Peer to Peer (P2P)

The use of P2P applications (eg BitTorrent) is strictly prohibited. P2P applications are commonly used to download copyrighted material.

Copyright law

It is an offence under UK law to make copies of commercially-produced music recordings, videos, images and computer software. You are not permitted to make copies for personal use. You must have permission from the rights holder to copy any such material.

Copyright infringements may result in legal action against the individual concerned and the University, with resulting impact on the University's image and reputation. This will also be in breach of both the University of Glasgow IT regulations and the JANET Acceptable Use Policy.

Many P2P applications automatically make downloaded files available to other P2P users. This is dealing in digital contraband, resulting in increased seriousness of the copyright breach committed.

Security risks

P2P applications can lead to abuse either by those supplying the software or by third parties. Applications can include license agreements whereby the licensee allows the licensor the right to use all available CPU and network resources on the installed machine for any reason they see fit. The University cannot accept such a condition.

Many P2P downloads contain malware (viruses, worms, trojans). It is often impossible to know whether a file being downloaded via P2P is really what it claims.

Users of P2P can also share more than they intended to with other users. Such as sharing your documents folder by accident and putting your data at risk.

Legitimate use

If you have a legitimate use for P2P applications, please inform IT Services at; we can provide advice on reducing the risks involved.


Sanctions for inappropriate use may include:

  • Temporary or permanent loss of access to University's computer and network resources
  • Legal proceedings from copyright holders
  • Action under University disciplinary procedures