Downloading files puts you at risk personally if you are found
to possess copyrighted material that you have not obtained legally.
It may also result in harm to your system if you download a
malicious computer program disguised as a movie or other
In April, 2003, four college students paid fines ranging from
$12,000-$17,500 in a settlement of a file-sharing suit brought by
the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA
complained that the students were illegally distributing
copyrighted music, sharing thousands of copyrighted MP3 music
The widespread use of file-sharing programs to download and
distribute media for recreational purposes has generated a high
volume of network traffic and damaged the performance of other
applications used for university work. To preserve bandwidth, UB
uses a technique called "bandwidth shaping" to limit network
traffic for specific peer-to-peer programs.
If you are using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program (1)
or have set up an ftp server, make sure that you are not "serving"
copyright-protected materials to the world. If the University is
notified by policing organizations such as the RIAA, MPAA, or their
agents (2) that you are serving copyright-protected materials from
your computer, you will be requested to appear at UB's Computer
Discipline Office to discuss the complaint. Failure to appear could
result in deactivation of your UBIT privileges.