Copyright violations can put you at risk for hefty fines, suspension from the University, even criminal charges. You should assume that any piece of content you come across is copyright-protected unless you created it or you have received the author's explicit permission to distribute it. There are other measures you can take to avoid copyright violations:
Step 1: Use legal downloading options
Make sure your computer does not contain any illegal copies of programs, movies or music.
Download or stream music, movies, and other types of files from authorized sites. iTunes, Amazon MP3 Store and Instant Video, Spotify, and Netflix are a few legal alternatives for online entertainment. Other options include live streaming technologies (e.g., Pandora, Last.FM, or SHOUTcast). Note: UMass Amherst IT does not endorse or support any of these services.
Using peer-to-peer software such as FrostWire, Vuze, or BitTorrent does not guarantee that your downloads are legal (even if you pay to use their services).
Step 2: Turn off file-sharing in your peer-to-peer application
Some peer-to-peer software allows you to disable file-sharing, others do not. If you cannot disable file-sharing, we strongly recommend that you uninstall the peer-to-peer application. Learn more...
Step 3: Do not share your NetID (IT Account user name) and password
You will be held responsible for all activity on the campus network originating from your computer(s). It is critical that you not share your NetID (IT Account user name) and password with anyone and not register on the campus network shared computers or computers that you do not own.
Step 4: Keep your computer secure
Update your operating system with the latest security patches and virus definitions. Learn how at our Security Center.