P2P File Sharing


(320) 308-7000
Miller Center 102

Programs like Kazaa, Ares, iMesh and Limewire (Free and Pro versions) are popular ways to share music and movie files across the Internet, but they pose legal and security risks that can result in serious trouble for you — even court cases and fines. Representatives of copyright holders, such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), have filed cases against college students who have illegally downloaded and shared music and movies, and we don’t want that to happen to anyone at SCSU.

Avoiding P2P (Peer-to-peer) file sharing programs will help you avoid these potential problems:

Copyright Infringement

This is a serious legal violation. P2P applications can be used to share music and movie files with others on the Internet. But most music and movies are protected under federal copyright law and cannot be freely shared.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law intended to address digital copyright issues, has very specific procedures within it that MnSCU and St. Cloud State University must follow when notified that someone using our network is allegedly violating copyright law. 

If SCSU is notified of a violation, we must immediately respond. This typically involves shutting down the data port. Then we talk to the computer owner about the notice and issues associated with filesharing.

Malicious Software

Many P2P applications install adware http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/a/adware.html and/or spyware http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/s/spyware.html on your computer. These programs can cause annoying pop-up advertisements and collect information about you and your computing habits. In addition, these programs often interfere with your computer’s operation and can make tasks such as browsing the Web frustrating.  

P2P networks are also commonly used to spread viruses. While you may think you are downloading the latest single by your favorite group, you are actually downloading a virus which will infect your computer and spread to other computers on our network and the Internet.

Although a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program might help, viruses and spyware can be very difficult or impossible to completely remove once if they get installed. The best way to avoid viruses and spyware is to not engage in activities (such as P2P file sharing) which put your computer at risk.

To find out more about how you can protect your computer, see http://huskynet.stcloudstate.edu/protectu/