P2P Filesharing

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy IT Department is currently in the process of expanding the bandwidth and therefore internet speeds for the campus. In order to do this the academy must abide by regulations put forth by the federal government about P2P usage and illegal file sharing. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy is providing you this notice in compliance with sections 485 and 487 of H.R. 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act and you are strongly advised to read it thoroughly and give it careful consideration of its contents. Students should also consider that when they are caught illegally downloading or uploading files that they will be subject to an honor board in accordance with the Regimental Manual. 

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy provides a high-speed network and other information technology resources to help you accomplish your educational goals.  When you were freshmen signed, a document agreeing to abide by the Academy’s Responsible Use of Information Technology.   More specifically, you agreed not to use University resources for unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files.  Sharing of copyrighted music and videos through any digital distribution is an inappropriate use of its network resources and is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes you to serious civil and criminal penalties. The Academy is currently working with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as well as private companies to eliminate the P2P usage on campus.  

The DMCA is a federal law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, and services intended to circumvent copyright protections. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can include fines of up to $250,000 and incarceration for up to five years.  In civil court, damages of up to $150,000 are possible for EACH movie or song that has been illegally acquired or shared. 

Examples of common illegal file sharing programs:

  • Bearshare
  • Limewire
  • BitTorrent
  • Utorrent
  • Frostwire