Illegal File Sharing Risks and Legal Alternatives
Potential for Lawsuit
There are penalties associated with illegally downloading and sharing files using applications such as BitTorrent, uTorrent, Ares, Popcorn Time, and Kazaa. These penalties for illegal file sharing or other copyright violations extend to those files you have obtained while using your personal computer on VCU's Network
Copyright owners such as major entertainment companies have technology that will detect illegal streaming and downloading over the internet and will contact VCU with specific location details used to identify you. Although VCU does not regularly monitor for illegal content on the network, the University will use this information to contact you and require that you immediately discontinue the illegal use. The University will not protect individuals who use or share (whether knowingly or not) copyrighted materials without an appropriate license to do so. As evidenced by lawsuits, illegal downloading of music and movies can be extremely costly. How costly? Here are the costs for which you may be liable as a copyright infringer:
- Offender pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits.
- The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
- Offender pays for all attorney's fees and court costs.
- The court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
- The court can impound the illegal works.
- The offender can go to jail.
Rather than illegally downloading movies, try finding movies or shows to borrow from the VCU Library. You can also check out the EDUCAUSE web page that provides a long list of legal sources of movies, music, and TV shows.