peer-to-peer network

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peer-to-peer network

[¦pir tə ¦pir ′net‚wərk]
A local-area network in which there is no central controller and all the nodes have equal access to the resources of the network.

peer-to-peer network

(1) A network of computers configured to allow certain files and folders to be shared with everyone or with selected users. Peer-to-peer networks are quite common in small offices that do not use a dedicated file server. All client versions of Windows, Mac and Linux can function as nodes in a peer-to-peer network and allow their files to be shared.

Files and folders can be configured to allow network users to copy them, but not alter them in their original location, which is a common safety precaution. However, files and folders can also be assigned a "read/write" status that allows either selected users or all users on the network to change them. See share. See also grid computing.

(2) Using the Internet as the world's largest file sharing network. Originally for music files, and subsequently for videos, this type of sharing was popularized by the famous Napster service as well as Gnutella (, Grokster (, KaZaA ( and others. Users upload copyrighted songs to a central server, a group of servers or to selected user computers, and people download the files that are available. Almost every song ever recorded has been uploaded to some music sharing venue.

In 2003, Napster was resurrected into a legitimate service competing with other online music stores such as iTunes ( and Yahoo Music Jukebox (formerly MusicMatch) ( Although Apple legally sold more than a billion songs from its iTunes music service in 2006, it was estimated that more than 15 billion copyrighted songs were illegally shared or downloaded from websites in that same year.

File sharing systems are architected in different ways as outlined in the following illustrations. See Napster, KaZaA, BitTorrent and P2P TV.

References in periodicals archive ?
While trading MP3s remains a popular activity among P2P users, other content is gaining and, in some cases, on par with music swapping.
While record companies and Internet start-ups dispute the legality of Internet music swapping in U.
OnShare demonstrates that although the first uses of Peer-to-Peer have been in controversial music swapping networks, the technology can have valuable business applications as well.
At first, it might seem like an online music swapping site and an over-the-top content provider might not have much in common.
Current features online include &uot;Jacks of All Trades: The Music Swapping Tech Trend,&uot; &uot;e.
This timing offers artists, labels, and distribution sites an opportunity to employ various security and marketing approaches that take advantage of consumer music swapping, rather than fighting it.
Peer file sharing has been tarnished by music swapping services.
The Recording Industry Association of America filed lawsuits against 754 computer users last month in its continued attempt to stop unauthorized music swapping online.
In contrast to illegal Internet music swapping services, Radiotracker is legal and allows users to build up their music collection with half of the connection costs since Internet access costs associated with other music swapping services do not apply.
No doubt the BPI felt this would only fuel the situation with music swapping sites and it had to take the opportunity now to fire a warning shot.
Crowds of up to 17,000 have seen them play in Europe,AustraliaSouth Africa,Asiaand even America where fans had only heard the band through illegal music swapping files on the internet.