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Legal Downloading

Getting what you want to watch or hear legally...

As you know, downloading copyrighted music and movies without permission is illegal. So...

If you need an episode of Game of Thrones or want to watch a movie and it's 2:00 AM? Rather than illegally downloading it, try searching the UVa Library collection for movies and shows to stream or DVDs to check-out. You should also check the EDUCAUSE web page that provides a long list of legal sources of music, TV shows, movies, and videos, which we recommend you use instead of illegal file-sharing or downloading.

For more information about copyright issues, please visit these pages:

    University Library's Copyright website
  • UVa policy on Respect for Copyrights of Digital Materials and Software
  • How UVa responds to allegations of on-line copyright infringement
  • If you would like to find out more about copyright laws and issues in general—including U.S. and international law, fair use, public domain status, and so on— these websites are a good place to start.


    Think you won't get caught file sharing?

    Think again! As evidenced by lawsuits, illegal downloading of music and movies can be extremely costly. How costly? Read about two different students stories on C|Net News

    Still don't believe us? In February 2010, Whitney Harper, a college student, was ordered by a federal appeals court to pay the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) $27,750. This is $750 a track for illegally sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader.

    Joel Tenenbaum's illegal filesharing troubles started while he was a college student, but didn't end when he graduated in 2006. After many court appearances and several verdicts, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Mr. Tenebaum's appeal, and in June 2013, after exhausting all other court appeals, the original judgement in the long-running file-sharing case between Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Boston student Joel Tenenbaum was upheld. The original damages awarded were $675,000 for sharing 30 songs ($2,250 for each song). Details at:
    Supreme Court declines to hear Joel Tenenbaum appeal Wikipedia - Joel Tenenbaum

    Then decide if you can afford the "free" music and movies you get by file sharing.

    Wired magazine has an entire category devoted to illegal copyright litigation you might want to look at before you turn on your P2P software. Check it out at: File sharing litigation stories at Wired magazine