Parents scramble over file sharing [pdf]
Since the music industry began suing digital pirates this week, personal computer consultant Osama Shanaa has uninstalled four file-sharing programs during house calls to homes in suburban Boston.
[...] Shanaa’s increased workload is a testament to the anxiety and confusion among the parents of children who store and share digital music on their home computers.
[...] [An] option is to shut off the file-sharing features in these peer-to-peer programs. That way, the user can download music from other users’ machines, while blocking access to the music on his own machine. File swappers consider this selfish, and with good reason — if everyone did it, there’d be no files to share. Indeed, this is why the RIAA has focused on suing people who share files, not those who merely download them.
[...] And despite the high-profile lawsuits, traffic on file-sharing networks is up sharply over last month, according to BigChampagne, a market research firm based in Los Angeles that tracks activity on peer-to-peer networks. About 4.2 million users were on Kazaa at any given time yesterday, up from 4.1 million on Tuesday and nearly 3 million in August.
“That’s not to say that there is no deterrent effect,” Eric Garland, the chief executive of BigChampagne, said of the lawsuits. “But it’s probably being countervailed by a bigger force — back to work, back to school.”