Subject: Peer-to -peer File Sharing (P2P) - You are Not Anonymous on the Network
Many students at Eastern download music, videos, games, software and other materials and store them as files on their computer for their personal use. Much of this material is copyrighted, that is, federal law protects the people who create these materials granting them exclusive use or ownership of the material for specified time periods. Copyright law establishes rules that govern who and how copyrighted material can be accessed and used. Generally, the permission of the owner of the material is required before it can be legally copied or distributed.
Online sources that provide legitimate, legal downloading services are available through Eastern's link to the internet. Click here for a list of legitimate online sources from which you can download materials.
If you are storing and using copyrighted material on your computer, it is your responsibility to insure that the material is not illegally shared with others. One way of illegally sharing material is to install Peer-to-Peer File sharing software (P2P) on your computer and allow others to upload copyrighted materials from your computer to theirs. It is also possible for your computer to become infected with a 'virus' that allows others to illegally upload materials from your computer. You may not be aware that your computer has this 'virus' and that you are illegally sharing protected materials.
In either case you are violating federal law and University policies. There are significant federal criminal and civil penalties for doing so. Eastern and the CSUS also have penalties in place that apply to copyright infringement. They include expulsion, suspension and other possible disciplinary sanctions.
It is important to realize that copyright violations will be discovered and that they can easily be traced to the specific computer that is the source of illegal uploading. Several copyright enforcement organizations continuously monitor and search the Internet for violations. When they determine the source of the material they can require the organization hosting the computer on its network to provide additional information that will identify the individual using the computer. They may then initiate civil or criminal proceedings to protect their copyright.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires that colleges and universities combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.
Please review the related articles and learn how to legally access and use copyrighted materials avoiding the penalties associated with copyright infringement.