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Filesharing Guidelines

Sharing Music, Movies, and Software: Your Responsibilities at Macalester College with Respect to Copyright Law

Copyright holders, such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), actively seek to find people who share copyrighted materials without payment or permission. When copyright holders find violations, they act quickly to stop the violation and potentially prosecute the violator.

Downloading and sharing copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder means you could face prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. Claiming “I didn’t know” will not protect you. Both the federal No Electronic Theft Act Of 1997 (which extends criminal copyright law to include cases even where there is no clear profit motive) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 are capable of imposing very serious penalties for copying and/or illegally distributing copyrighted works.

Macalester’s Digital Copyright Policies and Guidelines

  • Policy/Guideline: Information Technology Responsible Use Policy
    Description: Recognizes that copying commercial files without permission or payment is a violation. ITS must, and will, respond when potential copyright violations are reported to the College through appropriate channels.
  • Policy/Guideline: Digital Copyright Violations Policy
    Description: Outlines procedures ITS will take for potential copyright violations.
  • Policy/Guideline: Dewitt Wallace Library’s Copyright Information Site
    Description: List of policies governing ownership, guidelines for classroom use of copyrighted printed and multimedia materials, and additional resources.

Legal Sources for Online Music and Movies

Legally download or stream music and movies without using illegal download tools or P2P filesharing applications that violate copyright law. Check out legal sources of online content or to locate music, books, movies, and TV shows to watch online. The content listed on these sites is U.S.-only service and may not have international streaming rights.