When it comes to deciding whether or not one should be downloading copyrighted stuff – there’s a lot of confusion surrounding it. Some people think it is perfectly legal if there’s permission from the owner while some consider that piracy of any form of copyrighted work is illegal.
But, the question is how many people actually understand what piracy is in the first place. Is it a criminal offence to download pirated files? There are different types of file sharing programs and everyday numerous files are downloaded using file sharing programs such as torrent clients.
Millions of people around the world use torrents to share different types if files and sometimes these files might contain pirated materials. So, that makes us wonder – is this legal?
When torrents was initially launched, one of its biggest advantage was the kind of anonymity that the technology came with. Almost anybody had the permission to download an entire file or pieces of it from multiple hosting computers. Hence, the uploading and downloading of files remained confidential.
However, it is not that confidential anymore with government agencies intruding into the whole network of computers to keep a check on those who violate copyright laws. So, if you download a file then your IP address automatically gets recorded. To keep further check on downloading of pirated files many IPSs have rules that deter individuals from downloading very large files.
There are of course a few ways that can help you bypass the actual path and avoid the recording of your IP. One such method is using of the virtual private network (VPN). Another similar method is to download content from the invite only torrent sites that are private in nature.
As only those individuals who are invited to these sites can access it, the chance of having the IP address recorded gets reduced considerably. However this does not answer the question – whether or not this is legal?
So, here’s the straight answer. If the work you are downloading belongs to someone else and you have not paid to use it, then it is not legal. The boundaries of what is legal and what is not when it comes to sharing files have not been determined strictly.
But, now the government agencies and copyright trolls have become stricter and more alert than before. So, you may have to face penalties if you send or receive a copyrighted file without acquiring the permission to do so.