Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sharing songs, movies, games, and software is a crime: Don’t do it!

Many people are still confused about the issue of illegal downloading of copyrighted material such as music, videos, and movies. They believe that if they just share files with others, and don't charge for the files or otherwise make any money from file sharing, there is no problem. As a recent case in Brainerd, MN has demonstrated, however, two federal laws are clear: THIS IS WRONG.

The No Electronic Theft (NET) Act makes it a crime to reproduce, distribute, or share, electronically or otherwise, copyrighted works such as songs, movies, games, or software programs, even if done without any commercial purpose. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) demands an effective response by the College when notified of potential copyright violations. Both acts are capable of imposing very serious penalties.

Protect yourself (and Macalester College). Use legal sources. Music can be found at Music United and movies/TV shows at Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

These tips are offered as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, one event coordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cyber security awareness and education for all digital citizens.

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