Illegal Downloading

Policy, The Law, and Facts You Should Consider

College policies and the law expressly forbids downloading any material or content that is copyrighted unless it has been placed in the public domain as "Freeware" or "Shareware."

Downloading songs, movies, videos, images, or other copyrighted material for personal or any other use without consent is illegal. Permission to download material must be obtained through proper channels.

Policy and the Law

  • These regulations apply whether the activity is done knowingly or not.
  • Violations of copyright law that occur on or over the college's networks or other computer resources may create liability for the College as well as the computer user. (Copyright Infringement Policy, 4.3)
  • Legally purchasing copyrighted materials for your own use does not give you a right to share it with others.
  • Many peer-to-peer (P2P) software downloads may appear to be legitimate, but they can initiate upload activities which you can be held responsible for because the software was originally downloaded to your computer. In other words, you may be acting as a server for illegal activity without even knowing it.
  • Downloads are often packed with spyware and viruses which can put your own computer as well as the college network at risk.
  • The traffic generated from such downloads slows the CNR network response time and reduces the quality of the network resources available for academic uses.


  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent hundreds of thousands of notices to colleges and universities of identified offenders. The College of New Rochelle is required by law to cooperate if notified of any copyright infringement activity.  This may result in the college having to provide the student's name and the details of the illegal activity to RIAA.
  • Fines related to reported illegal download activity can range from $200 to $350,000 per incident.

CNR's Role to Protect Students and the College

  • Reported illegal download activity will result in student account being quarantined.
  • CNR has implemented a procedure to block unwarranted P2P traffic through bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring.
  • The college does not monitor content of the download activity but rather severely limits the bandwidth allocation for this type of traffic.

Additional Information

The College of New Rochelle does not offer a free download service. However, there are a variety of legal options available for your entertainment downloads.  As with any online activity, a certain amount of risk may be associated with any external site so we remind you to exercise caution. Legal alternatives for you to consider:

Purchase required:

  • Amazon (http://www.
  • iTunes (
  • MovieLink (
  • Musicmatch (
  • Napster (
  • Rhapsody ( )

Free downloads can be found at:

  • "Free MP3 of the Day"

Free Listening is available at:


Some of the sites mentioned above also offer membership or subscription rates.  You can subscribe to sites to listen to unlimited downloads for a fee of about $12 a month.

Please note: CNR is not responsible for the content of any external website

If at any time, you are uncertain about downloading material from the internet, we encourage you to check with the Help Desk before proceeding.

The use of peer to peer/file-sharing software such as LimeWire, KaZaa, Torrents, Morpheus, iMesh, Gnutella is legal, but using it to download copyright protected media without the copyright holder's consent is illegal. Many of the files available on these networks are not authorized by the copyright holder to be shared and downloaded. Sharing a music or video file of you singing or playing an instrument is legal, but not if you are singing or playing copyrighted material that you haven't paid a royalty fee on.

Don't be fooled by fees you pay for using such file sharing services. These fees are usually for ad-free searching not the legal right to the contents. Legally purchasing copyrighted material does not give you a right to share it.

The law requires such acts of illegal download to be reported so take note when taking your computer for repairs. Fines could range from $200 to $150,000 per infringement. Material produced before the 1950s, including songs or media for which the copyright has expired, may be the exception to this rule.

It is safe to assume that you do not have permission to download or distribute files or materials found on the Internet unless you have permission in writing such as a license agreement. Even the purchase of copyrighted software, music, or video does not give you the permission to distribute or share them unless you have specific permission to do so.

Aside legal issues, such downloads are packed with spyware, adware, Trojans, and viruses which will put your computer and the CNR network at risk. In addition, the traffic generated from such downloads slows the CNR network response time and reduces the quality of the network resources available for academic uses.