Peer-to-Peer Software

Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Peer-to-Peer software.

What is Peer-to-Peer sharing (P2P)?

Peer-to-Peer technology, or P2P, is basically a public listing and store of digital content. P2P technology enables computer users around the world to find and trade digital files with each other. When using a P2P program, you can scan millions of other hard drives of computers running P2P software and download content from them, and other P2P users can do the same with your hard drive. Unlike other forms of digital sharing, such as e-mail, P2P enables users to transfer files without knowledge of other users’ identity or location.

What is the concern about P2P?

P2P networks are often used to trade copyrighted material such as music, movies, pictures and software. This violates copyright holders’ exclusive rights to copy and distribute their works and threatens the ability of authors and artists to succeed.

If P2P software is legal, why can’t I have it on my computer when I use the NMSU Network?

When you install P2P software on your computer, it often creates a directory to be shared with others who use the same software. If you have any copyright protected material in that directory, it is made available for others to download. Some P2P programs will scan your entire hard drive for content. Providing copyrighted material IS illegal, as is downloading it. Even if you have legitimate copyrighted material on your hard drive, once it is made available to others for free with P2P you are violating the law.

What is considered a copyright violation?

When a person is actively providing copyrighted material for download in violation of federal law.

Why is NMSU obligated to take action against copyright violations?

When a crime occurs on NMSU property with NMSU provided resources or resources NMSU is responsible for, including Internet, we are legally obligated to take action.

What does NMSU ICT do to prevent copyright violations?

NMSU ICT blocks computers compromised by file-sharing activity from connecting to the network.

P2P information adapted from University of Cincinnati