Good Practice

Use Copyright Material Legally

Challenge

Downloading or sharing software, entertainment, or images may violate United States copyright law. Many torrent applications default to continue sharing your downloads with other users.

How do you download or distribute content legally?

Solutions

Use one of the Legal Sources of Online Content.

Know that United States copyright law applies to music, movies, games, photos, software, and other files in digital format. Downloading or distributing copyrighted material without the explicit permission from the copyright holder is against the law.

How to legally share content:

  • Obtain explicit permission from copyright owners to share a file
  • Have proof that you have permission to download or distribute a file
  • Verify that your sources for media files actually have permission to distribute the files
  • Password-protect the files you DO have permission to share
  • Disable the share feature or uninstall your "file-sharing" software
  • Read enclosed licenses of media or material you purchase
  • Educate yourself regarding general copyright law and topics such as copyright infringement liability, fair use, identifying copyright owners, and how to obtain permission

Nothing contained in this document may be construed or relied upon as legal advice. Consult an attorney directly regarding your specific legal needs.

The University of Minnesota does investigate copyright complaints from copyright owners, immediately remove access to the offending materials if notified by the copyright owner, and pursue appropriate disciplinary actions under the University Conduct Codes and University policies.