File Sharing and Digital Copyright
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing is the use of a P2P application that shares files with other users across the internet, making the computer act as a client and server simultaneously. P2P applications such as BitTorrent, Kazaa, Bearshare, Morphus, Gnutella, Limewire and others, are used to download files, as well as to make them available for others to download. When using P2P applications, be aware that the content of the "shared" folder on your machine will be available to other P2P users. As a result, a P2P user can download music, movies, games or other digital files directly from someone else's machine, without knowing if the material is copyright protected. This process of file sharing can be a source of illegal distribution of copyright protected material, which may result in civil and criminal penalties. Further, users of P2P software may inadvertently share sensitive files like tax returns, bank statements, or confidential business files.
Carnegie Mellon University raises awareness about copyright law and takes appropriate action in support of enforcement as required by policy and law. The University's Fair Use Policy states that all members of the University must comply with US copyright law and it explains the fair use standards for using and duplicating copyrighted material. In addition, the policy prohibits the duplication of software for multiple uses, meeting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requirements. Furthermore, the Computing Policy prohibits the distribution of copyright protected material via the University network or computer systems, unless the copyright owner grants permission.