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    Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

    September 4, 2019

    The following is a note from the director of IT to the University community on peer-to-peer file sharing.

    Members of the University Community: 

    Welcome back from the Division of Information Technology. Please take a few minutes to review this important information regarding Peer-to-Peer file sharing.

    The University’s technology infrastructure allows us to share resources and collaborate with each other and colleagues around the world in numerous, productive ways. Please be mindful that while using the University’s information and technology resources, we have all agreed to abide by the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy.

    What you need to know about Peer-to-peer file sharing: In 2010, final regulations from the federal government specific to the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications within colleges and universities took effect. Peer-to-peer file sharing is widely used to exchange files such as books, music, movies and games. There are legitimate uses for P2P systems such as sharing large files with others like personal video recordings or large sets of photos. However, the unauthorized distribution or file sharing of works that are copyrighted, such as commercial music, video, and games may subject the individuals involved to civil and criminal penalties.  In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed.  Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. Colleges and universities can be required to identify offenders within their network(s); The University of Scranton will comply with any court order that it receives.

    To ensure the availability and integrity of our network and services, the University limits the amount of bandwidth allotted to peer-to-peer applications. In addition, the use of aggressive peer-to-peer applications that utilize excessive network resources or are known to carry mostly illegal content can be prohibited. As stated in the University’s Copyright Compliance and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policy , individuals who are in violation of policy will be subject to disciplinary action, which may range from written warnings, fines, counseling, and/or suspension of network access. Legal sources for online content can be found at http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent. Please visit the above cited references to (re)-familiarize yourself with the legal and social responsibilities as they relate to everyone’s use of Information Technologies at the University of Scranton.

    If you have any questions about peer-to-peer file sharing or any other technology issue, please contact the Technology Support Center at techsupport@scranton.edu or 570-941-HELP (x4357).

    Best wishes for a rewarding academic year.

    Susan Bowen

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