Statement on File Sharing
File sharing is the process of distributing or providing access to files for others to download from the Internet. One of the most popular and controversial ways of sharing files is through peer-to-peer software (P2P). Examples of P2P file sharing software include Bitcoin, BitTorrent, and Gnutella among others. Not all file sharing is illegal, but many of the files on P2P file sharing networks are copyrighted works that are being distributed or copied without the permission of the copyright holder.
It is unethical and illegal to use MSP’s information technology (IT) resources to copy or distribute copyrighted materials without proper authorization. Users may be held responsible even if they were unaware that their actions constituted copyright infringement. See MSP’s Copyright Policy for more information about the penalties associated with copyright infringement.
P2P file sharing is prohibited unless a user can demonstrate that the materials being shared comply with copyright laws and there is an academic need for the service. Members of the MSP community may contact the Director of Information Technology & Campus Security for permission to use P2P file sharing through the school’s IT resources.
In compliance with HEOA legislation, MSP maintains a list of resources that provide legal alternatives to illegal downloading. MSP does not necessarily endorse any of the specific services or products listed here.