Understanding CopyrightWhich Peer-to-Peer Filesharing Applications are Illegal?

One of the primary uses of peer-to-peer technology has been the copying of commercial music, games and videos, without the copyright holder's permission, for the purpose of entertainment. These kinds of activities almost certainly violate copyright law. Any of the following activities, if done without permission of the copyright owner, are usually illegal:

Copying, downloading and sharing copyrighted images, music, movies,Thumbs Down: Fair Use Does Not Apply
television shows, games, e-books or other copyrighted material through
the use of peer-to-peer technology.

Popular programs and software for these activities have included:

  • Napster
  • Kazaa
  • Gnutella
  • Limeware
  • Grokster
  • Morpeus
  • FastTrack
  • eDonkey
  • mIRC
  • BitTorrent

Thumbs Down: Fair Use Does Not ApplyHaving peer-to-peer filesharing applications installed on a computer can easily result in sharing copyrighted works without even realizing it. Installing peer-to-peer software can cause a user to unintentionally share files with other peer-to-peer users, and the user may then be personally responsible for the legal and financial consequences.