Illegal Use and Distribution of Copyrighted Materials
Mid-Plains Community College faculty, staff and students are prohibited from using the Mid-Plains Community College (MPCC) information network to illegally download or share music, video and all other copyrighted intellectual property. Mid-Plains Community College supports the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the Digital Millennium copyright Act including efforts to eliminate the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Under the law, the MPCC administration may be obligated to provide copyright holders with information about users of the MPCC information network who have violated the law.
Be aware that illegal forms of downloading and file-sharing as well as the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, are violations of the law and my subject you not only to academic sanctions from the college but also criminal and civil penalties, including lawsuit against you by copyright holders.
1. What is peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing?
P2P technology enables millions of computer users around the world to find and trade digital files with each other. By using a P2P computer program, a user can scan the hard drives of millions of people and instantly acquire (download) content with the click of a mouse. At the same time, that user can enable the millions of people on the P2P network to copy the contents of his or her hard drive. Unlike email or instant messaging, P2P enables the transfer of billions of files among millions of people without knowledge of identity or even location. It is, essentially, a massive listing and public warehouse of digital content.
2. What is the concern?
While P2P technology itself can be used for legitimate purposes, the almost exclusive use of P2P networks has been to trade copyrighted music, movies, pictures and software. From a legal standpoint, this activity violates copyright holders' exclusive rights to copy and distribute their works. From a practical standpoint, this activity threatens the entertainment industry's ability to succeed in the evolving digital marketplace.
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