Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Law and Legal Definition

Peer-to-peer file sharing refers to the downloading of a computer file to a user's computer, using software. This then allows the user to make the file available to other users, other "peers." This is a form of copyright violation in most jurisdictions by the unauthorized copying and distribution of copyright material, mostly songs in MP3 or other digitized formats. Once installed, a user may elect to share certain files located on the user's computer, including, for instance, music files, video files, software applications, e-books and text files. When launched on the user's computer, the software automatically connects to a peer-to-peer network making any shared files available for transfer to any other user currently connected to the same peer-to-peer network.