What is File Sharing?
This term refers to the sharing of files within a network of client-server or peer-to-peer PCs.
Usually we refer to the term file sharing with reference to a special system that allows users to share files and documents on the web or within the same network. Thanks to file sharing programs and sites, it is in fact possible to transfer documents from one device to another.
With the advent of P2P platforms, file sharing spreads rapidly, all over the world the file sharing service becomes free. Peer to peer file sharing must be conceived today as an extremely practical and functional way to share files with other users.
The origin of file sharing can be traced back to the 80s, thanks to the birth of the first BBS telematic networks (before the advent of the internet). With bulletin boards, users could upload documents to certain telematic spaces in a closed system.
Is file sharing legal?
File sharing tends to be legal, but it always depends on what content you share or download. If you are dealing with files such as music, films or video games that are subject to copyright, then you are violating the laws and regulations, which can lead to possible legal consequences. Therefore, if you are not the author of the works yourself, you should never share them or download them from a file sharing service.
In case of copyright infringements in Internet file sharing, official strikes are mostly issued in connection with file uploading. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the damage caused by making the files available to the whole world outweighs the damage caused by the single download. On the other hand, uploads are much easier for rights holders to prove. However, since uploads and downloads are closely linked in the file sharing process, all users verifiably contribute to the reproduction which may be legally actionable.
What file sharing methods exist?
File sharing over the Internet is the most common way to exchange digital files. Over time, however, a variety of Internet-based methods have developed. We have summarized the most important in the following list:
Client-server: The classic client-server model offers the simplest form of file sharing over the Internet. For example, you can set up a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server where users can store files for shared use, then request and download them at any time through the FTP client.
Server-based peer-to-peer network: A peer-to-peer network with one server (centralized P2P) or multiple servers (partially decentralized P2P) for connecting users has been the predominant model of file sharing for a long time, to save bandwidth when exchanging files.
Decentralized peer-to-peer network: In fully decentralized P2P networks, the participating peers (i.e. individual users) perform all administrative and communication tasks themselves (answering search requests, establishing connections, etc.).
Shared hosting or file hosting: Shared hosting, also known as file hosting, allows users to upload files and make them accessible to other users via an individual link. The data is always stored on the provider's server.
Cloud storage: Cloud storage services (or cloud storage in English) can also be used for file sharing, making uploaded files available to other users.
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