Peer-to-peer (p2p) and Illegal File Sharing

File sharing programs are not explicitly illegal, but are often used to obtain copyrighted material. Downloading, distributing and uploading copyrighted material without the author’s permission is illegal and unethical; it is a violation of U.S. Law and University Policies. Anyone who illegally downloads, distributes or copies copyrighted material risks criminal prosecution and civil litigation.

Copyright violations can have serious civil and criminal penalties. Potential civil and criminal penalties include:

  • Actual damages or statutory damages from $750 to $30,000 per violation/work
  • Up to $150,000 per work, prosecution fees, 0-5 years inprisoment, and up to $250,000 per offense for willful copyright infringement

Educate Yourself

7 Things You Should Know About P2P
MACU’s Copyright Page

Legal Alternatives

Legal Music Download Sites/RIAA
EDUCAUSE List of Legal Sources of Online Content
Campus Downloading List of Sources
StoryMedia List of Legal Sources

Anti-piracy Information

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Business Software Alliance (BSA)
EDUCAUSE Higher Education Opportunities Act and P2P Website
Intellectual Property Institue