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Examining the Use of Peer-to-Peer Networks from an Activity Perspective

  • Jorn De Boever
  • Dirk De Grooff
Chapter

Abstract

Since the introduction of Napster in 1999, millions of Internet users have exchanged massive amounts of files via P2P (Peer-to-Peer) filesharing networks. Notwithstanding the widespread penetration of these systems among Internet consumers, little is known about the usage process. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to examine the usage of “illegal” P2P networks by means of an exploratory, qualitative study. The main findings revealed significant differences between the uses of various systems. Bittorrent clients were mainly used to download large files such as video, movies, and complete albums, while Gnutella clients were particularly utilized for small files such as single songs. The results indicate that the type of content, the characteristics of the client, the omnipresence of fake files and malware, the users’ motivations, the users’ lifestyles and the presence of bandwidth caps had an impact on how the participants utilized P2P systems.

Keywords

Behavior Activity theory Motivations Trust Quality Context 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

FLEET (an interdisciplinary research project in FLEmish E-publishing Trends) is an IWT SBO project, with research partners IBBT SMIT, Cemeso, LSTS, MOFI, ICRI, CUO IBBT, MICT, ECDC and TNO.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for UX Research / IBBT, K.U.LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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