File sharing is the lifeblood of the Internet, or so some say. Whether you work in the IT industry or you are "simply" an avid technology user, you will not escape the fact that file sharing is an integral part of online activities. From the innocuous act of giving family and friends access to photos of your most recent vacation to uploading the latest episode of the [insert name of popular TV series here] - file sharing is at the heart of these activities.
Photos, movies, short videos, books, software, knitting patterns, legal document templates - these and so much more are shared on a regular basis, by people all over the world. It's much like comparing the Internet, and file sharing platforms in particular, to a physical meetup place where people go to interact and swap goodies.
With the recent spate of legal troubles hounding file sharing platforms, though, the question of piracy and illegal activities arises. Take for example, one of the latest and most controversial platforms: MEGA. Founded by Kim Dotcom, the founder of taken down Megaupload, MEGA has risen in popularity - no surprise there, but it also has gotten the attention of the authorities. To have a visual look at the status of MEGA, here's a nifty infographic that highlights the essentials.
Obviously, the platform's offerings are very attractive - 50GB for free to start! As the infographic shows, though, MEGA also serves as a fertile ground for copyright violation. It's easy to see how the piracy-privacy dilemma arises.
On the one hand, users should be entitled to share and access their materials without having to suffer others poking their noses into their business. Then again, if copyright violations - among other things - are being committed, privacy might not be the priority. It is a touchy situation, for sure.
What is your stance on this issue? Where do we draw the line, especially as IT professionals?