The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that Universities "offer alternatives to illegal downloading". The list of Internet sites (below) from which legitimate copies of music and videos can be downloaded was created by EDUCAUSE. It may not include all sources of legal copies of these types of materials. However, it does establish that there are many legitimate sources of copyrighted materials available. No endorsement or evaluation of these sites is intended.
Typically these sites will charge for their services. They will also have usage agreements that you must follow. These agreements may permit your exclusive use of the material and prohibit copying or sharing the materials with others.
Even in these cases, it is important to take several steps to protect your computer from being used for illegal file-sharing:
- Enable a software firewall on your computer
- Install antivirus software and keep it current
- Install antispyware software and keep it current
- Regularly update your operating system and other software programs on your computer
- If you legally purchase copies of copyrighted files, do not store them in a P2P file-sharing folder
- If you legally purchase copies of songs and videos, do not allow others to copy them from your computer
The ECSU Help Desk can assist you in implementing these steps.