Bad Music

WARNING! To all parents and music lovers! The Recording Industry Association of America, (RIAA) is continuing its wave of threatened lawsuits against PC users who use Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing software to get and share songs over the Internet. At the same time, Internet crooks are increasingly using these same programs to break into PCs and install viruses that steal personal identity information and enslave PCs for their malicious use!

What is a P2P? Free file sharing programs such as Limewire, Azureus, BitComet, eMule, Shareaza, and uTorrent, offer their users the ability to join a network of users for the purpose of "sharing" files. When you install the free program you join a network of your peers, people who have the same software. The idea is that you can type in a request for a file name (IE Song or Artist name) and the software will send a request searching all the other PCs in the network for that name. If it finds the "name" you are looking for, it builds a list of PCs that will "share" it with you and you just click on the one nearest you and down comes the file. The unspoken, and illegal, purpose is usually to get "free" music. Parents, all the kids at school know about these programs and many are using them to download thousands of songs onto their iPods via your PC and high-speed Internet.

The danger is two-fold:

  1. These programs open doors into your PC bypassing all security software! Norton™, McAfee™ etc. are rendered helpless by this software. Hackers KNOW this and are constantly writing virus attacks to take advantage of this.
  2. The RIAA continues to send letters demanding a settlement payment and threatening court when they detect PCs that have P2P software that have shared songs with other network users. They are winning these suits because they can prove copyright infringement and that is illegal in the USA. I have a close friend who recently received a letter from the RIAA demanding $4,000.00 to settle out of court or face court imposed fines of as high as $750.00 a song!!

Quick Tip-Bit: Uninstall immediately any Peer-to-peer file sharing programs! Delete any illegally copied music stored on your PC and warn your friends. Questions; call Dean Hancy at PC Bits at 763-360-2163.

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