Peer-to-peer (P2P) is an approach to content distribution in which digital files are transferred between â€œpeerâ€ computers over the Internet. Because they do not rely on a central server to deliver content, P2P networks tend to be fast and reliableâ€”they can balance traffic loads that might otherwise overwhelm servers, and they minimize the chance of service breakdown due to localized server or communication outages. As a new channel for content distribution, P2P changes the conventional hierarchy of information. The roles of producer, consumer, and gatekeeper of digital content blur, and more information and resources can be delivered to more people and applications than otherwise would be possible. P2P technology has the potential to play an important, positive role in the fulfillment of institutional missions of teaching, research, and the dissemination of knowledge.