• P2P and Copyright

If downloaded material is not specifically authorized by the copyright owner, the downloader is in violation of the copyright owner’s rights.  In P2P filesharing, it is almost a certainty that these rights are being violated.

What is copyright?

Copyright is legal protection of intellectual property for owners of copyright as designated by the United States copyright laws (Title 17, US Code). Copyright becomes effective the moment a work is created in a fixed tangible form, regardless of the medium.

  • Books and printed material are covered by copyright law.
  • Digital works such as software and music, regardless of how it is obtained or transmitted, is protected by copyright law.
  • Copyright covers both published and un-published works.

In short, if it exists in print, on the web, or anywhere else—even in handwritten notes, it is protected by the United States copyright laws (Title 17, US Code).

Copyright Infringement

Violating copyright is referred to as copyright infringement.

Copyright law is very specific about the legal ramifications, both civil and criminal, attached to copyright infringement in Chapter 5, Copyright Infringement and Remedies.

For full information about copyright law, visit the US Copyright Office web site at http://www.copyright.gov/.

Additional information about copyright in the US and internationally is available on Wikipedia.