Is Torrenting Illegal?
- Torrent safety and legality: Explained
- The Identity Copyright Relationship
- Torrenting Safely: Ivacy VPN To The Rescue
- Torrenting In The Absence Of A VPN
- Are Torrent clients such as BitTorrent & uTorrent safe?
- Legal Jurisdictions
- What if you get caught torrenting?
- What to do if torrent clients are restricted?
- How to protect yourself
- Streaming vs torrenting
- Final Thoughts
There is a burning debate going on! The debate is about a question. And that question is: ‘Is torrenting illegal?” Let me put it in simple words. “Is downloading a torrent file illegal?” Got it? Not yet? Let me put it in more simple words. “Is downloading a file via torrent websites illegal?”
What is a torrent?
Well, there are millions of users who tend to use torrents to download their favourite movies, songs, ebooks, and software applications and they do not know what torrent actually is. It needs to be understood that torrent is essentially not a software program, but it’s a protocol that helps users to share their files with other people.
Now, back to the question. It is fair to note that torrent websites are being banned the world over.
Torrent safety and legality: Explained
What is the legality of torrenting? The act of Torrenting itself is not illegal but the download of copyright content is not allowed.
Your ISP or government agencies monitoring the torrent networks can take action against you for torrenting illegally.
Therefore, the simplest answer to this question is that it all depends on which type of file you want to download. A lot of authors are out there who consensually upload their work and make it available for everyone to download, but then there is a lot of copyrighted stuff available which is not safe to download.
What is the problem then? Well, the problem is not about downloading or sharing a torrent file. It is all about the material that is copyrighted. This is where the copyright owners are entitled to sue a user for copyright infringement.
Copyright infringement is an outright offence. That is why it is illegal. Therefore, downloading copyrighted material via torrent clients is illegal. Let me explain in simpler words.
The Identity Copyright Relationship
Here is a question for you. What is your most sacred possession? Any guesses? You are right. Your identity is the most sacred thing that you – and every one of us – possess. Now, think for a moment that your identity is stolen, or is being misused by any other person. It will surely hurt you, and you would want to have legal action against that person. And you will sue that person to get your name and identity cleared.
Same goes true for all the publications, e-books, songs, movies, games, software applications, etc. that are available online. All the authors, the production companies, the software development companies want their products to be protected against illegal use. That’s why they tend to get their products protected via intellectual property rights laws. Copyright or copyright infringement is an important constituent of the intellectual property laws that are accepted globally.
Hence, if any user, who is found guilty of downloading, sharing any copyrighted material via a torrent client, that user is not permissible to use or make alterations in any case, without any prior permission of the owner of that particular product, or without paying a royalty to the original owner, is liable to be sued for copyright infringement, under the law. And this is why illegal torrenting activities are strictly prohibited over the internet.
Torrenting Safely: Ivacy VPN To The Rescue
You can simply keep your torrenting activity private by hiding it with the help of a VPN.
Here is how you can torrent in a safe manner:
- Download and Install Ivacy VPN
- Turn the VPN’s kill switch ‘On’
- Connect automatically to one of the servers
- Once the connection is established, your online activity will become encrypted by Ivacy VPN
Using a reliable VPN service will guarantee your complete safety and anonymity online. It really serves your purpose. Ivacy VPN essentially cloaks your IP address and encrypts your data, providing it with a safe passage to pass through a secured tunnel, with breathtaking speed without compromising on your security. It’s the best VPN service available in town.
What are you waiting for?
Torrenting In The Absence Of A VPN
Torrenting without using a VPN lets your ISP monitor all your online activity and share this information with third parties that could act against you.
Are Torrent clients such as BitTorrent & uTorrent safe?
The torrent clients are just the means to share and download different types of files. However, popular trackers including 1337x and Torlock exist in a legal gray area with respect to the download of copyrighted content, which is forbidden in many countries around the world.
With the booming digital age, there is the danger of people misusing online freedom. To combat this danger, the international community has come up with several laws to safeguard the rights of copyright owners.
Every country has its own legal framework with respect to the implementation of copyright laws. Australia (the Data Retention Law), the United Kingdom (New Net Neutrality Laws), the United States (CISPA Law), are planning to have a codified legal mechanism to counter the threat posed by online pirates. Meanwhile, Scandinavian countries including Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, etc. have strict anti-piracy laws already in place. It may be the case that a torrenting is deemed illegal in a country, while in another country, that particular torrent client is deemed absolutely legal. Hence, the legality of a torrent client also depends on the jurisdiction of a particular country as well.
One thing more! Not every torrent is illegal. Only those that come with copyright certificate are deemed illegal for downloading and sharing. And there are a large number of legal torrents available.
What if you get caught torrenting?
Torrenters do not go to jail but they can face high penalties in the form of heavy fines if caught.
Copyright trolls are private businesses who track torrenters illegally downloading copyrighted content by using their IP addresses. Further, these trolls initiate legal action on behalf of the copyright owners.
ISPs themselves can initiate action against you, which means either throttling your internet connection or handing over your details to a copyright troll.
What to do if torrent clients are restricted?
By now, you should have cleared your mind about the legality of torrents. It’s time to discuss about what you ought to do when torrent clients are restricted or banned within your home country.
Well, you don’t have to worry about the issue any further. There exist valid possibilities that provide you an opportunity to bypass the so-called geographical restrictions, enabling you to use your preferred torrent client without any fuss.
In order to bypass torrent blockage, you can use an HTTP proxy. You can also use a reliable VPN service. One of the best ways to beat torrent blocking is to encrypt your data traffic. Switching to port 80 will give the edge as the ISPs cannot decypher the port. Using magnet links is also a viable option.
How to protect yourself
Here are a few steps you can take to safeguard yourself online when torrenting:
Turn a VPN on when torrenting
Using a VPN presents the best way of torrenting safely. It re-routes all your traffic through servers around the world; giving you an IP which is being used by thousands at any given time. This method adds a major layer of anonymity to you and makes it incredibly difficult for you to be tracked.
You can consider Tor if you do not want to pay for a VPN. It also routes your traffic while encrypting it but it is incredibly slow, which means you can’t download larger torrent files while keeping Tor on.
Streaming vs torrenting
Most people have transitioned from downloading huge files through BitTorrent to instead stream on their browsers. So, what is the difference between both?
Legally, you could still be breaking the law since you are streaming copyrighted content without paying for it. However, risks are smaller as compared to torrenting and your IP could still be reported to the authorities. But these risks can be mitigated with a reliable VPN.
We are going to end this blog here. Hopefully, we are leaving you with some food for thought. We have tried to be precise and to the point. If you feel that we have missed out on any of the important points, do not hesitate to share your opinions and ideas in the comments section below. Your contribution will be highly appreciated.