Peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing software such as µTorrent, Vuze, and Popcorn-Time might seem like a convenient way to download music and movies, but this convenience is a double-edged sword.
When you download copyrighted files using filesharing programs, those files are shared with everyone else on the internet. Copyright holders are vigilant and are always poised to pursue legal action against people sharing these files.
Sharing files without the permission of the copyright owner puts you at risk of a criminal or civil lawsuit. If you are found to have infringed on a copyright, you may be liable for damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed upon. If willful infringement can be proven, damages can go as high as $150,000 for each work infringed upon. For more information see the US Copyright Office's Copyright Infringement and Remedies.
Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material also violates the university's Acceptable Use Policy. Those who violate this policy are subject to further disciplinary action by Student Judicial Affairs. Sanctions can include loss of network access privileges and disciplinary probation.
Filesharing applications expose you to unnecessary security risks. Some of the most successful computer viruses propagate through filesharing networks. Computers that are infected with viruses are removed from the university's network until the virus can be removed by university staff.
Do you need help removing filesharing software or filesharing-related virus infections?
If you are a student or staff member living in University Housing, contact ResNet at 541-346-4223 or by submitting a service ticket.
All other UO students should contact the Information Services Technology Service Desk (Tech Desk).