Sharing the joint use of a resource or space. In its narrow sense, it refers to joint or alternating use of an inherently finite good, such as a common pasture or a shared residence. It is also the process of dividing and distributing. Apart from obvious instances, which we can observe in human activity, we can also find many examples of this happening in nature. When an organism takes in nutrition or oxygen for instance, its internal organs are designed to divide and distribute the energy taken in, to supply parts of its body that need it. Flowers divide and distribute their seeds. In a broader sense, it can also include the free granting of use rights to a good that is capable of being treated as a nonrival good, such as information. Still more loosely, “sharing” can actually mean giving something as an outright gift: for example, to “share” one's food really means to give some of it as a gift.

Sharing in the marketplace

Sharing disjoints the connection between usage and ownership
Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has...

 of a product
Product (business)
In general, the product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort" or the "result of an act or a process", and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce ' lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced...

. Products are often sold because a buyer intends to use the product or the buyer intends to sell it to someone who will use it, thus sharing a product may reduce the product's demand
- Economics :*Demand , the desire to own something and the ability to pay for it*Demand curve, a graphic representation of a demand schedule*Demand deposit, the money in checking accounts...

 by reducing the number of people who intend to acquire it in order to use it. Though sharing is touted as an economical and environmental aid to the public (carpooling, shared apartments, etc.), some businesses perceive it as a threat because of its assumed effect on their profitability. This has resulted in protection laws (such as copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 provisions denying owners the right to perform or display the work publicly) to curb sharing. The effect on profitability is difficult if not impossible to assess because it relies on making sweeping assumptions about public behavior including individual decision making differences, buyers only convinced to buy after using a friend's product, and the effect on the sales of products given away.

Sharing figures prominently in gift economies
Gift economy
In the social sciences, a gift economy is a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards . Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community...

, but also can play a significant role in market economies
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

, for example in car sharing. Share housing
Share housing
A share house is a model of household in which a group of usually unrelated people reside together. The term generally applies to people living together in rental properties rather than in properties in which any resident is an owner occupier.-Demographics:...

 is a common and informally negotiated example of sharing of householders' labour (for example, in the form of housework) and communal household goods.

Sharing in computer and internet culture

File sharing
File sharing
File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multimedia , documents, or electronic books. It may be implemented through a variety of ways...

 is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multi-media (audio, video), documents, or electronic books. It may be implemented through a variety of ways. Storage, transmission, and distribution models are common methods of file sharing incorporate manual sharing using removable media
Removable media
In computer storage, removable media refers to storage media which is designed to be removed from the computer without powering the computer off.Some types of removable media are designed to be read by removable readers and drives...

, centralized computer file server installations on computer network
Computer network
A computer network, often simply referred to as a network, is a collection of hardware components and computers interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information....

s, World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

-based hyperlink
In computing, a hyperlink is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks...

ed documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking (see peer-to-peer file sharing
Peer-to-peer file sharing
P2P or Peer-to-peer file sharing allows users to download files such as music, movies, and games using a P2P software client that searches for other connected computers. The "peers" are computer systems connected to each other through internet. Thus, the only requirements for a computer to join...


Sharing is a key feature in the developing field of free software
Free software
Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients can also do...

 and open source software, with implications for economics. This is leading to a need to review licensing, patents and copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

, and to controversy
Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of opinion. The word was coined from the Latin controversia, as a composite of controversus – "turned in an opposite direction," from contra – "against" – and vertere – to turn, or versus , hence, "to turn...

 in these areas, as well as new approaches like Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

 and the GPL
GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License is the most widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU Project....


Sharing in computer science

In computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

, the issue of handling shared resource
Shared resource
In computing, a shared resource or network share is a device or piece of information on a computer that can be remotely accessed from another computer, typically via a local area network or an enterprise Intranet, transparently as if it were a resource in the local machine.Examples are shared file...

s figures prominently. For example time-sharing
Time-sharing is the sharing of a computing resource among many users by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking. Its introduction in the 1960s, and emergence as the prominent model of computing in the 1970s, represents a major technological shift in the history of computing.By allowing a large...

 is an approach to interactive computing in which a single computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 is used to provide apparently simultaneous interactive general-purpose computing to multiple users by sharing processor time. Sharing of resources between processes and threads
Thread (computer science)
In computer science, a thread of execution is the smallest unit of processing that can be scheduled by an operating system. The implementation of threads and processes differs from one operating system to another, but in most cases, a thread is contained inside a process...

 is the source of most of the difficulties of concurrent programming. The word "sharing" is also used in some functional programming
Functional programming
In computer science, functional programming is a programming paradigm that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions and avoids state and mutable data. It emphasizes the application of functions, in contrast to the imperative programming style, which emphasizes changes in state...

 communities to refer specifically to sharing of memory between different data items in order to save space, otherwise known as hash consing
Hash consing
In computer science, particularly in functional programming, hash consing is a technique used to share values that are structurally equal. The term hash consing originates from implementations of Lisp that attempt to reuse cons cells that have been constructed before, avoiding the penalty of memory...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.