How does the entertainment industry find out who is downloading their songs, movies, or other digital content?
Every computer on the internet uses a unique numerical address called an IP number or IP address. Your computer’s IP address varies, depending on which internet service provider you connect through. Any time two computers connect to one another online, they exchange IP addresses. This means anyone (including industry groups) on a file-sharing network can find the IP address of a computer that is sharing copyrighted files. Groups of IP addresses are registered to different internet service providers. Once an industry group finds the IP address of someone who is sharing copyrighted files, they can search the registration database to find out which internet service provider the infringer is using. Usually, they cannot trace an IP address directly to an individual without the cooperation of the internet service provider – which is where the DMCA comes in. What happens if the IT department receives a copyright complaint about my computer? As an internet service provider, Augsburg College is