File Sharing

Fair Use does not apply to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. Sharing files (e.g. audio or video files) is permissible if you own the copyright to the material, if the material is in the public domain, or if the license explicitly allows such distribution. However, sharing/distributing copyrighted material for which you do not hold the copyright is illegal.

Pacific University’s Appropriate Use Policy for Information Technology states:

“Illegal Downloading: The official Pacific University position on (P2P) file sharing utilities (e.g., KaZaa, iMesh, Gnutella, BitTorrent, etc.) is that the software itself is not illegal, nor banned by Pacific University. It is illegal, however, to download or share copyrighted material for which you do not hold the copyright. While Pacific University does not explicitly track the downloading of files, in the event the University receives notification of illegal downloading activity, appropriate investigation and disciplinary action to address the violator will be taken."

For examples of sites which offer legal avenues for downloading audio or video files, visit this site (hosted by EDUCAUSE): Legal Sources of Online Content .

If you have questions about appropriate uses of peer-to-peer file sharing networks, please contact University Information Services at or the Copyright Help Desk at