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Office of technology Services


Illegal File Sharing FAQ:

Q: What is Illegal file sharing?
A: Illegal file sharing is the act of downloading copyrighted files or sharing copyrighted files with others via a network and/or the Internet without the expressed permission of the copyright owner.

Q: How many students at TU receive notices about illegal file sharing?
A: Towson University receives many notices a year of which 12 students reach a second violation. In the past year one student has reached a final violation causing them to permanently lose their NetID log-in privileges at TU.

Q: How does TU know that I am the person who shared a copyrighted file?
A: When TU receives a violation it includes the IP address that the violation was tracked back to along with a date, time and the name of the file shared. Towson University is responsible for tracing each of these violations through campus network logs to the Username that were logged in at that time. Once the violation is connected with a campus user TU provides that user with notification of the violation report.

Q: I have not installed file sharing applications on my computer but I have received a violation notice. What could be happening to me?
A: The two most common ways that a person would not be aware that they have shared or downloaded a file is that they shared their username with another person or that they received a computer that was used by a past owner for illegal file sharing. Your computer’s behavior on the Internet and the security of your NetID are both personal responsibilities of all TU students so neither of these reasons can be used as defense if you receive a violation notification. Password reset tools are available at https://www.towson.edu/ps_pw/sPassword.asp.If in doubt about the contents of your hard drive, backup all personal files, reinstall the operating system software and run all system updates to bring you system back to its original install state. Any additional software you had on your computer will also need to be reinstalled after you restore your operating system.

Q: Is there a campus penalty for illegal file sharing that is separate from litigation from the copyright holder or their representative?
A: Yes, each violation notice is delivered with an attached campus penalty. For more information read the Office of Technology Services, Information Security Officer, Illegal file sharing statement to campus students.




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