This site was created to inform and educate the Oregon State University community about the growing concern of illegal online file sharing. File sharing refers to the providing and receiving of digital files over a network, usually following the peer-to-peer (P2P) model, where the files are stored on and served by personal computers. Most people who engage in file sharing on the Internet may provide files (upload) and receive files (download) both knowingly and unknowingly. If the file in question is copyrighted and was not purchased by that person, illegal file sharing (copyright infringement) has most likely taken place.
Copyright infringement is a serious allegation. Downloading and/or sharing copyrighted media (such as movies, music, games, & software) from your computer using file sharing software, such as LimeWire, DC++, and BitTorrent, without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Copyright holders, such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Business Software Alliance (BSA), are more aggressively initiating legal actions against individuals engaged in illegal file sharing. Students and staff who participate in these activities should be aware they risk federal criminal prosecution and civil litigation.
If a copyright holder files a civil lawsuit against a person it can have significant financial and legal ramifications. When a copyright holder chooses to pursue legal action there is little to nothing the University can do to protect that person.
File sharing copyrighted material is a violation of the Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources. While OSU does not monitor the content of online activities, copyright holders can uniquely identify a computer sharing copyrighted files by recording the computer's IP address and the date and time the file was being shared. With this information OSU can identify the computer in question via log files. When OSU is notified of copyrighted media being shared illegally from within its network, the DMCA requires OSU to take action to remove that media from its network..