P2P Pirate


I am the solution...to legal digital downloading!

Are you aware of the latest laws governing Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing? If not, it could be costly!

Don’t be fooled…copyright laws do not just apply to that research paper or presentation you are writing but also to the songs, movies, TV shows, games, and other software that you like so much. Downloading or sharing copies of copyrighted material for personal use or entertainment without explicit permission from the copyright owner is against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and can be costly.  Penalties for breaking the law are:

  • In Criminal Court, you can be sentenced to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. 
  • In Civil Court, you can be sued for damages and the minimum penalty is $750 per song.

Copyright owners actively search for copyright infringements of their works by using technology to identify pirated content on peer to peer networks, and they can identify you by your Internet Provider (IP) address.  In 2011, Internet Service Providers (ISP), like Comcast and Verizon who assign your IP address, agreed to implementing a Copyright Alert System.  When notified by a copyright owner of suspected piracy activity on your account, the ISP will use your IP address to identify you and send you an online Alert Notice.  Do not ignore these alerts. 

The Montgomery College Student Code of Conduct (#42001) and Acceptable Use of Technology (#66001) Policies specifically prohibit the use of the College’s technology resources for illegal file-sharing of copyrighted material. The College is required by law to notify you of the DMCA law and to divulge the name and address if it receives a legitimate complaint, warrant, subpoena or court order about illegal file-sharing activities.

There are also other factors to consider when engaging in file sharing regardless of legalities.  You need to be careful not to put your computer and personal information at risk.  

  • P2P file sharing can expose the personal information you may have stored on your computer.  You must ensure that your security is correctly set to prevent exposure.
  • Free P2P file sharing programs and free downloaded files have been known to install malware on your computer such as spyware or viruses that can be extremely damaging to your PC and files.

Below is a partial list of popular commercial services that allow you to listen, watch, order, or download music, movies, and TV shows legally.  


Many more legal download sites can be found at: http//www.educause.edu/legalcontent