What Is Illegal Sharing?

If you download and/or distribute unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings and movies, you are breaking the law and may be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages. Federal law provides severe penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or digital transmission of copyrighted materials. The FBI investigates allegations of criminal copyright infringement and violators are prosecuted.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and File Sharing

Most P2P software turns file sharing on by default as soon as the software is installed. This means that others may access materials on your computer without your knowledge, whether you have given permission or not. Downloading copyrighted music or movie files without permission is illegal. It is also illegal to share purchased music or movie files with others, again, whether you are aware that you have done it or not.

If you install P2P software, turn the file sharing options off. And, remember, if you are sharing materials inadvertently, you are still liable for violating copyright law. The best way to disable P2P File Sharing is to uninstall the program.

The University at Buffalo employs bandwidth shaping to manage network traffic. This impacts the file sharing of copyrighted material on UB's network by limiting outgoing traffic. UB uses hardware and rules to limit various Peer-to-Peer protocols on our Internet link.

Alternative to Using P2P Programs

Legal Music and Movies Online

There are many online legal options for music and movies. Artists and their recording labels have websites; many TV network websites provide streaming of popular programs at no cost.

Still need help?

Contact the UBIT Help Center.