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Does the DMCA make the use of peer-to-peer services illegal?

It is not against the law or campus policies to use peer-to-peer file-sharing programs or to swap materials that are not copyright-protected. It is against the rules to download and/or distribute copyright-protected material. If you are using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, make sure that you are not "serving" copyright-protected materials to the world.

Most file-sharing programs have worldwide file sharing turned on by default when they are installed. If you have copyright-protected materials on your computer, you need to disable file sharing so that the programs are no longer serving these materials from your computer.

There are other good reasons to disable file sharing. File-sharing sites often covertly package Spyware software that gathers personal information without your knowledge. This means that you may be giving hackers access to your personal files and programs when you use file-sharing services. Use of file-sharing programs and inattention to sharing of personal information on your computer may lead to identity theft. Finally, be aware that file sharing consumes a lot of network bandwidth. As stated above, UB network staff restricts P2P traffic to preserve bandwidth for University work.

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