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Policy 5.7
Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Utilities

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Responsible Official: Enterprise CIO and Sr. Vice Provost for Library Services and Digital Scholarship
Administering Division/Department: LITS: Library & IT Services
Effective Date: March 31, 2007
Last Revision: March 29, 2007

Policy Sections:


This policy explains the university's official position on peer-to-peer file sharing utilities.


This policy applies to anyone using a peer-to-peer file sharing utility on the Emory network.

Policy Details

The official Emory position on peer-to-peer file sharing utilities (Kazaa, Napster, Morpheus, iMesh, Gnutella, etc.) is as follows:

  • The software itself is not illegal nor banned at Emory.
  • However, it is not legal to download or share copyrighted material for which you do not hold the copyright.
  • The Emory high-speed network is a shared resource and primarily for academic use. Students who abuse this resource by generating high network traffic are tracked by Network Communications. If the heavy usage is not academic related, then the student is advised on how to limit usage.
  • Across the country, publishers are asking campuses to investigate situations where computers are being used for the transfer of MP3, video, and many other kinds of digital files through peer-to-peer network software such as Kazaa and Morpheus. Music and recording industry companies are also beginning to file lawsuits in Federal Court charging students with copyright violations. (See University Liability for Student Infringements (Univ of Texas) for background on this issue.)
  • ResNet (Emory's Residential Network) is not intended to enable Emory students to be Internet content providers.
  • Repeated abuse of network bandwidth or failure to comply with applicable laws and policies can result in deactivation of the student's ResNet connection, turning over a student's case to those who deal with conduct violations, or in severe cases, criminal proceedings. For complete information on policies regarding waste of academic resources, information technology conditions of use, copyright violations, etc., please view this site's Policy page. Ignorance of these policies is not an excuse for non-compliance.
  • Effective April 9, 2003, all non-Emory users are blocked from connecting to computers on ResNet. Students using computers connected to ResNet can still send and receive email across the Internet, browse the web, and download applications or files. However, non-Emory users will not be allowed to connect to computers on ResNet to download applications or files. Also, computers on ResNet will not be able to serve web pages or accept ftp connections from non-Emory computers.

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