I'm administering internet at my workplace for the other non-development users. Being a big company in an otherwise not so IT based environment, we use fibre that is capped at 11MB for access to internet services. The ISP provides this as a limit for fair usage, but it is not strict and we can go over board. With that in mind, usage can only be managed within, to avoid us unfairly affecting other users for the ISP. Eventually, most users do not have streaming sites, torrents and such like heavy use sites.

I thought of an idea of giving them something to smile about, in terms of a cache server internally where they can download favorite stuff.

At a workplace, is this proffesional to ask my bosses, to propose such a server to the staff of over 200 people, where they can download stuff on request?

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    Are the movies and music work related? If not, why do you propose a server to let the staff download them?
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 15:16
  • 4
    I'm confused about what you're trying to accomplish. Your company has a download limit, and you're seeking to store media/entertainment content on the company server in order to employees to have something to "smile about"? What? In no company I have ever worked was it even mentioned that we might be able to download torrents, or stream movies at work (maybe music - maybe). Even then, any sort of entertainment sites would be blocked. I wouldn't walk up to my boss asking for ways to "entertain the staff" when they're supposed to be working ...
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 15:20
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    How do you propose to ensure that everything in the cache is there legally / does not violate someone's copyright? Sounds like a huge liability risk for the company. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 15:27
  • This is likely either a legal or company policy specific question (or both) so off topic, voting to cloae Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 16:59
  • Why are employees allowed to watch movies while on the clock? Music I can understand for many fields - but if people want music, let them bring their own iPod and headphones. This whole idea of the company providing this "service" is horrible.
    – alroc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 17:05

3 Answers 3



Depending on your country and location, I believe this is a terrible idea for several reasons.

  • In a lot of countries downloading movies from certain sources that you named is illegal. You are proposing to organize an illegal activity!
  • Your bosses will learn that you are fascinated with downloading movies and music rather than doing work!
  • Your bosses will have to allocate company resources for employees' leisure time (to do an illegal activity).
  • Doing these types of (already illegal) activities as a group takes you to another level of responsibility! where do you draw line between normal movies and R-Rated material or even worse, things like pornography? Are you going to spend a lot of time on managing that content or just trusting your buddies on this?

If you would like to find a way to boost your colleagues' morale, find an alternate activity like organizing a potluck or a company bbq or a group run, hike, or some sort of work related library which you can add some other non-work books later or tons of other things.

  • 1
    not to mention what can happen if some illegal images or video get downloaded. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 15:45

If you are in the United States, then this is a Digital Millenium Copyright Act violation unless you get a license from the copyright holders. It's one thing to put it on your PC from stuff you are authorized to use, but a whole other thing to put it on a company network for sharing.

This would be very dumb because any disgruntled employee could put your company in hot water with a single phone call. I'm certain other countries beside the US will have similar legislation.

  • Thank you, in a country in Africa, we do not have such laws, especially for content beyond our border, however, ethically I do respect other people's laws. Thanks. Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 6:28

You don't say where you're based, but I'd guess it isn't the USA. An 11MB cap? Sounds incredibly small, regardless of whether you're talking about speed (11MB/s? I get over 120MB/s just on my home connection) or bandwidth (11MB? You aren't going to be watching much YouTube with that limit!)

You have a couple of issues to consider;

  1. Legality. As others have already mentioned, you can't just download stuff and share it out.
  2. Work. People should be paid to work during their working hours, not watching videos. It's not your job to be the corporate Entertainment Officer. If an employee wants to listen to internet music or similar while at work, they can use their own phone, and pay for their own bandwidth.
  3. Capacity. That 11MB is too small. You're probably within your remit to look at other providers. A 200 person company should be able to afford a better connection.

If I was your manager, I'd be pretty upset if you spent any more time looking at this project.

  • Good points, thanks for your contribution, yes it is outside of the USA in Africa, so that bandwidth is relatively sufficient, but we do need to up it soon. Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 6:27

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