The cause of torrent to be popular is massive and free. And the content inside the torrent is very tempting -- multimedia -- entertainment content that will grab everyone's attention. As a default question to ourselves before using an application or service that we do not know are, is torrenting is illegal? is it safe? and what are the risks? Benefit, when searching for a service that attracts our attention means we already know the benefits to be gained, then these three basic questions become the basic security filter for ourselves.
Is torrenting legal/illegal? In a short answer, using a torrent is legal. When using torrent to download and distribute copyrighted material, it is illegal. Then, is torrenting safe? In the legal frame, when doing illegal actions will make us in an unsafe position. What are the risks? Violating copyrighted material -- downloading and distributing -- may relate to civil claims. This is the big picture for the torrenting and the risks. So, lets begin.
Torrent is P2P (peer to peer) file sharing. In general, is a way of sharing files using peer to peer, works by downloading small bits of files from many different web sources at one time. In torrenting there are seed and leech terms. Seed is someone who has a torrent file and open on the client, which is ready and can be downloaded by others (leech). While leech is someone who takes (download) torrent files that have been provided by the seed.
Most countries have a common legal basis for intellectual property theft. A song in a piece of music file that has copyright, while you do not have it, then you can not download legally. Like what has been mentioned in the beginning paragraph, torrent is very tempting because it is very massive and free.
Unfortunately, people are tempted to use torrent because it's free. The example above is music, and the same applies to movies, software, games, and more. Different stories when copyright holders decide to make it free, either permanently or under certain conditions. If there is to download the software with the freeware label, then you do not have to worry.
There are two different references to the "secure" term here. If it's related to the malware, then it is relative. If the source and the tracker are trusted, then it's relatively safe. In the world of the internet there are many wicked personal, spreading the bait to get what they want, including spreading malware. They can do so via email, server download, torrent downloads, and more.
If it's related to the law frame, then it's a little more complicated because many factors to work. When we are in a country with the rule of law on the protection of intellectual property are clear and tight, it will be easier to find legal and illegal restrictions. However, when we are in a country that does not have clear rules and don't apply it with tight, then it could happen a bias here.
In short answer, Yes. Authorities and ISPs can easily detect and catch people who are copyright infringement through a torrent. ISPs can detect through their IP addresses, and the torrenting client software also stores IP address data of seeders and leechers.
In many cases, ISPs only need an IP address to find out who and where the torrent file is downloaded. With the help of ISPs, then the authorities can approach you.
The prosecution of copyright pirates culminated in around 2000s, where the digital era began to be expanded. The pirates are charged with a disproportionate amount of money, and are often settled out of court. Public scare tactics made the recording and movie industries are shine badly. Campaign against torrent is far from over. They are portrayed as a small millionaire oppressing poor students.
Bad perceptions of the recording and movie industries make of chasing individual pirates duties to be transferred to a number of small businesses, known as "copyright trolls". They sniff and find torrent users who infringe copyright through IPs addresses. Then they approach the copyright holders and sign an agreement, which enables them to take legal action on their behalf.
Copyright trolls use scaring tactics to people they accuse of copyright infringement by sending threatening letters with completion options. These letters are not binding legal documents, and they use intimidation and fear to make their target pay some money without ever going to court.
Under US law, that IP address is not a person. If you are contacted directly by your ISPs, then that means copyright trolls does not know your identity yet, and keep it that way. If you respond and identify yourself, then they will continue with their plans. If they are spreading 100 baits and responded by 5 people, then the cost effective opportunity is to continue to those who respond and leave the rest.
When ISPs are contacted by the copyright holder, they may take action against you. Which means they can throttling your internet connection or threaten to submit personal data to copyright trolls. Why ISPs care? Torrenting spends a lot of bandwidth, and it will cost ISPs. In addition, there may be a special relationship between ISPs and copyright holders and their partners.
Steer clear of torrent will keep you safe. However freeware, shareware, or other non-copyrighted content are also widely circulated in the torrent. If you still want to use torrent, keep it out and select non-copyrighted content, secure your online privacy, and stay under the copyright trolls radar.
We do not justify and encourage torrent involving copyrighted material. You are responsible for potential risks and legal issues. If you are sure of what you are going to do, here are some precautions to minimize the risks.
VPN protects your online activities in two ways. First is to protect your IP address by disguising it through VPN server, so ISP difficulty tracking your data stream. The second is to encrypt all data you send and receive, so ISP difficulty peeking or detecting the content being enjoyed.
Tor browser has been widely used as one way to protect online privacy. Tor browser uses encryption for the traffic of data from the user to the internet, so tracing it becomes more difficult. Because Tor browser is free, then the services provided are limited.
Avoid latest music, movies, games, or software, because it becomes the target of copyright trolls monitoring. Many torrent users download the latest releases, and they can capture many targets with ease.
Many people switch from downloading the full file of a movie via torrent to streaming. Is streaming secure? When it comes to copyright infringement, the copyright troll will always be there.
People can stream via a live web browser, or through open-source software such as Kodi and Plex. Both allow you to play all types of multimedia content on various devices. If Netflix does so with permission of the copyright holder, Kodi and Plex stream the copyrighted content without permission.
Not like torrent, you can see the IPs of people who upload and download. Streams transmit multimedia content directly from the website to your device, and do not involve third parties. But that's not safe enough, the website will record the IPs address and other information about its users. If in under pressure or legal conditions, then they can submit it to the authorities.
In addition, ISPs can still peek at your online activity and know that you are accessing pirated content. You can prevent it by connecting it to the best VPN service.
Torrent is legal, but downloading and distributing unauthorized copyrighted material is illegal. Remember, ISPs and copyright trolls constantly monitor P2P networks like (uTorrent and BitTorrent), they have an interest, and can take action against copyright infringement.
For precautions, observe the instructions given above. Connoisseurs and internet users who value their privacy will protect their online privacy. Using a VPN with the best reputation is one way of protecting your online activities and privacy.
Ultimately, a torrent is like a knife, it is just a tool. You can use it to cut vegetables (legal) or do something illegal, it is your choice.
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