DIGITAL FILE CHECK - FAQ (frequently asked questions)

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Q. What does Digital File Check do?

You can use Digital File Check to delete or block any or all of the file-sharing programs it finds. If you choose to do that, you will help to prevent your computer being used in future for illegal downloading, copying and sharing of files.

If you want to go a step further, you can use Digital File Check to search and delete individual files from the shared folders part of your computer. Keeping any copyrighted material in these folders is likely to be illegal.

Finally, you can also use Digital File Check to find out more information about what files are stored in other locations on your computer . Digital File Check will make a list of all the music, film, TV and other video files on your computer.


Q. Are the ‘shared folders’ for file-sharing the same ‘shared files and folders’ which are installed on the operating system of my computer?

No – the 'shared folders' that Digital File Check searches are folders which are set up by the file-sharing software itself. These allow music, video and other files in that folder to be shared with any users of the file-sharing software. These are different from the ‘shared files and folders’ which are commonly installed in your computer's operating system which don't connect you to a file-sharing network.


Q. How do I find legal music services?

Click the 'legal music' button on the home page. That takes you to www.pro-music.org, a comprehensive list of links to licensed music services around the world.


Q. If I download this program, will anyone be 'tipped off'?

No - use of the program is entirely private and at your own discretion. Digital File Check does not transmit any information about you, your computer, or its contents to anyone. Also it does not allow any unauthorised person or system to access your computer.


Q. Are all the music and film files in my shared folders there illegally?

The shared folders highlighted are used by the file-sharing software on your computer to distribute music, film, TV and other videos on file-sharing networks.

If copyrighted files are sitting in your shared folder, it means they are likely to be available to people far and wide on the internet. So, if you have copyrighted music, film, TV or other video files in your shared folders, you are likely to be infringing copyright. You may wish to delete these files.


Q. Does Digital File Check automatically delete files?

No, it won’t automatically delete files, but it will help you determine whether files in your shared folders are available for sharing illegally or not. It is then up to you to decide whether to delete them or not.


Q. What if I got the files from a legal service or copied them from a CD I purchased?

It is illegal to share copyrighted files without permission. Even if you got a music or video file from a legal source you are not permitted to share it in this way. The simple thing is to keep music, film and TV files that are copyrighted out of your shared folders.


Q. Will Digital File Check find all the file-sharing programs that have been installed on my computer?

Digital File Check searches for all the most common file-sharing software programs. You can update the program manually or automatically to check for the latest file-sharing software programs.


Q. Why would I want to block rather than delete file-sharing software?

Blocking means that you restrict access to the file-sharing software to everyone except yourself, by using the Digital File Check password. You may want to do this, for example, if you want to use the file-sharing software in a way that is legal, such as sharing your own photographs or the music you have created. When you block the software, only the holder of the Digital File Check password can unblock it and then access the program.


Q. Why does Digital File Check show me all the files in computer, not just in the shared drives?

Digital File Check allows you a look at the full inventory of music, film, TV and video files on your computer. It is possible that there will be files that have been downloaded or copied illegally. If you are concerned about this, there is only one sure way to find out - ask the person who put the files on your computer if they came from a licensed source.


Q. Do I risk accidentally deleting files using Digital File Check?

It is unlikely you will delete files by accident because, in general, you must actively select each file you want to delete before you press the delete button.

It should be noted that some file-sharing programs themselves delete all of the contents of their shared folders when the file-sharing software is uninstalled; this may also occur if you remove that file-sharing software using Digital File Check.


Q. Are all file-sharing programs illegal?

The technology itself is not illegal. However,the vast bulk of file-sharing done on the internet is illegal, because it involves downloading, copying and distributing copyrighted material without permission.


Q. Is file-sharing illegal in every country?

File-sharing copyrighted music, film, TV and other video files without permission is illegal throughout the world.


Q. What does ‘copyrighted’ mean?

‘Copyrighted’ music or films just means any songs, films, TV programs or other video files to which copyright applies. The vast bulk of all such files on file-sharing services are copyrighted and are therefore being shared illegally.


Q. Could some of the files in my shared folders be there legally?

Yes it’s possible, if they are not copyrighted files, or if they are files that you created yourself (for example your own original recordings or original videos that you choose to make available to be shared by others). Sharing files is also allowed if the copyright owner has permitted you to copy and distribute his or her works in this way. Otherwise, ‘sharing’ copyrighted material in this way is illegal.


Q. When it comes to downloading music, how can I make sure I only download music legally?

For a comprehensive list of legal sites go to www.pro-music.org. There are some pretty strong general indicators of whether a file is legal or illegal. For example, if the file comes from a total stranger via a file-sharing service, it is probably illegal. But a music track, film or video file which has been bought with a credit card from a music service like iTunes, Spotify or Amazon is definitely legal. However, even if a track is downloaded legally, it isn't legal to share it on a file-sharing service.


Q. Why do I need to use Digital File Check to search for the files in my shared folder if I can delete the whole file-sharing program?

It is possible you may want to retain the file-sharing programs on your computer for legitimate purposes – for example, downloading and sharing files such as your own photos. If that’s the case, instead of blocking or deleting the file-sharing programs, you can use Digital File Check to search individual files in your shared folders. If you have copyrighted music, film, TV or other video files in your shared folders, they are likely to be for sharing illegally.


Q. How can Digital File Check make my use of my computer safer?

Intalling and running file-sharing software can bring spyware and adware that could cause problems for your computer. For example, the file-sharing software may expose personal information stored on the computer to other users. It can make you vulnerable to computer viruses and other unwelcome material. Digital File Check can help you remove the file-sharing software if you wish to.


Q. Will Digital File Check remove the spyware, adware and viruses that sometimes come with file-sharing software?

In many cases it will, but it depends on the file-sharing software’s un-install routine. If you want to be sure they are gone, you should use one of the publicly-available anti-spyware and anti-virus software tools to do a comprehensive scan of your computer and remove them.

In the event of a serious problem with viruses or spyware, you may need the help of a computer professional.


Q. Will using Digital File Check to remove file-sharing programs damage my computer?

Using the software to delete file-sharing programs and illegal music, film, TV and other video files should not cause any computer function problems. The Digital File Check program has been extensively tested and is subject to quality control. However, as with any computer software program, glitches are always possible.

Un-installing some file-sharing programs can cause problems which have nothing to do with Digital File Check but everything to do with the file-sharing software itself. You are recommended to back up your important software and data files, which is good practice in any case.

The use of Digital File Check is subject to the licence terms and conditions which you reviewed when Digital File Check installed and which you can find under Digital File Check's Help menu.


Q. What operating systems will Digital File Check run on?

It will run on Mac 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 and on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.


Q. Who developed Digital File Check?

The software has been developed by MarkMonitor for IFPI, the international organisation representing the international recording industry.