Home Legal Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing


The purpose of this policy is 1) to inform users of Bridgewater College network and computing resources of the penalties for unlawfully obtaining and/or sharing copyrighted materials, and 2) to comply with section 668.14 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA).


This policy applies to all users connecting to the Bridgewater College network, by wired, wireless, or other means; using college-owned or personally-owned equipment.


Use of Bridgewater College computing, network or other resources to obtain, store, or redistribute files in violation of copyright laws is illegal. It is the college’s policy to employ technical means where possible to prevent such activities, and to act on all notices recieved by organizations such as the MPAA and RIAA.

Technology-based Deterrents

The college employs a traffic-shaping device to constrain identifiable peer-to-peer traffic to a minimal level. Additionally, the college firewall is configured to deny incoming connections by default, preventing external connections inbound to most devices on the college network.

Educating the Community

There are several ways the college communicates to members of the college community about improper use of copyrighted material.

  1. At the beginning of each semester, the IT Center sends a notification to all constituents of the campus community informing them of the college’s policy on copyrighted material.
  2. Incoming students are informed of the copyright policy during new student orientation.
  3. The policy is published in the student handbook.
  4. The college’s web site contains information on the proper use of copyrighted materials, including the IT Center’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Legal Alternatives to Download

The college encourages members of the community to avoid illegal use of copyrighted materials by taking advantage of the many legal alternatives available. EDUCAUSE maintains a list of legal alternatives at: http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent

Periodic Review

Members of the IT Center Network Services group will review this policy on an annual basis.


When the college receives notifications of infringement from the MPAA, RIAA or other similar organizations, we will:

  1. Use technical means to identify the individual owning the device containing the infringing material.
  2. Send notification to the individual, usually by e-mail, of the reported infringement together with the action they need to take.
  3. Keep records of such notifications for the purpose of tracking offenses.
  4. For a second or greater offense, copies of such notification will be sent to Student Life staff for their records.


Bridgewater College acts on all notices from proper authorities of copyright infringing activities. “Offenses” are deemed to be consecutive offenses within a calendar year by an individual.

First Offense:
Upon notification, the individual is expected to remove the infringing material from their device. Additionally, the IT Center recommends removal of the software used for obtaining and/or sharing of the infringing material.

Second Offense:
The IT Center will employ technical means to disallow network access for the device holding the infringing material. Network access will only be restored after the individual owning the device has contacted the IT Center to inform us that the infringing material has been removed.

Third Offense:
The IT Center will employ technical means to disallow network access for the device holding the infringing material. To restore network access, the individual will be required to bring the device to the IT Center and provide administrative access so that the IT Center may remove the copyrighted material and any software we deem as being used for unlawfully obtaining and sharing copyrighted material.

Fourth Offense:
The IT Center will employ technical means to disallow network access for the device holding the infringing material for a period no less than one full semester.

Fifth Offense:
The individual will be referred to the Bridgewater College Dean of Students, who will determine appropriate sanctions, potentially consulting with members of the IT Center.