Chasing illegal downloading: It’s not just for Universities anymore

You probably noticed the cheerful note C&IT sent yesterday warning you about illegal filesharing. As you probably know, the RIAA and MPAA are attempting to combat the sharing of their copyrighted files through underground distribution systems such as BitTorrent. They do this by posing as downloaders and trolling for their copyrighted files, then sending an email to the owner of the network that is being used. For many years they have sent emails to Wayne State saying they have found illegal files on some IP address. C&IT is required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to find out who was using that IP address and send a ‘take-down’ notice to that person, ordering them to remove the offending files, and we have a fine, automated process to do just that. As we mentioned in the message, there may also be sanctions, such as fines if the address resolves to someone in the Residence Halls, and students are subject to the Student Conduct Code.

Okay, you’ve heard all of this before. What you may not have heard is that RIAA and MPAA are now going after the other internet service providers, beyond universities. They have made agreements with Comcast, AT&T and so on to do the same thing to users of those services (which includes pretty much everybody reading this). So, if you are sharing files illegally, they may go after you. There is a ‘six strikes and you’re out’ rule (i.e. they will warn you six times before they start limiting your download speed). You can read the details here:


A word to the wise.

2 Replies to “Chasing illegal downloading: It’s not just for Universities anymore”

  1. The nice part of that email was that they included site like Jamendo and Magnatune, among the more “usual” streaming sites. There’s a surprisingly large volume of Creative Commons and other non-traditionally copyrighted music and media out there.

  2. Good post. I’ve also seen a rise of file hosting websites used for illegal downloading, something which is harder to spot as it happens over regular HTTP traffic. Especially when the traffic isn’t coming from the file hosts themselves but rather premium link generators.

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