Copyright agencies like the RIAA or MPAA (Recording Industry and Motion Picture Associations of America) are targeting universities for people who are sharing copyrighted material such as music, TV shows and movies. If you are using a peer-to-peer program like Limewire, Gnutella, EDonkey and BitTorrent clients (Vuze, uTorrent, Transmission, etc.) you will put yourself at risk for receiving a copyright complaint. Even though programs like BitTorrent offer legitiment file offersing such as video game upgrades and Linux OS distribution, we have found that the majority of individuals using these kind of programs are downloading and/or sharing copyright materials either knowlingly or unknowingly. Additionally, these programs often launch during system startup and run silently in the background, offering out music and video files on your computer. Due to this, most students who receive a copyright violation were not aware their peer-to-peer program was even running.
In academic year 2011/2012 alone, UCSC received over 270 student focused copyright complaints with a small percentage of these being early settlement offers. To eliminate the risk of receiving a copyright complaint, and losing access to the network, we highly suggest that all students uninstall any peer-to-peer program that they have installed on their computer. Please feel free to contact us if you would like assistance removing your peer-to-peer program.
For more information about file-sharing can be found here.