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Digital Copyright, P2P, and File Sharing

Photo credit: Maxim Malevich

Texas State’s Appropriate Use and Ownership and Use of Copyrighted Works policies prohibit the use of the Texas State network for the unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted digital materials, regardless of the method employed (e.g., web pages, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, email, etc.). You must have fair use rights or authorization from the copyright holder for any material you use, make available, or share over the campus network. 

For assistance visit the University Copyright Office



Policies and Guidelines

Read below to learn more about Texas State’s position on unauthorized file sharing, copyright infringement notification processes, protocols followed by the University in addressing and deterring copyright infringement, and legal options for obtaining music and videos via the Internet.

These and other university policies demonstrate the university’s commitment to compliance with the requirements of various federal copyright laws and the associated legal responsibilities of the University in this regard.  

Texas State Policies related to Copyright

Copyright Law

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (October 1998)                                                                                      
       Full text of the Act located on file with the Library of Congress
  • No Electronic Theft Act (LaMacchia Bill)              
       Full text of the Act located on file with the Library of Congress
  • Copyright Act of 1976, as Amended (1994)                                                                                               
       Located on file with the Cornell University Law School 

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Learn More about Copyright and File Sharing

  • Music United
       What the music industry says about copyright infringement.
  • Disabling Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
     If you have questions or need support disabling peer-to-peer sharing, you should contact Texas State’s Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) at 512-245-ITAC (4822) or, not the University of  Chicago.

Legal Options for Enjoying Digital Music and Video

Visit the web sites of your favorite artists as many offer free downloads of their music.  Note, however, that while it’s OK for you to distribute the site links, it’s generally not OK to distribute or make the music itself available to others through your own site.

  • Important Note: Before signing up for any digital music or video service, carefully read the site’s privacy policy and/or terms of use statement to be sure that the  service is an authorized distribute the material that it makes available to you. Both free and fee-based software may utilize unauthorized distribution channels for copyrighted material, such as the Gnutella file sharing network. Buying a license to file sharing software does NOT necessarily give you legal access to the music it makes  available, and it almost never allows you to further distribute that music. The following excerpt from Music, Etc.’s privacy policy is a good example of what to look for to determine if your fee does or does not include any rights to the music itself.
    • The Music, Etc.™ download system (the "Service") allows Music, Etc.™ members ("Members") to access and download content (including, without limitation, music files, movies, games, software and/or pictures) generally available for downloading over the Internet via the Gnutella Network (collectively, the "Download Content"), through use of our proprietary Download Software. Music, Etc. ™ provides the Service and associated Download Software only and is in no way involved in the provision of, and makes no representation as to the legality of, Download Content. The Service and Download Software are made available to our Members, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

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