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Is it illegal to download torrents?

By flowerpower ยท 26 replies
Jul 2, 2008
  1. I'm new at d/l torrents and recently installed uTorrent. Today i d/l Nero 8 ultra edition w/ key and i'm wondering whether it is illegal. After i did this i went on to wikipedia to read about this stuff and i found out that some people were prosecuted for spreading copyrighted material and so on. I know i only d/l 1 file, which makes me too small to go after and since this torrent business is such a legal gray area is it ok to keep d/l things like nero, other programs, games etc or i will get in trouble evetually?
  2. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    Yes, it is very illegal, and yes, its possible you will get in trouble.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Yes, I would say that since you didn't pay for Nero 8 Ultra, it is an illegal copy. Will you get into trouble eventually? Seems unlikely but who can say?
  4. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    thnx for the replies people. If it can get me in trouble then i wouldn't do it anymore.
  5. nosebleedXD

    nosebleedXD TS Rookie Posts: 233

    ok, just to tell you, millions and millions of people torrent a day

    what are the chances you'll get caught?

    1 and a million

    if you are a mega downloader and leave your comp on 24/7 downloading 50 things at once, i wouldn't be surprised you'd be caught
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    That does not make it any less wrong.

    In some circumstances it seems justified IMO say if you happen to have lost your Windows XP install CD (but you still have the license key), then you could download the ISO from a torrent & use it with your original license key. I don't think that would fly in court though.
  7. GameJunkie72792

    GameJunkie72792 TS Maniac Posts: 274

    Done it before, for several versions of Windows, even Vista, but i've had the legit keys...

    but i have been known to try things like tiny xp and stuff like that, but sure if you download constantly then c'mon, im sure it'll be easier to get caught.

    but for us people who like to play with OSx86 torrents can be great, and so can IRC but i wont get into it...

    i'll just be waiting for the flaming xD
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Meh. Stuff should be cheap (or free) in the first place, so people don't ****** it.
  9. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    Only for stuff I really wan't to use would I torrent. (Sony Vegas 8). I NEVER TORRENT GAMES, that's a blight to the creator of the game. I BUY MY GAMES, unless I want a Sims 2 EP, which EA already has enough of. I mostly download Legal stuff, like new FANSUB episodes and movies I already own that are in horrible condition.

    @GameJunkie: OSx86 is nearly impossible for me to get running, it hates my FX5500. It only works on this old Dell Dimension E510 I got. It's a pain with video drivers and it hates AMD processors but it's fun, better than buying a mac mini. Although I might actually buy one later on, as I am very immersed in movie making.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    According to your heading:
    No ofcourse not, just about everyone uses Torrent, including all Linux distros

    Regarding illegal downloads (Torrent or not)
    Support by TechSpot can not be give in this area
    Except to remind you that not only is it illegal, but they are usually riddled with Trojans and rootkits.

    I was top tech member on a dark forum (name not supplied)
    Eventually I have concluded, that it's not worth it.

    Use this link instead: (most software eventually comes up free)
  11. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    Yeah, downloading torrents isn't illegal. What you are downloading might be though.
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Everything on those sites are what people had acquired and wanted to share with the world, that's how all of this started. Before it was K-Lite, Limeware, Bearshare, Mule something and Aries. Now they came up with the torrent idea to speed up the process by everyone who had bits of the file who had while downloading and not have ISP know what you were doing. But they now know and have throttle back the bandwidth, send out letters to tell you to stop or else. Take you to court and sue you to death if you had started to seed. Seed like you're uploading files back so the peers or lechers can take from you. The process is still going on as we speak. Millions all over the world are doing this.

    Right now the major problem is that all applications setup files if they're just one file sure enough it has some type of backdoor bot Trojan that hops onto your system when you run the setup (which is a script itself with instructions)

    Anyway the skies the limit to what you can get but be warn it's not safe, you can get sued by the MPPA and RIA are watching you using Media Defender company. Torrent sites a lot of them have gone, some have returned most of them are not safe too much crap going on when it comes to all the stuff you can get.

    Just be careful...
  13. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    So, they have to notify you before they actually sue, or what?

    From what I have heard, they usually (if not always) simply ask you to stop, then do something about it.

    Wouldn't they usually attempt something if you seed, but not if you just download, that is unless you download like a game a day?
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Again this depends on if you protect yourself. You must know there are ways to do this. I had told one of my good friends what to do and he didn't listen and got a letter from Cox (email) telling him that he download a movie and they have his IP and the movie name he downloaded and seeded. That was his first warning. Since then he now uses protection.

    Just don't seed past the file size, wait for ratio to hit 1.0 and then terminate!!!. Oh while on the subject here is where Paranoid ThreatFire would come into play. New backdoor bots hidden in the installer.exe. then hops onto your system.

    Downloading games no big deal, it's the music, movies those are what makes the real money is what is being watched more. Look at that guy who had put up all those movie screening prior the official movie release to theaters, he's gone behind bars.

    All is fun, but just be careful...
  15. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I very much appriciate that Tipstir. As much as I like this thread, it may get out of hand soon, so we need to be careful here, too.
  16. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Yes keep cool... And Out of trouble... Play safe an surf safe...
  17. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    Well, I just ran all of my antivirus/antispyware programs at once last night. (Avast, AVG, Spybot S&D, Ad-aware, and Avira.) I got nothing. Think I may run another scan tonight just for kicks.

    TY tipstir for the enlightening information on P2P madness. ;)
  18. ePost

    ePost TS Rookie Posts: 18

    It really isn't nessary to download illegal software. So much freeware is avaliable these days - you can easily get an other program that does the same.
  19. Neji49

    Neji49 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    I actually have a question realting to the legality of torrent downloading. I bought KOTOR years ago and I didn't notice it was damaged until after it was too late to return it. It worked but eventually stopped working right when I needed to reinstall it. Since i bought the game and have my own CD key is it illegal to download a torrent file to replace my first disk?
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes, unless the manufacture allows the game to be downloaded (unlikely!)
    It is generally illegal to add/edit/change your authentic software
    There are some allowances, ie backup copy; and sometimes trainers and nocd files for games (you would need to visit the softwares home site webpage to read what is specifically alllowed/dissallowed)
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,318

    Do Whatever You Want, Then Rationalize.........

    This sort of question flirts with, or rather parallels the classic definition of insanity. With all the prosecutions, with all the FBI warnings, with all the propaganda on DVDs, with all the licensing agreements telling people over and over that copying and unauthorized downloading is theft of intellectual property, you still manage to come up with the question, "is downloading illegal". Well, you would have had to be deaf, dumb, blind, and living in a dumpster for the past 20 years or so, not to know that answer before you posted the question.

    I suppose if you ask the question enough times, someone will tell you it's not. Most likely that's the answer you want to hear and it's also the answer you'll choose to believe.

    But, you'll have to ask the same question over and over to get the answer you want to hear. So, the classic definition of insanity is, repeating the same behavior over and over, expecting a different result. Sound familiar?
  22. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    So if I shoot myself in the foot enough times, I will howl with joy and laughter?
  23. insoman

    insoman TS Booster Posts: 102

    IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO DOWNLOAD TORRENT FILES...only the copyright content..it was designed to store and share your OWN files.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,318

    Perhaps, dare I say it, ecstasy.
    I thought this thread started with the suggestion that copyrighted content was involved. Nero 8 is copyrighted, is it not?

    Bit torrent was also conceived to skirt legal issues since no one person was transferring a copyrighted entity, only parts thereof.
  25. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    The magic of loopholes. <_<

    Another magnificent post by captaincranky. You need some sort of award, because this has book award all over it. ;)
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