Some of the most common questions involving torrenting include whether it is safe, legal, and why it’s so confusing. Is it okay to share files? Join us as we examine what’s legal and what illegal about torrenting.
Torrenting is a way to share files with people all over the world. This covers nearly everything: music, movies and TV shows, textbooks, seminars, podcasts, ebooks, audiobooks, games, and so much more. The way it works is the file in question is present in several computers connected to the server. They are the ones providing the server with the bits of data needed in order to download the file in question.
That way, it becomes easy for the computer that wants to download the file, as it collects information from several sources at once. They are called seeders and the computers downloading the files are the leechers. The more seeders there are, the faster it is to download the file, as all of the peers are in on file sharing.
Owning a torrent client is legal, as is visiting torrenting sites. There is nothing wrong with sharing files that are public domain or your own personal work. It is a relatively quick and efficient way for people around the world to give each other audio and video clips, text files, and important pieces of software.
What’s not legal about it, however, is sharing copyrighted material. Because of the simplicity of sharing, many people put up and download TV series, movies, AAA games, and other files that cost money. Piracy is very popular in developing countries and even a few developed ones. Because of this, internet providers have been known to send warnings or even terminate service when their users visit torrenting sites and download files.
There are only two instances in which one could argue that piracy could be a justifiable thing. We are not talking about consumerism, per se, but lack of resources. In many cases, people use torrents to get a hold of textbooks and tutorials they have no other way of obtaining.
The other case deals with censorship. In cases of governments controlling internet access, it becomes very easy for the voice of the people to become silenced. Sharing underground propaganda is illegal, but the moral side of it might be slightly more complex.
Most torrenting sites advise against piracy and urge their users to use some sort of VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network and it is a great way to mask your online presence and get a hold of materials not available in your country, for whatever reason.
Be careful about the kinds of files you download and the usual file extensions. Stick to the files the site says are okay and verified, along with the torrents that have useful comments. In these cases, it is far less likely that the torrent in question contains malware. Finally, avoid piracy, as the movie or game you might get for free at first is not worth the fines and other potential consequences.