See also: People And Personae | Bad Guys | Bad Things

For simplicity, this topic combines “leeching” and “hoarding”.

  • Leeching: taking without giving in return, if even to give freely to someone other than who they are taking from. It is the continual amassing of a good without consideration of giving. Also “leecher” and “leech”
  • Hoarding: closely related to leeching in that it is the holding of a good without consideration of the desires of others. It is keeping without giving, if even to trade or sell.

Both leechers and hoarders are considered parasitic to a system of free exchange. There may frequently be controls specifically designed to thwart their influence. Forms of moderation or a method of making all participants contribute exist in a number of systems to help alleviate their presence.

The term “leech” is frequently applied in the file sharing world, where a downloader does not, in return for the right to freely download, give others the right to download from themselves.

Some file sharing applications require a person to share before they are given the privilege of downloading from another. For example, systems such as quotas have existed for some time for this very purpose. Others, such as BitTorrent, upload simultaniously as they download, forcing the user to share his bandwidth with others.

Occasionally, a misrepresentation of leeches or hoarders occurs, blacklisting or banning the individual from participation. Banning leeches is good but banning too quickly is bad.

The term “leeching” is also used amongst the gaming community, who share files with each other at LAN Parties. This type of leeching is a good thing.

TakeDown.NET -> “Leech