Downloading Legal or Illegal
To avoid lawsuits from copyright holders and disciplinary action by the university (including loss of your email and Internet privileges), practice responsible downloading.
Illegal downloading of copyrighted material (music, movies, videos, games, software, books, and other files) via peer-to-peer (P2P) applications or other means is a serious offense and can lead to university disciplinary actions as well as criminal and civil penalties. By itself, P2P file sharing software may be lawful, but using it to share copyrighted files without permission is not. In the file-sharing context, if you download or upload even small parts of a copyrighted work without permission, you are infringing a copyright.
When you use a file-sharing application, you leave your computer vulnerable to attack or inadvertently share your private files. Buying a file-sharing software license does not entitle you to download any files with it. If you don’t own a file or have permission from the copyright holder, then it is illegal to download it by any means.
Here are some examples of legal and illegal downloading.
Streaming items such as a movie that Netflix subscribers can “Watch Instantly” or a video/movie clip that your instructor includes in your access-controlled course site.
Copying a streamed file or streaming (without the copyright holder’s permission) all or a substantial portion of an audio or video file embedded in a class project or presentation.
For more information on P2P file sharing and copyright, see: