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Peer-to-Peer file sharing, or P2P, is a method of trading files on the Internet. Users can find copyrighted music and movies, as well as computer programs and games.
It is extremely important to know that sharing and downloading these copyrighted files is a violation of copyright laws and is illegal. Recently, the Recording Industry Association of America has been suing file sharers.
Unfortunately, many new viruses and worms also proliferate across P2P networks. It is possible to download a file that appears benign and end up with a vicious computer virus.
The file sharing programs themselves can also cause problems. File sharing ties up shared bandwidth which will significantly slow down other Internet-related activities, and on a shared network, will be a nuisance to other users. Also, if the program is misconfigured, they may even share files on your computer that you never intended anyone else to see like bank records and personal information.
In yet another round of lawsuits, the "Music industry sues 482 more computer users."
A Safe, Legal Alternative
Recently, several companies have released file distribution programs that allow users to purchase all the songs that they want one at a time. This allows you to pay for the music that you want to listen to and download it legally.
Most of these services include licenses with each song that allow you to copy the song to multiple listening devices and store it on your computer. Furthermore, these pay-per-download services charge as little as 99 cents per song and have hundreds of thousands of selections in their catalogs.
Some of these sites include: