Northwestern University has a way to decrease peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted files: send students emails. The system, called Be Aware You’re Uploading, delivers email notifications to active p2p users on the network, Ars Technica reports. BAYU has a successful track record of reducing p2p usage and copyright violations. It’s not a real punishment, but BAYU works by informing users oblivious to illegal uploading.
While many college students know how to use p2p software to download, fewer are aware that such programs are commonly set by default to upload their files. This means some of the most flagrant offenders are simply unaware, say officials at the University of Michigan, which developed BAYU and made it open-source and thus widely available to other schools.