Beware of Music Piracy

Most students know that illegally downloading music and movies is wrong. Yet more than half still do it. While you might’ve been able to get away with stealing entertainment at high school and at home, the risk of getting caught and facing punishment is much higher in college. And here’s why. Almost all higher education institutions, no matter if you attend a 4-year, 2-year, public or private college or university, assign students an identification number. This identification number, along with a password of choice, is required to be entered every time a student wants to gain access to a school computer. Even if a student has their own laptop, these same requirements are needed to access the school’s Wi-Fi. This means that if you do something wrong, like download music or movies, colleges can easily trace your criminal activity back to you and you will be held accountable. Within the past few years, institutions have tried to buckle down and regulate illegal downloading and file-sharing after the recording industry sued several college students on the basis of infringement for thousands of dollars. Since then, most colleges banned access to music-swapping sites and put a restriction on bandwidth for peer-to-peer programs in an effort to prevent students from violating the law. While the recording industry has reduced the number of lawsuits filed, it still sends infringement notices to colleges and universities. It is up to the discretion of the university on what action they will take if you are caught downloading illegally. They can report you to the recording industry, take away your computer privileges, or just give you a warning. So what exactly is piracy? It is the illegal duplication and distribution of sound recordings and movies and is sometimes referred to as bootleging, counterfeiting, pirating and online piracy. Pirating is a felony. In addition to being sued, the offense is punishable up to a $5,000 fine and a maximum imprisonment of 6 months. If you want to download illegally, it’s up to you. However, it is important that you are prepared to face the consequences if you choose to pirate movies, music, and programs.

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