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Peer to Peer File-Sharing and Copyright Infringement is Illegal and Violates University Policies

What will happen if I am caught sharing copyrighted materials while connected to the internet through Tufts?

The sharing of copyrighted materials violates Tufts Responsible Use policies. Tufts University takes file sharing very seriously and violators will be disciplined according to the policies of the school they are attending.

What is Peer to Peer File Sharing?

Peer-to-Peer file sharing programs can give people access to a lot of information. Programs such as Limewire, DC++, Bittorrent allow users to connect and share music, software, movies, tv shows.

If you have a program on your computer that allows you to download copyrighted materials free of charge, it probably is a Peer to Peer file sharing program. You should not use this at Tufts.

If you have questions regarding Peer to Peer file sharing or would like us to remove / disable a Peer to Peer file sharing program, please stop by the Library IT Service Desk on the 5th Floor.


What options exist for obtaining music legally over the Internet?

Please see the Legal Media Downloads section if you would like to download music.

What is the risk of using Peer-to-Peer File Sharing?
When using Peer-to-Peer filesharing programs such as Limewire, you may unknowingly allow others to download copyrighted materials from your computer. This is illegal and violates the Tufts Responsible Use Policy. Violators will be disciplined according to the policies of the school they are attending.

In addition, when you download files from an unknown source, you may download a virus or spyware onto your computer.

What are Digital Copyright Laws?

In 1998 the US congress passed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA.) This act is meant to protect the rights of owners of digital media. It is used by corporations to protect their movies, music and software from piracy and unlawful duplication.

The DMCA is used in prosecution of persons violating the copyrights of digital media, including music, movies, images and online books or manuals.  Copyright holders regularly police common Peer to Peer (P2P) filesharing networks in pursuit of alleged copyright violators.  When violators are located the copyright holder informs the university with a “notice to cease and desist,” it is then the University’s responsibility to remove the offending user from the network. The copyright holder may pursue legal action against the individual who breaks copyright laws.

Tufts University takes copyright violations very seriously. Each school has different policies on discipline for violations. Please check with your Student Services Office for more details.