File Sharing FAQs

Are P2P networks illegal?

Sharing work or media through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network is legal if you own the copyright, thus you own the right to determine if and how that work is distributed. For example, you can write and produce an original song and make it available for others to download for free through a P2P...

Are there risks to running P2P software on my computer?

Yes, you not only put your computer at risk by running P2P software, you put the entire College of Western Idaho network at risk. P2P software is designed to maintain an open door between your computer, the Internet and anyone who wants access to the files you have available to share. You make...

How are sanctions determined?

Every time you are detected sharing copyrighted works you earn points toward a sanction. The number of points earned depends on the type of content and whether or not we were able to positively identify the content as being shared. The device CWI uses to monitor for copyright violations uses...

How do I know what is or is not protected by copyright laws?

Copyrighted materials need not bear the copyright symbol in order to be protected. Since 1978, all works created are automatically protected, regardless of whether the owner/author submits a copyright request; all works originally created before 1978 (whether registered or not) are also...

How do I obtain this type of content legally?

EduCause has a list of websites available that will let you know legal sources to obtain copyrighted content online. You can visit their website and view the list here:

I don’t always see the Anti-Piracy web page when downloading or sharing files using P2P does this mean that I wasn’t detected?

No, you will only receive the Anti-Piracy warning page when you are sanctioned. If you continue to download or share files between sanctions you will still be generating points toward the next level of sanction.

I had no idea that I was downloading or sharing copyrighted content. How do I determine if I have a P2P application installed on my computer and how do I remove or restrict it?

In order to protect yourself from copyright violations, we recommend that you remove all P2P software from your computer. This will eliminate the possibility of having any copyrighted material, which you own, being distributed to the public Internet. To remove any software on a Windows based...