Peer to peer file sharing
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology allows users to make files available for other users to download and use. File sharers store files on their computers and the file-sharing software enables other users to download the files onto their computers. Examples of P2P file sharing networks include FastTrack (KaZaA), Gnutella, BitTorrent, and FreeNet, among others.
How you use P2P software may violate federal copyright law and University Policy. If you use P2P software, you may receive notices of copyright infringement and or be subject to other legal action.
P2P file sharing can violate University policy
University Policy prohibits the use of the UND computer network to violate copyright law (see the UND Student Acceptable Use Policy and NDUS Procedure 1901.2) . P2P software can undermine network security and expose your computer to threats, such as viruses, malware, password and identity theft, spyware, and other threats that can incapacitate computers. P2P software can also unintentionally expose your sensitive personal and University data to others on the P2P network.
University policy covering use of the UND network extends to any computers you connect to the UND network. Furthermore, activity that occurs on a wireless router that you have connected to the UND network, such as in a residence hall or apartment, may be tracked back to you.
P2P file sharing can be illegal
Using P2P file-sharing software that copies and distributes music, videos, software, games, or other copyrighted works without permission of the copyright holder is a violation of US copyright law. If you have P2P file-sharing applications installed on your computer, you may be sharing copyrighted works illegally without even realizing it. Even if you do not intend to engage in infringing activity, installing P2P software on a computer can easily end up sharing unintended files (copyrighted music or even sensitive documents) with other P2P users, and you may then be personally responsible for the legal and financial consequences of illegal file sharing on your computer.
Content owners, such as the recording industry, movie studios, and game and software companies, are specifically targeting illegal file sharing on university networks. The RIAA has employed aggressive legal strategies to address illegal file sharing, such as forwarding the University “early settlement letters” for alleged infringers and filing infringement lawsuits. Since September 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed suits against more than 20,000 individuals using P2P software worldwide, and UND students have been among those threatened with lawsuits.
Next → Top 3 ways to ensure compliance with the law
Thanks to Yale University for contributing content to this website- Sept 17, 2008