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File Sharing @ MSU

Downloading or distributing copyrighted material for personal use or enter­tainment without explicit permission from the copyright owner is against the law.

What is digital and electronic copyright infringement?

Copying, using, downloading, uploading, sharing, or otherwise distributing copyrighted material (including, but not limited to, music, movies, books, articles, and computer software) without explicit permission of the copyright owner or agent or as allowed by OP 01.20 (Policy on Use of Copyrighted Works for Education and Research) is a violation of federal law and MSU policy.

"Illegal download" refers to the inappropriate electronic transfer of a copyrighted material from one computer to another across a network.

"Peer to Peer file sharing" means using a particular type of software designed to share electronic files or resources between two or more computers across a network.

Why is this issue important?

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 34 CFR Section 668 requires universities which receive federal student aid funds to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

Under federal law first-time offenders who commit copyright violations can face criminal penalties of as much as five years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines; they may also be sued by the copyright holder in civil court, potentially resulting in additional monetary damages and legal fees. Also, MSU students, faculty, and staff are subject to University disciplinary policies and procedures.

Have Questions?

For student questions please visit our Contact page.

For technical questions please contact: 

ITS Service Desk
117 Allen Hall
Box 9697
Mississippi State, MS 39762
(662) 325-0631

All content on this site was adapted with permission from Indiana University