Chapter 3: The value of non-market sharing
In this chapter, the concept of sharing is introduced. For the most part, Mr. Aigrain talks about Peer to Peer sharing, also known as P2P sharing for short. This is a type of sharing where users connect, either through a website or directly, to share files. This can be done in multiple ways. A popular way for many people would be the use of USB keys. These are portable devices capable of storing a lot of data. If one wanted to share a file with his or her friends, they could simply store the file on the USB key and then hand the key to their friends. That friend could then insert the USB key into their computer and have immediate access to the files in which their friend had imparted to them. There are other ways of sharing files, one of which was brought up in the book. That example was Napster. Napster was an online service that allowed users to share their music library with others. This was Peer to Peer sharing on a massive scale. The author also brings up BitTorrent, which is another example of Peer to Peer sharing in which the user obtains different parts of the file from several or potentially many users, which are then spliced back together once the file transfer is complete. Another point brought up is the media industry’s distaste of Peer to Peer or file sharing. When a file is shared without the consent of the owner, which belongs to the media industry, the owner looses out on some profits, because that owner could make some money selling their work to you instead of the file being shared with you for free. This is why the media industry does not want to allow Peer to Peer or file sharing. If it is allowed, the industries profits would sink, causing less money for the owners of the work.