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Part 4: BitTorrent, File Sharing, and Piracy

Updated on January 24, 2008
File Sharing Basics
File Sharing Basics


In today's world, file sharing is the norm for kids. The primary culprit is music. While there are many places to legally download music (iTunes for one), there are also many places to "pirate" music, or to download a song without permission from the artist through paying for it. Along with educating your child on safety issues against child predators, you should also educate them on piracy.

Disclaimer: I do not condone piracy in any form. This article is simply for informational purposes only.

What Should I Tell My Child About File Sharing/BitTorrent

Many kids today have MP3 players (like the iPod) which require them to download songs off of the Internet or from a CD to use. You should make it clear to your kids that they shouldn't do online piracy. If they want to get some music, there are many legal music stores like Rhapsody or iTunes where you can get top-quality music.

If the morally-wrong argument isn't enough, you can also get caught just like you would for stealing. The RIAA is on a bit of a rampage recently with getting online music pirates caught. Now, if you illegally download a few songs, will you get caught? Probably not. But if you do get caught it can make for a very terrible experience for you the parent, since you're legally responsible.

Honestly, it's probably not worth the risk. Most kids have many CD's they can get music from, and friends are a big resource. Have them ask their friends if they can get some songs. So that they don't resort to music piracy, you might also want to consider giving them an iTunes gift card, and refilling it when necessary so they have a legal avenue to pursue.


The Internet is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Since that's a fact, and since it's also a fact that you're kids are going to use it, you need to prepare them for this world as fast and as thoroughly as possible.

Until next time,

Joshua Lee


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