Copyright violations are a serious matter. If a resident is in obvious violations of copyright law by using a room's wired connection (i.e. ResNet) to distribute copyrighted materials, the room's connection will be disabled, and the issue could be sent to Housing Student Judicial Affairs. Wireless connections are also subject to the same policy. University of Illinois and University Housing are legally bound to prevent the illegal transfer of copyrighted material.
For more on copyright, visit the Office of the CIO's webpage on Copyright Resources.
Filesharing involves sharing files over a network. There are multiple ways to do this, including peer-to-peer applications, social media websites, email, cloud services, and methods built into the operating system, among others. Filesharing has many uses, some legal, and some illegal. Filesharing itself is not a bad technology, but the most common uses of filesharing often violate the law.
There are productive uses for filesharing used by businesses and individuals every day. However, many people use filesharing as a way to share and download copyrighted material that they do not have the rights for. This use is against federal law, and there have been thousands of cases prosecuted for illegal filesharing in the past year alone. These copyrighted materials are primarily music and movie files, though they can include other copyrighted materials such as books. Downloading or sharing copyrighted material over filesharing applications is a crime. Housing does not advocate the use of filesharing applications to share or download copyrighted material of any kind.
Filesharing applications can also impair the speed of our network. By sharing out files from your computer, you leave an opportunity open for users outside our network to connect to your computer, which causes a load on our networks, uses your bandwidth, and leaves security holes that can be used to damage your computer. To help protect your computer and keep the network running smoothly for everyone you should disable filesharing.
The best thing that you can do to protect yourself and your computer is to turn off sharing in whatever filesharing application you use. By turning off sharing, you do not allow other users to view or access files on your computer. This reduces your bandwidth usage and increases your security.