More than just free music : file sharing and the use of peer-to-peer networks.
Wang, Michelle Wanzheng.
Chong, Pei Won.
Chan, Germaine Shimin.
Date of Issue2008
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Despite the decade-long battle over illegal music file sharing, surprisingly few attempts have been made to empirically examine the views of the millions of file sharers at the center of this controversy. With an aim toward generating law and policy recommendations, this study’s purpose, therefore, is to explore reported motivations for file sharing, and any ethical beliefs and practices that guide file sharers’ behaviors. Using Giesler and Pohlmann’s theoretical framework of “gifting motivations” and Lessig’s classification of purposes of use to guide the study, 40 in-depth interviews were conducted using a standard protocol, then analyzed using content analyses of the transcripts. File sharers reported a variety of motivations, including purposeful exposure to content outside their comfort zones. There was also strong evidence to suggest an informal sharing ethic. File sharing is perceived as an alternative through which users satisfy desires that existing markets are unable to meet in a timely fashion, if at all. Law and policy implications are discussed.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University