Dangers of file sharing programs

Table of Contents

Some common misconceptions about BitTorrent

Useful information about filesharing and what can precipitate a copyright violation

Helpful Links

Some common misconceptions about BitTorrent

I used encryption, so my activities will be undetectable to outside sources.Encrypting BitTorrent files will not protect you from detection by copyright holders and their representatives. While encryption may allow you to circumvent intrusion prevention systems used by UNC-Chapel Hill to detect filesharing, copyright holders and their representatives can still determine which computer is uploading copyrighted material. Filesharing using BitTorrent is built on the principle of sharing files with unknown users, so anyone logging in to a BitTorrent swarm, including copyright holders, can identify computer addresses that make copyrighted files available for download. Also keep in mind that some BitTorrent sites grant user privileges based on your ratio of uploading and downloading files. Making files available to other users through uploading also violates copyright.

BitTorrent is safer to use than filesharing programs that download complete files.BitTorrent poses the same risk to your computer as any other filesharing program. Simply because a movie is divided up into fragments does not mean that each portion of the file has the content that it purports to include. BitTorrent users are also subject to the same dangers that any other filesharer faces, in that the files they download can contain viruses, spyware and adware. Any downloaded file poses these dangers.

As long as the torrent website is up, it is safe to download files.Many torrent websites act as mere search engines that do not actually store any files. For example, btjunkie clearly states that it provides only meta files and hosts no actual content for downloading. In addition, many sites will disclaim any responsibility for the actual quality and content of the files downloaded as torrents. This means that some of the links may be spoofed websites set up to trap potential downloaders or that the files are heavily infested with malware. Specifically, a website like btjunkie will disclaim any liability resulting from the use of the site to the maximum extent possible by law. If you get caught violating copyright law, including the possibly of receiving a pre-settlment litigation letter, any fines or court judgments are your sole responsibility.

Downloads cannot be detected if I go through usenet.This is not true. The number of copy violation notices that refer to usenet sites is increasing lately because many people have this misconception. Usenet traffic can be tracked and copyright violations from usenet sites have the same negative consequences as illegally downloading a file from a website.

Useful information about filesharing and what can precipitate a copyright violation

I did not download any music, I think it was my roommate (or brother or friend etc.) As registered owner of the computer, any copyright violation that is linked to your computer is your responsibility. We therefore recommend that you do not share your computer with others. A similar issue arises when people have routers installed that are accessible by multiple users. In this case, the copyright notice will often indicate the router address and the registered owner of the router will be responsible for the copyright violation. We therefore recommend either to not to use a personal router or to appropriately secure any such router registered to you.

I did not download any music while on campus. UNC-Chapel Hill will only receive notices dealing with copyright infringement via the UNC-Chapel Hill network. If you use the Internet while off campus, UNC-Chapel Hill is not going to be notified regarding any copyright violations that may have occurred during that off-campus use. Instead of UNC-Chapel Hill, your off-campus internet provider would receive any notices. Please note that a location such as Granville Towers, while not considered part of ResNET, is still served by the UNC-Chape Hill network and therefore any copyright violations occurring in Granville Towers will be sent to by UNC-Chapel Hill.

Even if you only downloaded music off campus, you may still incur copyright infringement notices through UNC-Chapel Hill. If you store downloaded music in a public folder and have a filesharing program running while on campus, you make copyrighted files available to others while you are on campus using the UNC-Chapel Hill network. Because not only downloading but also uploading of copyrighted material is considered a violation, your presence on campus may put you at risk of violating copyright law. We therefore recommend that you do not install any filesharing programs and, if you need to share file for legitimate purposes, that you disable filesharing whenever the program is not in use.

Helpful Links

  • Legal download sites approved by the RIAA: This list is continuously updated. Please note that this link is provided in the hopes that the information it offers may be helpful to University affiliates. It should in no way to be taken as an endorsement of recording industry groups.