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University of Wyoming Division of Information Technology

Illegal File-Sharing at UW

Sharing of copyrighted files or other material over the Internet is illegal and considered theft under the 1976 Copyright Act. If you are caught sharing files containing copyrighted media content, the RIAA has the legal capability to sue you for from $750 to $150,000 per offense. Make sure that you are not one of these individuals by not downloading or uploading copyrighted material. Illegal file-sharing is not only a violation of Federal Law, but also of UW Regulation 8-1. Do not be a part of the illegal distribution of copyrighted media over the Internet.

No matter how you feel about file-sharing, understand that copyright holders will prosecute if you are caught illegally sharing files covered by copyright protection. UW cannot protect you from any legal actions brought against you. The Recording Industry Association of America recognizes no age limits for offenders who file-swap. Should you be caught, you or your parents could be held liable for fines and penalties associated with illegal file-sharing.

There are, however, legal alternatives. Commercial Internet sites are available where media subscriptions can be purchased. Rhapsody ( is one alternative where you can subscribe to unlimited music for a monthly fee. Programs, like iTunes (, have music and television that can be purchased per title, album, or season. For more video media, you can use Google Video (, click on "TV shows", which has free television shows for viewers. There are alternatives in the world of digital media other than piracy.

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Legal File-Sharing Alternatives

Amazon MP3
Yahoo Music Unlimited

CBS Video

Other Resources
RIAA Tools
CDT Warning List

UW does not endorse these sites or their content. They are only intended to be examples of legal sources of digital media files.