UC Merced Copyright Policies and Guidance
The University of California, Merced is committed to upholding U.S. copyright law. The information on the page linked to here summarizes various laws, policies, procedures and guidance for faculty, staff and students.
Peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted materials is illegal.
These short videos (though specifically created for the UCLA campus) provide a good legal overview of peer-to-peer sharing:
Legal Sources of Online Content
Looking for legal alternatives for downloading online content? The non-profit organization Educause provides a list: