- Ensure that your file sharing application is not set to share the files you have on your computer. If it is set to share files, ensure that you have explicit permission from the copyright holders for sharing all of the files accessible to this application.
- It is possible for your computer to continue sharing copyrighted material even after you've tried to uninstall your file sharing software. You can be held responsible for the file sharing activity of your computer, even if you are unaware of it. Scan your computer for viruses regularly. To be sure that the file sharing activity is ceased, it is best to completely reinstall the operating system on your computer.
- Ensure that the distributor of a file you are interested in downloading has permission from the copyright holder to distribute it.
- For your own protection, you should assume that you do not have permission to download or distribute a file unless you have proof to the contrary. Before you download a file, research if it is legal for you to do so. For example, check the Web sites of the copyright holder to see if they allow distribution of their materials in this manner.
- When you purchase music, movies, games, etc., read the license carefully to learn if you have permission to convert the material to other formats for your own use, and whether or not you can share the material with others.
- Keep up to date on the debate over intellectual property rights legislation, and ensure that your voice is heard by your local legislators if you have an opinion on current laws and proposed changes.
- Fair use only applies to specific situations. Fair use depends on balancing the four factors: the purpose, nature, amount and market effect of the use. Downloading or distributing songs, movies, software, and games for personal entertainment is NOT fair use.
- Disabling Peer-to-Peer File sharing The University of Chicago has instructions for disabling uploading on several popular file sharing clients
- Fair Use Checklist
Some content adapted from IU.edu © 2009