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Steal This File Sharing Book: What They Won't Tell You About File Sharing Paperback – October 25, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"An essential 'bible' for any avid file-sharer." -- Midwest Book Review, January 2005 http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ibw/jan_05.htm

"Enjoyed the little touches, like the letter Bill Gates wrote in the 70's imploring hobbyists to stop stealing his software." -- The Rose Review, December 14, 2004 http://trrbooks.blogspot.com/

"Go ahead and buy (don’t steal) this book if you want to understand the background and issues surrounding file sharing." -- MacCompanion, December 2004 http://www.maccompanion.com/documents/freeissues/2004/december2004.pdf

"Unquestionably the best book on the subject that I've read… Steal This File Sharing Book is both funny and lucid." -- Boing Boing, December 12, 2004 http://www.boingboing.net/2004/12/12/steal_this_file_shar.html

Contributed article by Wallace Wang entitled, "Let’s sue everybody! (or ‘why file sharing is not illegal’)" -- SC Magazine, December 1, 2004 http://www.scmagazine.com/features/index.cfm?fuseaction=FeatureDetails&newsUID=df1cfb91-0249-43b8-b4af-b03c67acdfe3&newsType=Opinion

If it were up to Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco... just about any software or music publisher, this book would be banned. -- Geek.com, September 12, 2005 (http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2005Sep/fea20050912032209.htm)

The breadth of coverage is impressive, the writing and organization excellent. -- Reader’s Preference http://www.readerspreference.com/reviews/stealfilesharing.html

About the Author

Best-selling computer book author Wallace Wang is a former contributor to Boardwatch Magazine, where he wrote a monthly column called ""Notes From the Underground."" He is also a successful stand-up comic who has appeared on A&smp;E's ""Evening at the Improv"" and appears regularly at the Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas. Wang is the author of the Steal This Computer Book and The Book of Nero 6 (No Starch Press).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159327050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270506
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,915,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I love computers but I hate complexity. That's why I specialize in making complicated topics easier to understand. My computer books tackle a variety that include Microsoft Office and computer programming. Besides my many computer books, I've also written books on non-computer topics such as stock investing and screenwriting. When not writing books, I also perform stand-up comedy so I can bring a humorous touch to my explanation of complicated topics so they're easier to learn.

In the stand-up comedy world, I've been performing stand-up comedy for over 20 years, having appeared on A&E's "Evening at the Improv" and SiTV's "Latino Laugh Festival" along with appearing at the Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas. Currently I'm focusing my comedic writing skills towards occasional comedy performances but mostly towards screenwriting. You can read my screenwriting blog at The 15 Minute Movie Method (www.15minutemoviemethod.com). I've collected the best ideas from my screenwriting blog and condensed them into an e-book also called "The 15-Minute Movie Method," which is available as an e-book.

In 1992, I got my first cat and after reading a basic cat care book, I found that none of the advice offered had any basis in reality for dealing with the quirks and whims of a real cat. Based on that experience, I wrote a parody of a cat care book called "How to Live with a Cat (When You Really Don't Want To)." This book is now available as an e-book and I also run a blog called Cat Daily News (www.catdailynews.com) where I collect interesting cat news from around the Internet.

In the teaching world, I've taught at community colleges around San Diego as well as teaching at the University of Zimbabwe in Africa. Currently I teach an online Microsoft Word and OS X/iOS programming course through a company called Ed2Go.

In the writing world, I've written for several magazines including Computer Power User (CPU), Boardwatch Magazine, and Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities. I also write a weekly Macintosh column in an online computer magazine called ComputorEdge (www.computoredge.com). In addition, I've ghost written several books for real estate experts, stock day trading specialists, and network marketing millionaires. In 2008, I helped San Diego State University's film department win their first student Emmy when they filmed my sitcom pilot, "Three of a Kind," which is about three generations of couples forced to live in the same house without driving each other crazy from their different points of view on everything.

In the game designing world, I've created and published a game in 1983 called "Orbit War," which was published by Steve Jackson Games (the game is now out of print). The game simulated low orbital combat between satellites.

I'm interested in always learning something new and combining my various skills and experience to help others understand changing technology. To keep up with my random thoughts concerning advice I wish someone had given me, you can read my personal blog at www.wallacewang.com.

My latest interest involves creating interactive e-books, so I also run another web site called The Electronic Author (www.electronicauthor.com) where I give tips for how others can publish e-books inexpensively and maximize their profits. Since printed books cost so much to make, ship, and store, and bookstores are fading from relevance faster than the latest reality TV star, you can see that the future of printed books is about as promising as Kim Kardashian suddenly deciding to go to college and earn a Ph.D. in nuclear physics.

With all my books I strive to simplify complex topics in a fun way that everyone can enjoy. Life is too short to remain mentally stagnant, so keep learning and striving for your goals, and I'll be happy to help through my books so you can reach your dreams.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a lot of fun. It covers both legal and illegal aspects of file sharing, primarily of finding music, movies, hacked software and adult entertainment. He covers a variety of file sharing networks and applications. But the primary value of the book is in the experience he impart. The etiquette of file sharing, how to secure your files and avoid the security problems.

The coverage is fairly high level. You won't be getting step-by-step instructions in how to rip DVDs. The topics are covered, but the author generally leaves it to you to navigate all of the features of any particular application.

This book is better than the shoddy cover would imply, but the organization could have used some work. Definitely worth a look for those interested in doing a lot of file sharing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Looking for controversy? No shortage of it in this book. One can readily imagine this book as contraband in some regimes. Wang describes the major file sharing networks of our time. Gnutella, FastTrack, BitTorrent and others. He gives you the gist of each and how to get started using them to download files. All the major networks are designed to be easy to use for the layperson. Indeed, we see that this is a necessary condition for their popularity.

IRC usage is also explained. This is also an important electronic modality for downloading files. Ditto with Instant Messaging offerings from MSN, Yahoo and ICQ.

Naturally, a large portion of the book discusses what types of files get downloaded. Most music. Some video. But still limited because of the sheer amount of data in a typical film. Wang covers the continuing controversies in a fairly neutral tone. Overall, he supports the usage of the networks. Though he decries the copyright infringement. One might wonder, though, if it is because for practical reasons, he cannot take any other stance, given that he is espousing his view in the permanent form of this book. And that he is doing so with a reputable publisher, No Starch. So this is no samizdat.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hawley on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wang's other book (Steal This Computer Book) explored the "dark underbelly" of the 'Net and this book in effect picks up where the other book leaves off. You can debate whether or not file sharing is legal and ethical, but no one can deny it is here to stay. Not only does Wang explain where to find files (at places like file sharing networks, newsgroups, chat rooms, etc.), he also describes ways to stay anonymous while doing so. There are also chapters on file formats, sharing music, movies, TV shows, even software, video games and the most popular item, pornography.

I find it interesting speaking of porn that porn producers seem to have found ways to deal with this issue and yet the "establishment" still feels the best way to fight it is through legal action. The book's last two chapters describe the future of file sharing and how the entertainment industries continue to fight back. They may try copy protection schemes, but it seems there's always someone who finds a way to defeat those schemes.

Regardless of how you feel about this issue, this is a well-written and informative book, written in the same spirit of Steal This Computer Book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John A. Faulkner on January 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you haven't downloaded a music or DVD file and you don't hang around file swapping channels then this book will quickly bring you up to date on the subject.

Using the same approach as in his "Steal this Computer Book" series, Wang gives us uncensored information on this topic. Too many journalists are either technically uninformed or seem to have signed up to the thought police to make media reports reliable. The author provides the information and allows you to draw your own conclusions.

Topics covered include:
- how to look for files;
- an explanation of the main peer-to-peer technologies from the user's point of view;
- searching in newsgroups, instant messaging services, chat rooms, on web servers and ftp sites;
- hiding your identity and protecting your computer from searches and malicious software;
- file formats;
- finding and sharing music, movies and TV shows, photos and images, books, software, and video games (emulators, ROM images).

Wang uncovers some some forms of theft which were news to me: sound bites and samples, guitar chords, bandwidth theft, website theft, recipes even needlework patterns! Can you imagine hangin' with a gang of needlewarz d00dz?

What is disappointing is that this book is sold world wide, but the author only covers legal liabilities and possible lawsuits from the US viewpoint. It would have been relatively easy to include international viewpoints since there is a great deal of uniformity with the US being odd man out. This is an unfortunate and common limitation of US authors.

The author also describes legal filesharing with those vendors who have come to terms withm the new technology.

Well worth the read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sixmonkeyjungle on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love Wallace Wang's Steal This Computer Book 3. In this book, Wang takes his best-selling knowledge and writing style and focuses it on a new subject- sharing files.

I learned a lot in the opening section. I have been familiar with peer-to-peer (P2P) networking since the advent of Napster, but I was not aware that such a wide variety of sources existed for finding and sharing files. Wang points out web sites, FTP sites, instant messaging and chat rooms and more where you can share files.

Even better than that, he doesn't just list sites, but rather provides in-depth analysis of many, explaining what is good or bad about the different resources and pitfalls to watch out for. He also includes many graphic illustrations which help you understand the information better.

This book sheds light on a number of "fringe" file sharing tools and resources. The mainstream is familiar with the likes of Kazaa and Morpheus, but Wang delves into many more tools. He points out some of the things to watch out for when using some of the shadier tools and networks as well.

The RIAA and MPAA may not like it, but in some way, shape or form, file sharing is here to stay and this book will help you find what you need and use file sharing securely.

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