the most popular tracker for the most advanced, secure and efficient protocol that is commercially available at this time. They are however intending to create their own protocol to remove their reliance in Bram Cohen (the creator) who has recently cut distribution deals with Hollywood film studios and is believed to be considering taking the protocol commercial. Governments across the world are certainly taking note, shown in hundreds of adverts which have only proven ineffective thus far. In the USA and the UK the governments have been running multiple adverts against piracy on legally purchased DVD videos and Blu ray / High Definition DVDs which are fairly useless: the advert assumes You wouldnt steal and lists a series of items before telling you piracy is a crime and showing w young girl getting up from her computer where she is downloading a film and walking out of the door. Most people tend to be offended at the fact that, after legally paying for something, they are forced to watch an advert telling them not to steal. This string of adverts alone has caused a series of parody adverts which take off the script of the original You might steal a book and even inspired a film called Steal this movie. Of course there are also positive sides to the increase in stealing and sharing among internet users, the little guy for example is heard far more than the major executive, companies are embracing the freedom culture and popular bands are pre releasing their albums for free to gain fan support. Sharing is even curing cancer! A largely adopted project ([emailprotected]) launched by a US university is folding protein strings over a massive decentralized network in an effort to discover a cancer cure or prevention in lieu of the supercomputer they would normally require. Those passing records about in the early days probably never saw that coming when they connected their first networks! Back in the early 1980s, piracy (albeit not online) was rife amongst office workers and the computer competent, these early criminals would exchange software through floppy disk and share records between each other. As the 90s started and the first networks were being created within offices, the stealing only increased as files could be copied between computer terminals via cable rather than by hand. Now, with the age of the internet: it is estimated that over 300 million of the worlds population routinely steal information and data over the internet with millions more borrowing DVDs and books from each other, whether or not these people are stealing more or less because of the internet is unquestionable, with our ability to access millions and millions of people we are able to share and steal far more than we previously could have done and this only provides incentive to give and take more than we would normally have done in a spirit of world community that is evoked by groups that exist in this sphere such as piratgruppen and the piratbyran. References: [1] English Wikipedia 18:06 18:09February 7th 2008 Pages on: Peer to peer file sharing, torrent, napster, audiogalaxy, warez, piratbyran or piratgruppen all saved complete to maintain coherence throughout the essay [2], Piratbyran or The Pirate Bay Blog, all saved complete to maintain coherence throughout the essay as of 18:17 18:23 February 7th 2008

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