It can be easy to download, copy and share software, music, film, video and information from the Internet, but it is illegal if the material is copyright. It is also a breach of the University ICT Acceptable Use Policy (PDF 299K, Downloads file) if you break copyright when using the University’s IT network.
Misuse of the network may lead to disciplinary proceedings and may even result in formal legal action through the criminal courts.
If you connect your computer, phone or other electronic device to the University's IT network you should:
P2P applications such as BitTorrent, BearShare,Vuze, Morpheus, iMesh and Lucky Wire, allow you to share files e.g. music, movies and software with other people over the Internet but they also make it easy for you to break the law. You could be sharing copyright-protected files without knowing it. More about the risks from OnGuard Online.
Commercial organisations actively monitor internet file sharing activity and are able to trace file sharing and downloads to an individual PC/network connection. If a copyright infringement is traced to a PC connected to the University network disciplinary action will be taken.
P2P Terminator is a free download. This allows you to turn file sharing on and off with a mouse click, so you can disable file-sharing while on campus. If you install this software, be aware that:
The University's ICT Acceptable Use Policy (PDF 299K, Downloads file) states that you should not illegally share copyrighted material over the University’s IT network. This includes email, web pages, ftp, Hotline, IRC and peer-to-peer file sharing. It applies to both University owned computers as well as your personal laptop and other electronic devices.
All types of media are subject to copyright including books, film, music, software and pictures. If you use, download or publish any of these media types it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the legal right to use the media in that way.
The University has a responsibility both under criminal law and to comply with the JANET Acceptable Use Policy to take action to prevent illegal behaviour and enforce penalties against individuals who breach copyright.
Infringements of copyright, unauthorised distribution and illegal downloading fall within the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure and action will be taken as follows:
First Infringement Notification
Second Infringement Notification
Third Infringement Notification
In addition to the University’s disciplinary procedure, there are several criminal and civil legislative penalties that the individual can incur including:
Respect Copyrights provides guidance on legal downloading and avoiding digital piracy.
For further advice about file sharing, please contact the IT Service Desk on ext. 2000 or 01902-32 2000.
More information about copyright can be found on the Learning Centres' website.
Date last modified: March 2014