Is Downloading Torrents Legal?
This is question asked by many people after the Kat.cr admin Vaulin’s arrest in Poland?
First I wanted you to know why he was arrested
There’s something called DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) which stops spreading of copyrighted content on the web. Every website which has copyrighted content receives a DMCA Complaint for a legal attorney to take down the post or file. The same happened with KAT torrents . Admin received many DMCA requests as KAT torrents is famous for pirated movies and illegal torrents like TV shows, music, books (almost everything).
Pirated copies of Movies like Central Intelligence, Deadpool, Captain America was released on KAT torrents on the first day itself and When any film studio filed a notice and takedown for DMCA violation, KAT team responded like this:
You can read the full affidavit here
DMCA is applicable only in America and every country has their own rules like in European countries follow Europe rules.
Now coming to the question IS DOWNLOADING TORRENTS LEGAL?
Yes and No. Yes you can download torrents as most of the Linux Distros like Ubuntu are available to download via torrents.
Torrenting is legal but downloading copyrighted content via torrent is illegal. Copyrighted items include Movies, TV shows, Games, Music.
There are different laws for different countries but all say the same not to download copyrighted content.
USA: 17 U.S.C. § 512 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).
India: Downloading copyright materials from any source can cause problem. If the copyright act 1957 is enforced properly. Accessing such content will make you liable to punishment under Copyright Act-1957 under section 63,63-A,65 and 65-A and this message was shown to everyone trying to access torrent sites
“This URL has been blocked under instructions of a competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content including under this URL is an offence in law. Ss. 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957, read with Section 51, prescribe penalties of a prison term of upto 3 years and a fine of upto Rs.3 lakhs. Any person aggrieved by the blocking of this URL may contact the Nodal Officer at email@example.com for details of the blocking order including the case number, court or authority to be approached for grievance redressals. Emails will be answered within two working days. Only enquiries regarding the blocking will be entertained.”
Can you be charged for downloading torrents?
Most of the cases no but Do you remember when the music industry filed charges against people for illegal mp3 downloading?
Did the File sharing stop?
No. It’s not the torrents that make this possible, it’s the internet itself. Internet is all about file sharing. BitTorrent is one of many file sharing technologies and it is especially useful when many people want to share the same file at the same time. It saves a lot of bandwidth compared to using just ftp or http.
If BitTorrent for some reason couldn’t be used, other file sharing technologies would be used instead. If the most popular BitTorrent Tracker was to be closed, another BitTorrent Tracker would take its place.
It’s the internet that makes it possible. Banning BitTorrent would make no difference. The only way to stop internet file sharing is to stop the internet.
The following content is for education purposes only
- Use a VPN service.
2. Use a proxy service like Zenmate or Hotspot shield Extension
3. Learn how to use TOR network and how to configure your browser with torrent client.