Illegal File Sharing or legal file sharing… the internet provides easy access to a range of downloadable videos, software, music, & documents. Find out how your child could benefit from legally and without risk of bullying, grooming, identity theft, and even viruses.
There are various sites where we can legally download such files by paying a given amount of fee. However, internet users keep on breaking the law by downloading copyright-protected files on no charge. You do not have to pay to download all copyright-protected material, and many sites offer free files. You can research any download site that a child will be used to check for the legality.
Many industries have been affected by illegal file sharing and downloading. They are now regularly monitoring the internet. They can take legal action from fines to suing. The activities are likely to apply to you rather than your child as the law holds you responsible.
Peer-to-peer file sharing
Peer-to-peer file sharing is when data uploaded/downloaded is available for free to all the individuals over the internet. As millions of people use the internet, file sharing creates a super library of files available to anyone online. File sharing copyright-protected material is just as dangerous as illegal downloading as you are helping to distribute illegally downloaded data. To use file sharing sites, you usually have to download special software. Often file sharing leaves an icon on the desktop of PC.
If a child is downloading files illegally or without permission, check the desktop for any symbols you don’t recognize. Leaving breaking copyright aside, which the law views as theft, other possible hazards include:
Hazards of downloading & file sharing
- Viruses – downloading data or software can put computers at risk from potentially harmful programs.
- Theft – file sharing can allow different networks to view and use the files on the computer, which means personal information may get stolen.
- Disturbing images – if the child prefers an illegal file sharing from a download site, they might get exposed to violent, pornographic, or age-inappropriate content.
- Exposure to dangerous strangers – it’s possible to chat on some file sharing sites, which might leave the child open to grooming, bullying, and abuse
- Guide to the legal use of schools copyright material(external link opens in a new window/tab)
- Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) website(external link opens in a new window/tab)
Helping the child download safely As a parent or guardian, you may:
- Explain the risks to the child to which both of you are exposing yourself for legal action.
- Make it firmly assured that child knows that filesharing and illegal downloading is viewed as theft.
- Check the computer(s) regularly, and sites logged in a computer’s history or new icons/software can suggest unlawful activity.
- Research free and legal downloading sites to find suitable sections for the child to use.