Be Aware You're Uploading Using Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Safely and Appropriately


The BAYU E-mail

I received a BAYU e-mail notification. What do I do now?

Here are several options you can consider after receiving a BAYU e-mail notification. You can:

  1. Disable peer-to-peer file sharing applications on your system to reduce the likelihood that you will share copyrighted files or expose yourself to computer viruses or other unwanted access to your computer;
  2. Completely remove peer-to-peer file sharing applications on your system to avoid the risks associated with peer-to-peer file sharing technology (there are numerous important and lawful applications, some of which are used routinely in academic and classroom settings, so this is not always possible or desirable);
  3. Consider opting out of receiving any further BAYU e-mail notifications for the remainder of the current academic term (an option we don't recommend that you take lightly);
  4. Acknowledge that at any time you have peer-to-peer technology on your computer, you're taking a risk. If you decide to use it, you're responsible for your use. Educate yourself about how the technology works and the risks associated with it. And be mindful of the law or other rules and University policies that affect how you may use the technology.

Disabling Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

The University of Chicago Networking Services and Information Technologies website provides excellent and detailed information about disabling many of the most popular peer-to-peer file sharing applications (P2P applications tend to come and go, so it's important to keep checking your status).

The following are some key considerations to keep in mind with regard to disabling peer-to-peer applications on your computer (courtesy of Resnet, North Carolina State University):

  • Turn off the ability to upload from your computer to the Internet. Inside of the configuration of your software there is some type of option to "disable uploading to others" or "disable file sharing." Please make sure that uploads/sharing are disabled. If you are having trouble doing this easily then you need to visit the P2P vendor's site for more instructions or contact the 4-HELP consulting staff (4-4357, Option #2) for assistance.
  • Disable your file sharing applications when you are not actively using them. By keeping these applications running even when you're away from your computer, you limit the amount of bandwidth available to your friends and other students on campus. Many of these applications make it hard for you to fully shut them down, allowing file sharing to take place even after you think you have exited the program. Unless they are explicitly turned off (often from the System Tray) you may still be sharing files. Some applications start automatically when you boot your computer. Make sure to find and disable the option to "start automatically when Windows starts" or "launch on boot."

Removing Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

You can also consider completely removing or uninstalling any file sharing application. The University of Delaware web site illustrates how to remove file-sharing programs in general and LimeWire, one of the most popular peer-to-peer programs, specifically.

Received a BAYU notice in error?

If you believe that you received a BAYU notice in error—that you were not engaged in uploading using peer-to-peer technology—help us figure out what happened by sending an e-mail to bayu@umflint.edu.

Remember, BAYU enables you to notice when you are putting yourself, your identity, your data, or other people's copyrighted works at risk.

University of Michigan
©2009 The Regents of the University of Michigan