Is torrenting legally safe? Can authorities arrest you for using torrents? Unlike what most people are misled to believe, it’s not illegal to use torrents. Torrenting is just a file sharing method like any other. It’s not different from attaching a file to an email. Torrents are commonly used to share open source software or Linux distributions. Open source software is always provided free of charge and can be expensive if the developer has to pay to host the installation files. This is why it makes sense to make the software readily available through torrents and save the coder hosting expenses. It’s therefore perfectly legal to download open source software and other legally available files using a torrent client. In fact, there are many free streaming apps that use torrents.
However, the problem comes in when someone shares through torrents content that is copyrighted material such as movies, TV series, books, music, comics etc. Sharing of copyrighted content for free infringes copyright laws and is therefore illegal. So this means it’s the content people share through torrents that could be illegal not the torrenting itself.
Can You Be Prosecuted for Torrenting Illegal Material?
Yes you can, but the chances that you will have to go to court or pay a fine are slim. However, the penalties can be quite severe. There are several court cases in the late 2000s where pirates were sued but most of the cases were settled out of court. The cases acted as public scare tactics by the movie industry. Most people saw this as millionaires in the movie industries bullying poor college students. Today, the campaign against torrenting still goes on.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble.
Currently, the following information is visible:
- Your IP:
- Your Country:
- Your City:
- Your ISP:
If this is your real information, you need to use a VPN to protect your identity.
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Who Are Copyright Trolls?
The work of hunting down individual pirates is usually outsourced to small businesses called copyright trolls. They are the equivalent of bounty hunters in the intellectual property and copyright industry. Copyright trolls search for torrenters illegally downloading copyrighted materials via their IP address. They’ll then work a deal with the copyright holders who allow them to take legal action against the torrenter. There are other copyright trolls hired directly by major production companies in Hollywood to hunt down pirates.
Copyright trolls use fear and intimidation to force torrenters to accept out of court settlement. For example, they can threaten to sue you for up to $100,000 but only request for an out of court settlement of just $3,000. Most people would consider the $3,000 a better deal but remember that going to court is not only costly but risky for them too. So don’t rush to pay them when they confront you with such a letter.
How to Do Your Torrenting Safely?
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a copyright trolling company can easily monitor your torrenting activities. They can catch you and take legal action if you’re torrenting illegal content. Action can be in the form of a warning letter or throttling, which is the slowing down of your internet connection by the ISP. If you value your privacy you’ll need to use Virtual Private Network (VPNs) while torrenting. A VPN will hide your internet activity from your ISP. Some VPNs provide better torrenting privacy than others. If you want to prevent your ISP from monitoring your torrenting activities find a VPN that will not keep a record of your activities and is fast enough to handle your downloads without slowing down.
It’s critically important to use a high-quality VPN in your torrenting activities. Avoid using free VPN services with limited functionalities. They won’t cover your tracks sufficiently. More importantly, don’t use VPNs that keep a log of browsing activities, limit your bandwidth and data, or fail to give you enough DNS leak protection. Remember that not all VPNs accept torrenting. We highly recommend you use a VPN company like IPVanish. This is a VPN that accepts torrenting. It also provides fast connection speeds that you’ll need in order to download large files within the shortest time possible. Other key features of IPVanish that you’ll love include a no logging policy, guaranteed 100% privacy and no bandwidth limit. You can use their servers for P2P downloads that come with a strong 256-bit encryption to keep your connection safe from prying eyes. If you’re thinking of using VPN for torrenting we highly recommend you get IPVanish.