Since Napster revolutionized the file sharing industry in 1999, peer to peer services have been popping up all over. Movie sharing services were soon to follow with services such as Bittorrent as broadband capabilities spread.
With the recent introduction of the iPhone, many iPhone peer to peer networks have come about. The question lingering in many consumers minds is… are these iPhone download services legal? In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss what is legal and what isn’t, as well as why.
Ok, so getting to the initial point of the article, are these iPhone download services legal? In short, there is a lot of recent precedence that says they’re not illegal. So now you’re saying, “but I thought file sharing was a huge no-no?”
Well that depends on a couple of things, how you use the technology, as well as the topology of the file sharing network. Liabilities fall on different parties in each case. You may have noticed the hype, the buzz, the hoopla, of peer to peer filing sharing has calmed down recently. Why?
Over the past few years, there have been several lawsuits involving file sharing software such as Morpheus, Grokster, Kazaa, the list goes on. Because of this, now there is plenty of legal precedence stating that the software itself is not illegal. How can this be? To answer this question, we have to explore how this software works, and compare it to how peer to peer used to work.
So, what’s legal and what isn’t? With the case of the aforementioned Napster, their network was set up in a way where a centralized server, or a central point where every search goes, was responsible for all song requests.
The server would then send back a list of references where the user could download his or her music. Since the Napster assets were involved in every search, they were actively participating in the file sharing process. This got them in a lot of trouble. This is not how the iPhone download services at set up.
Now you’re saying, OK … so what’s the legal way to do it? Here’s your answer. A decentralized file sharing network is a peer to peer network not unlike a centralized network, with one KEY difference. As the name suggests, there is no central server, which means, if the software developer turns of his or her computer, the network can continue to run seamlessly, because the software does not rely on the centralized server to operate.
The computers in the peer to peer network that have the software running send out the file references. This is way around the above problem. There have been many court cases in recent years citing that this type of file sharing network does nothing illegal.
The iPhone download services in question are all developed using the decentralized peer to peer file sharing topology described above, meaning the software is 100% legal for the company to distribute. There is one more question to answer however. How can YOU safely use the distributed software. Read on to find out.
The way to get in trouble with file sharing is by sharing hundreds or even thousands of different files. The reason behind this is because if you do that, everyone on the entire network has access to your shares, which means a lot of distributed material from your IP address. How do you stay safe with these iPhone download services?
Simple. Disable your file sharing, or if your software won’t allow it, simply move your downloads to a different folder. This will make sure you are not sharing all of your files with the rest of the peer to peer network and you’ll be in the clear.
You’ll also want to run a virus check on the files you download. With peer to peer networks, the developers don’t have much control over what files are shared on their networks so sometimes an occasional spyware or trojans will be implanted in the media files. Run virus checks before installing your files on your brand new iPhone.
Take the above precautions and you’ll have no trouble with iPhone download services and you’ll be well on your way to making your iPhone that much better! I hope this answered any questions you may have had. To find out more about these services, check out the link below. Thanks for reading!