Is Downloading Torrents Legal or Illegal, And How Safe Is It?

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When it comes to torrents, one of the most commonly asked questions is “Is downloading torrents legal or illegal?” Torrent clients, such as uTorrent Vuze and the official BitTorrent client, are used to download immense amounts of data on the Web, and there’s no question that much of it is illegal. Here we’ll talk about how torrent downloads work, when they’re illegal, and how to protect your privacy when you’re using them.

The short answer: as long as the item is copyrighted and you don’t own it, then downloading it (for free) via torrent is illegal. Using a torrent client and downloading torrents in itself isn’t illegal, as you could be downloading things that aren’t protected by copyright.

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The long answer: This varies from case to case. Most countries have basic common laws against intellectual property theft. If a piece of music is copyrighted and you don’t own it, you can’t download it legally. The same goes for a movie, a game, or anything else you may want (unless the copyright-holder decides to make it free either temporarily or permanently, as is often the case with video games). The line gets kind of fuzzy here, since people ask themselves many different questions about their own country’s laws.

In general, a copyright is registered to an individual or organization that creates something. This copyright has a time limit, usually equivalent to the lifetime of the creator and a set amount of additional years. Some copyrights are for life plus fifty years. Others are for life plus seventy years. Look up your country in the previous link if you’re unsure of your laws. Of course, your mileage may vary, as some things may not be protected by the law where you live, or copyright law may not be enforced at all.

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So if you’re downloading a free Linux distribution through your torrent client, you don’t need to worry. But if you’re getting John Lennon’s “Imagine” from The Pirate Bay, you’re doing something that in all likelihood is breaking a law.

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Whatever it is you’re doing is not any of my business. But it is my business to make sure you know just how “anonymous” you are in the torrent network. The short answer is: you totally aren’t!

It’s handy to have a basic knowledge of how the torrent protocol works. Theoretically you should have some level of privacy since you’re not downloading any data from one particular server (in contrast to downloading something from a central server like you’d find on Microsoft’s website, where they’ll know exactly who it is that’s downloading their products).

But through the torrent system you download directions to a file. That means that the torrent file is actually just a list of trackers and some hash codes. It doesn’t really prove that you downloaded the torrent file. What you do inside your torrent client is more important, and that’s all managed by a decentralized list of servers. Once you start the download of the actual file you want to get to, you end up downloading little pieces of the file from a bunch of people.

Government agents and copyright trolls tend to snoop around the Torrent networks, and some of the more popular sites hosting Torrent files, downloading files and listing all the IP addresses they find under the Peers (downloaders) and Seeders (uploaders) lists. This will, of course, compromise your address eventually.

The actual number of people who get caught is miniscule, but if you want to secure yourself and don’t care much to contribute to the Torrent community, then you can disable seeding which stops your PC uploading files to the torrent network. Avid torrenters would call this selfish, and maybe they’re right, but you’re also covering yourself.

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Another good option is to use a proxy or VPN, then set your torrent client to connect to peers through that. This essentially makes you anonymous by routing your connection through a different IP address.

Then there’s the onion routing network (Tor) that you can configure as a proxy for your torrent client. However, since the Snowden revelations it’s become known that even Tor has been targeted by the NSA and GCHQ for illegal activity. While the network is mostly secure, there have been incidents of these spy bodies attacking individual computers, so it’s not as anonymous as it once was.

Rest assured that torrenting does not equate to piracy. It does, however, provide a very convenient way to do it! The torrent protocol is just a clever transmission method for users to download files more easily. If you’re worried that you may be downloading something that’s against the laws in your country, ask below.

This article was first published in Jun 2013 and was updated in Nov 2017.

Image credit: Pirate Bay main page

125 comments

    • i got caught downloading movies games books everything i got a big fine 5 years in feudal prison it sucks i ant doing it no more 25,000,000 fine it not a joke they can take your house your car everything they did it to me my friends told me about it and i was home and got a letter from the cable and looked it up it not a joke please don’t download unless you pay for it. it not worth going to jail for or getting everything you worked for and have it all taken away

      • I feel you, bro. I’m 13, caught by my cable company, luckily It was only a 3000 dollar fine, which my parents payed out of my bank account, and weren’t even angry. At least it wasn’t juvenile detention.

    • i got caught downloading movies games books music i got a big fine 5 years in feudal prison it sucks i ant doing it no more 25,000,000 fine it not a joke they can take your house your car everything they did it to me my friends told me about it and i was home and got a letter from the cable and looked it up it not a joke please don’t download unless you pay for it. it not worth going to jail for or getting everything you worked for and have it all taken away

  1. Recently I just download a movie from a torrent site and my relative (who signed the contract with the internet provider) got a warning via email… It was a scary experience to me since I have never known that downloading a movie via torrent is illegal. Honestly speaking, that was not the first time I download a file via torrent but I was wondering why only this time I got a warning ???

    • The ISPs are stepping up their effort to combat piracy. You might not have received any warning in the past, but that doesn’t mean they are not watching. They are simply gathering evidence and catch you red-handed. A word of caution: be very careful what you download. If you are downloading blockbuster movies via torrent, most likely they are illegal.

      • Actually false only illegal to use torrents if u make a profit off of it. Not to download anything shared. Only person who can be charged is uploader if had not paid to access or view product however if had paid and uploaded but say someome bought a dvd or blurae and uploaded copy without making any profit then technically that is their legal right as they purchased that copy. One could argue payong streaming or cable shows are on gives same rights. Really comes down to if peoppe are smart enough about the specifics of laws. They once tried with me and i proved it was shared copy someone had bought and paid for thus couldnt charge me. Obviously greedy companys do try to go after people illegally and if people arent educated theu cant fight back.

    • I got the same warning. It was for a brand new movie that was still in theaters. I believe since it was a copy of a screening for audiences before theater release the production company kept track of who was downloading it and sharing it. Scared the crap out of me and I talked to a guy from the firm that handled legislation for the production company. Needless to I deleted all the movies I downlaoded that day and the Torrent site. Kind of scared to use UTorrent again…

      • Many of you keep telling that you got a warning . can you be more specific what the warning was . If torrentz is illegal why use it. If you feel its legal then simply use it. First gather some information about it and study it . then come to a conclusion about it.

  2. I have a question. I recently downloaded a bunch of software via torrents thinking that it was fine and that it was really stealing. After discussing it with some friends I realized I was wrong. Do you think that if I delete all the software it will be ok. Please respond.

    • You have already broken the law, but to be honest…considering the mass amount of pirates out there no one will even care. Deleting them would most certainly help your case, but as I said, there is no case to begin with. Law enforcement has enough problems as it is with millions of people illegally downloading content on a regular basis. You will be fine.

  3. I have Downloaded over 1000+ torrents;
    Movies | TV Shows | Music | Games | Applications | Anime | Books

    All of them From: http://kickass.to/

    What do you have to say about this?
    Thanks in advance.

    • i do it too so if we both do it it’s probably OK…genius think alike and do things alike

    • how it will be an offece.. if it is a offence ..can the government to stop this sites moving illeglly… they run today freely…. this means it is not a illegal…………..
      am i right

      • To shut down a website, the government has to go through a lot of bureaucracy. I prefer it that way. The less the government can interfere, the better it is for all of us, even non-pirates. Piracy can be solved through private solutions.

        • Torrent sites are next to impossible to shut down. Governments have raided and seized all the computers and stuff at a location where the website was at. The torrent website was thus shutdown, and it was open once again in less than 48hrs.

          These sites do a lot of backups of their systems and can get a new location for their servers quickly, but they still have to buy new computers and get everything setup on them, before the website can be up and running again.

          Some sites have been shut down several times, but it keeps coming back.

          Whereas others, such as Mininova.org have gone legit.
          The site is hosted in the Netherlands, and decided to comply with their law that was passed (They were shutdown and moved several times before this).

    • carfull doing so, ive been downloading to and need to stop its too risky and i wouldnt want to get caugth. i know its nice to watch free movies but it can and well catch up to you, my advice quit while still can. if you do still do it well go off of wireless they cant catch you then. hahah

  4. halo…. i too downlaoded some files like movies.. from kikkas ….. my friend warned me ….. is it illegal … if it illegal …how can upload for them in sites …

    • It is illegal in most jurisdictions. Untaxed cigarettes are illegal, yet people can still find them.

      The fact that a website isn’t shut down is because of the red tape that the state has to go through in order to accomplish such a thing.

  5. I recently tried to download a game not by torrent and it gave me 164 threats on my computer. Should I switch to torrent? I scan regularly about once a week with MalwareBytes Anti-malware.

    All this stuff seems very important and it seems very confusing for me. I’m 12.(ha, you cant you tell?)

    • If you don’t have an anti-virus that blocks the sites that are known to have viruses, then you should get one. I’d recommend Webroot or a well-known anti-virus. Now, I hope you are aware that downloading games is also illegal. But if you insist. I’ve read that torrenting has less viruses, if you download the files with the most downloads. For example, if there are two identical files, but one has a million downloads and the other has a thousand, then maybe you should go with the one with the millions. Hope this helped. :)

      • :I You really think downloading games is illegal. Well it is illegal if someone copied it and made it free, but some games from the original publisher are free. Actually 50% of computer games are free. So next time put your wording better or else your saying that if you spent 20$ on Minecraft and download it it’s illegal

        • I highly doubt that 50% of computer games are free. Yes, there is a surge in FTP (free-to-play) games, however they have to keep their servers running, too. For this reason, they restrict you significantly until you purchase in-game privileges. There’s nothing wrong with that business model. In fact, it’s one of the ways that a company makes itself immune to piracy while making a hefty enough profit to be motivated to continue innovating. I like it.

          • Well, the games themselves aren’t paid content. Of course, anything that is paid content *will*, as a rule of thumb, be hacked in one way or another. At least someone will try. But there’s not as much of this going on as there is paid-game pirating. It’s just much easier to override DRM checks than it is to counterfit Hay Day diamonds.

  6. I got one warning via a letter from my cable provider, I then switched to Verizon FiOS as my provider. I then got a nother warning: however it was a phone call. Three years later I got a guy in a suit and tie knocking on my door with a list of all the downloads I had done in an amount for me to pay as a lovely fine! so I would recommend not downloading too many because they are looking for those people downloading and selling them and in my case they thought I was selling them, I was not and they did not have proved so they close the case… but it scared the shit out of me!

    • Ha ha ha…..!
      I think Torrent is not illegal, but downloading copyrighted material from torrent is illegal.
      So buddy, download things that are legal and leave stuffs illegal.
      Countries like India and China have billion + population. No body can monitor them. So downloading copyrighted stuffs through torrents can work in such countries.

      • this is what i fill and only what i fill
        torrenting is not illegle because you arnt selling what you torrented whitch makes it not pireted i know that i am misspelling all of my words but thank you for reading

    • Yes this exactly what can happen. Some people here say ‘hey i’ve been doing this for years and no problem’, but they can get your IP address and from the IP they canfigure out where you live, and they CAN come after you, some day. Just like people use to buy untaxed cigarettes on the internet, but some states cracked down and forced those buyers to pay taxes, after years. So it is a real risk.

  7. I have been getting warning emails from my ISP (Comcast) for about 10 years because of my torrent downloads. I have yet to see them take any action against me.

    Friends uncle is an FBI agent that investigates internet crimes. He said that they are not going after the average citizen who downloads from torrents, but more going after those supplying the illegal content to the torrent sites and those bootlegging and trying to sell the stuff on the street, etc.

    I said to him, in light of this new information. I wish to confess to downloading illegal content via torrents, and clapped my writs together in prep. for handcuffs. He laughed and told me that even if he did, it would get thrown out before it made it to court. It would cost the court system over a million dollars to prosecute me and such, even if I said I was guilty and made a written statement to the fact. It costs too much for NOTHING.

    • Interesting anecdote, thanks for sharing. I too have been downloading for years and have received a few warnings from my ISP from time to time without any other more substantial consequence. I believe the average person who occasionally downloads a movie/show/music for personal use is much more at risk of being booted from their service provider than they are of running into any legal trouble.

  8. Just so that everyone is clear. Downloading copyrighted material is in fact NOT illegal. It is not you responsibility as a downloader to determine if a distributor has a legal right to distribute a copyrighted work. If it was, then you would have to request a copy of Itunes’s contract with every artist, movie company, video game maker, etc before shopping at the site. What IS illegal when bit-torrenting, is the distribution a copyrighted product without license to do so. By default when downloading in a swarm you are uploading, hence distributing the copyrighted product. Aviod identification by this by using an open VPN. A quick google search and 60 minutes of reading up and learning how to use tools such as this will keep you anonymous and keep the torrent market booming.

    • I actually run through a paid VPN and a open VPN also remote connect to a server that was paid for with bitcoin that has rutorrent on it. I travel alot, and use a live cd distro of linux on a 256mb encrypted thumbdrive to access all of it. The lesson here is, one can be to paranoid, or one can avoid being detected and avoid the threat letters and possible jail time waiting to see a judge.. this can be up to 3 years alone.

        • Why waste your time or money on either of those when you could just pay $10 a month for a Seedbox and never have to worry period? Who the hell uses onion routing for Torrents? That’s SO much unnecessary work.

  9. i had just gotten a warning email for a torrent that i downloaded a week or two ago. I didnt know it was illegal and im panicking. ive been downloading torrents for about a year. my computer was formatted a while ago (not in relation to the torrents) and most of what ive downloaded i dont even have anymore.

    can they still get me for that? i dont even have it anymore. I have maybe a movie or 2 and three cds downloaded on my computer now.

    any help?

    • First of all, don’t panic. Second of all, they can’t legally persecute you without evidence that you currently have the copyrighted materials. They need more than a warning and a record of you downloading something to persecute you, if it ever even gets to that. Of course, this depends on the country/state you’re in. Anyway, not knowing that something is illegal just scores you a warning and that’s it.

  10. would downloading mac osx 10.8.5 via torrent be legal. At one point I had that software on my mac but now I have the newer version 10.9.1 via a free update distributed by apple.

    • Of course it is… but other than the worry of backdoors and keyloggers/trojans virus’s there is not other worry attached.

  11. hi i download movies at proxykat.me i think no one will persecute me for doing this here in the. philippines but in a year i will be travelling to Japan and will live there for good. you think a law there will persecute me if i continued my downloading habits there? thank you

  12. Hi. I am an expat who lives in China. Over the past few years I have torrented about one terabyte of movies, music, and TV shows which I then copied onto a removable hard drive upon download completion. I plan to return to the U.S. for University in a little over six months with this hard drive, but not with the computer that I did all the torrenting on. My question is, is there a way for the government to track my torrents to my removable hard drive? and Is this something I need to be worried about?

    • I didn’t notice this comment until now. No, they can’t track anything to your hard drive since it doesn’t have a global network identity (that thing that distinguishes your computer from others on the Internet, which is managed by your OS and network card). Of course, don’t take any burned DVDs and CDs with you. They may confiscate them (no charges, depending on the country) and just send you on your merry way.

  13. My landlord just contacted me to let me know the internet provider (the landlord provides it) had contacted them to tell that someone on the account was downloading “from an illegal website.” I freaked a little bit thinking it was something really crazy, but turns out it was a popular television series. And yes, I did. But this whole “illegal website” business sounded like scare tactics. Of course, now I’m afraid to download anything else, and I’ve deleted whatever I might’ve had on my computer. I’m annoyed. I feel spied on. I guess that’s the downside to being on the wrong side of the law. Yarrr.

    • I received a “warning” email from my ISP showing just a few of the movies/shows I’ve downloaded. Their obligation was to tell me that they received complaints from someone representing the copyright holder. I was like “f*ck these b*tches”. I don’t agree with DMCA. When a show is aired for free on TV (regular over-the-air channels like NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.) and is downloaded the next night, who cares. If you pay to see a movie in theaters, or purchase the DVD or download a torrent of the DVD, who cares? We can all thank f*cking Metallica for this BS ever since their suit against Napster ages ago.

  14. Crazy! I thought it was only illegal to do the coping and sharing of files. Guess I better stop downloading. Thanks for the info.

  15. All of you – just go check out Seedboxes – been using them for ages. Super fast, easy, simple. You can access from anywhere in the world, even mobile phones. You can stream the stuff after you download it (if you have to). And best of all I get download speeds of 80 MB/s average most times. And about 3 MB/s from the seedbox to my computer (my internet speed is mediocre, IMO).

  16. I learned from my son and it is simple. You are not so clever as you may think. At this point it is a matter of ethics and moral responsibility. If you are downloading something that the public has to purchase (buy) you are stealing. No more torrents, no more media theft. Stop it. It is not worth it.

  17. I recently downloaded Daz Studio Michelle 6 and Victoria 6 Bundle from kickasstorrent.
    Though original software is for free but some of its contents are paid version and the torrent file which I downloaded was not on most of the torrents site so will it be easier for me to be get arrested.

    And If torrenting is illegal so why are the downloaders arrested, I think the one who uploads it should be arrested.

    • PeerBlock isn’t going to help you much. They don’t always update IP ranges properly. It’s unbelievably easy to circumvent such IP blocks. I used to fall into one of PB’s IP ranges, which made things a bit difficult. I circumvented it by using onion routing. All it took was downloading a program and clicking “Connect” and I was in. PB isn’t a solution. It’s just duct tape on an aircraft wing.

  18. Shouldn’t the government just prosecute you if you are distributing it? Leave the innocent people alone and go after the real bad guys.

  19. I just downloaded an software from a torrent which I found on the pirate bay… When it was about 5 % complete my computer restarted and when I tried to log on i couldn’t get into my account and discovered a threat from Interpol. It stated I have downloaded illegally and I have to pay a $25000 fine within 48 hours.. I’m pretty scared by this threat and I don’t even download that much.. Should this worry me??

    • Was it an email? Did it contain your IP address and a time stamp, and the file you were downloading? Or was it just saying how much you have to pay and how many hours you have? These are questions you should ask in the process of scrutinizing an email. Interpol usually deals with maritime piracy, not digital piracy.

      If you receive something in the post, I’d say there’s a chance it’s a government body. Through email it’s doubtful and probably a scare tactic by some individual.

      • No it wasn’t an email. It was a document that appeared after my computer suddenly, “without warning,” restarted and I couldn’t gain access to my account anymore. And yes it had a time frame which was counting down from 48 hours. They had my IP address and they even knew my location and the user name of my computer. And plus they stated if you want to gain access to your computer you have to pay $250,000 within 48 hours, which was on a countdown that I could clearly see.. So I immediately disconnected my internet on all accounts and went into safe mode, using system restore to get my computer working again… So getting to a conclusion this is possibly, maybe, just someone trying to scare me?

  20. Well when I first started using torrents, I truly felt that that biggest part I needed to worry about was redistribution; We’re all familiar with the F.B.I. warning. As silly as that might sound, I thought I’d be okay since I NEVER plan to redistribute anything I download…Certainly never for financial gain. I do know better now and have decided to stop fooling myself, because messing with the Federal Government is something I have BEYOND ZERO interest in. My real question is what should I do now? I’m at the point where I’ve download a few hundred items now…do I just STOP and hope it all works out? Or should I also get rid of any and all items, maybe even the hard drive I was using? I’ve only used uTorrent, but HOW is it possible that website go undetected? Seems to me like the F.B.I. might just set them up and let people come to them. Either way, just thought I’d ask to what level you’d recommend “purging”; I’m then going to figure out the best way to grovel to my country.

  21. Torrents aren’t bad… perhaps the porn though is the only exception I find. While downloading copyrighted material via a torrent from http://kickass.to is illegal, think for a moment: Gee, alot of people just want that game or just REALLY want that song… Look at minecraft for instance! getting a minecraft torrent isn’t much different than getting a cracked launcher to download it from their own host server amazon!!! I MEAN WTF!!! Here is my reasoning: I’m just too poor to buy it right now and I am not even 15 (yet, but will be soon). I will just get this game for free and then when I work for Mojang AB (Gosh, how Ironic; I download a cracked MC and work for them :P) and then I buy the game! Makes up for being illegal no? HMM? ITS ONLY LOGICAL!!! WHAT WOULD SPOCK SAY!? “That is the logical choice…” I think the Vulcan would agree…. :3

  22. lmao trust me .. i downloaded literally thousands of videos nothing will ever happen… i downloaded some much to the point i didnt have no space on my computer that how much i downloaded stuff… nothing well ever happen to you…

  23. Hi,

    In some countries its very difficult to buy Original DVDs of movies, games and music etc. All you find in the shops everywhere are the pirated DVDs and Not the Originals .. These DVDs would cost you not more than 1USD. So, living in a country where the original content is not available in the shops, what do you recommend people should do?

    Pay 1USD for the pirated content available in the markets.
    or
    Download content freely from the internet using torrents.

    P.S. I have not heard of any law that stops pirated content to be sold in the shops (in the country im talking about) .. Or may be there is a law but im not aware of it.

    • Your country most likely has a law against piracy, but doesn’t enforce it.

      Also, even if it’s not illegal to pirate copyrighted content in your country, you can still be legally sued in the nation where the content was produced. To be totally honest, given your situation, you may not be risking a lot, but I’m just telling you all of the possible circumstances you can encounter.

      And… A site hosted in your country still must adhere to DMCA takedown requests from Google’s SERPs or from the host server if the host server is in a country that must comply with DMCA or a similar law. Just food for thought.

        • At first? I’d say you get a notification that such files are suspected on your machine. If they can’t access your machine, they don’t have evidence that you still hold the files. However, they can get clear evidence that you downloaded them, and that could be enough for a lawsuit.

          Usually, cases of piracy are tried in civil court, although I have heard of countries in which it was moved or initiated through the penal system. Very few people get caught, but I recommend not risking it if you are afraid.

  24. Long story short as long as I don’t torrent a lot of stuff frequently and don’t seed I should be fine?

    • That’s up to your discretion. I can’t tell you whether you’ll be fine or not. Chances are you might. But without getting into too much detail, it’s best to simply exercise discretion when downloading anything from the web.

  25. Hellow sir/mam/friendz, i’ve got a question that there is this website i know with which im a registered member of and download whole lota apps for music production and samples from companies. A am i really a big “D-bag”? I mean my inside tells me that i’m a theif but on the other side im not selling or making any money of it just hobbiest, so is this bad…i mean i feel that its messedup inside but i do like to do my music. But when i tell my self that “ok when i’ll make money with it, i’ll buy it legitmatly” . but the guilt still doesn’t go away. Also i feel that i am addicted to downloading torrents. please respond . i hope i have’t …..i meant what the helll…i dn’t know what im saying.. any way i think what im dong is effdup! :(

    • It’s up to you how you feel about the whole ordeal. I can’t pass judgment on what you do.

  26. Hi,

    my quistion is
    to download movies in holland is being illegal from 11-04-2014

    how big is the chance to get caught for being downloading movies and have it effect on wifi
    if wifi not being protected so everyone can connect the network and download it.
    and whats your advice to download safe I use Utorrent :D

    thanks for your time !

    • 1) I can’t tell you what chance you have of being caught. The longer you do this, though, the higher your chances are.
      2) If you have unprotected Wi-Fi, people can do anything they want on it, even see what passwords you log in with. Turn on WPA/WPA2.
      3) uTorrent is a great client. Most people use this.

      • How can we get caught it? If i download it from example Ipad and they come to the door and just hide the Ipad and turn off can they find it then :D?

  27. How can we get caught it? If i download it from example Ipad and they come to the door and just hide the Ipad and turn off can they find it then :D?

  28. Im moving from Croatia to Germany next week so wondering how to dl torrent and be safe. Im downloading torrent to some Franch server (justseed.it) and then file (not torrent) to my mac to watch it. Is that safe enough? What do you suggest?

  29. Hi guys,
    Im moving from Croatia to Germany next week so wondering how to dl torrent and be safe. Im downloading torrent to some Franch server (justseed.it) and then file (not torrent) to my mac to watch it. Is that safe enough? What do you suggest?

    • What do you mean “safe?” Are you defining it as the possibility of getting caught? I cannot speculate on this, since this is a highly sensitive matter that could have legal implications. Sorry.

      • I am asking if this is legal what I am doing since the torrent is being downloaded to franch server and I just dl completed file with out any sharing to my mac?

        • Since the server belongs to you, it’s still you who’s performing the action. You’d still be penalized if caught, and French law punishes this very harshly. The same can be said for German law.

  30. Since the server belongs to you, it’s still you who’s performing the action. You’d still be penalized if caught, and French law punishes this very harshly. The same can be said for German law.

  31. Hello, I live in Bangladesh. I know torrent is legal here since everybody download via torrent and nothing happens. I downloaded over 2 TB of movies and tv shows and copied everything in a hard drive. I will go to california for university within a couple of months and take the hard drive full of movies with me. Will I get caught if I watched theses torrent downloaded videos from the hard drive over there in my pc. Another thing is are streaming websites for tv shows available in usa such as watchseries.it ?

    • 1) Bangladesh has anti-piracy laws, and they are enforced by the Bangladesh Copyright & IP Forum.

      2) Nobody can search your hard drive without a warrant. If it has pirated films, only you would know that.

      3) Anything you were able to reach in Bangladesh, you can reach in the USA. To be safe, I tried the site you mentioned from a remote computer in the United States, and it worked fine. It’s a parked domain, though, so I’m not sure if you gave me the proper URL.

      • Will the customs not check the hard drive or DVD one is carrying ? How safe is it to carry a hard disk into US?

  32. Junaid makes a good point. what should I do then? Do I take my external hard drive and laptop with me in my carry on bag or do I put my external hard drive in my suit case? I’ll probably reach US at the LAX airport. By the way, I’m a US citizen. Do US customs check the contents of my external hard drive and laptop?

  33. The internet, the final frontier, these are the downloads from those bold enough to share what no man has shared before.

    What is any law enforcement group going to do really….spend rediculous money and time going to court claiming that someone illegally downloaded half a mb of a product from someone. They cant say you did it, only that it was done using your internet connection. You could claim a virus did it on your computer. Basically i couldnt imagine any court deciding that based on your ownership of an internet service policy that you are responsible for things downloaded (without knowing that you were the one to download it).

    That would be like saying that you are responsible for a car crash when your car was stolen just because you owned it, this shit wont ever make it through the system based on expense and the fact that they cant pick and choose who they want the prosecute (they cant ignore part of the list and send different parts of it to gaol, that would be discrimination)

    If you are concerned with the ethics behind it then consider that you basically still pay the full amount to see the movie at the cinemas. Paying the full price to watch the movie once and then paying the full price to get the movie to watch again is a scam anyway.

  34. I’ve been using torrent for downloading for about 2 years in a country, where any movie, TV series or music is nearly impossible to get legally (What you get in stores, are illegally recorded on CDs).
    It’s been a month, I came to USA & I used torrent to download 3-4 TV series & a movie.. When I informed my husband, he warned me to do that anymore, as it may fine him million of dollars (that’s what he said). So, I googled & found this post…
    I understand, I’ve done something illegal, (& probably wont do that again!), but do I have to delete my files, or even uninstall torrent software (I’ve deleted the download record to stop from seeding, though)?!
    & If I want to watch movies or series, what can be the best or cheapest option? Does NETFLIX show everything or just some limited shows?
    & well, I am 80% satisfied with Youtube for music! :)

    • I think you’ll find that Netflix has a very wide selection of film entertainment.

      As for the torrent software, you do not have to delete it. There are cases when downloading certain things through Torrent is either legal or permissibly decriminalized. I can tell you more details if you want to know.

      The files that were downloaded must be deleted in order for you to clear yourself of any probable cause for infringement. It’s not like SWAT is going to knock down your door. Most likely, nothing will happen. But if you want to completely clear yourself of any wrongdoing, eliminate anything that may show signs you still possess the copyrighted material.

      • Thank you very much for your reply! :)
        & well, yes I would love to know which type of files can be downloaded from torrent?! As far as I can see, everything is copyrighted.. Even the softwares & the books too!

        • Works of art that are either in the public domain (music, movies, etc.) or have a Creative Commons license can be downloaded and distributed for free under copyright law. There are different public domain requirements depending on the country you’re living in. I think that for the US, the author has to have been dead for at least 70 years. Some of Disney’s work is reaching public domain.

          As for software, anything with a GNU license can be distributed freely.

          This very much limits what you can do with torrents legally, but it’s not nothing :D

  35. Hello, i live in Syria, in the middle east, here we have no copyrights law, i can’t remember how many things i’ve downloaded via torrent ! here people can’t afford to buy original software when your salary is 25000 sp ( syrian pound = sp ) and right now every 165 SP = 1 USD so buying for example a software for about 40 USD it will be 6760 SP imagine that and your salary is 25000 !! so thanks for utorrent and thanks for every torrent website on the internet :D

  36. you know i’m Syiran and live there and i didn’t know about it at all -_- maybe because they never enforced it and never told us about it :s

    • To be completely honest, Syria doesn’t necessarily enforce this law so much. The government there has many more things to worry about than someone downloading music, software, or films illegally.

  37. A friend of mine who lives in Berlin just downloaded the new “Godzilla” on 6th June. 3 days ago, he got a warning letter from a legal firm in Munich called Waldorf Frommer . I have been doing research online regarding this case and came across this website : http://www.wbs-law.de/eng/copyright-infringement-warning-letter/
    According to the warning letter , if he wants to settle the case out-of-court, he has to pay a compensation of Euro815.00 and sign a “cease and desist” contract.

    So, if you are in Germany, watch out!

  38. SYRIA is the best :D . I have watched 20 2014 movies in the last few days . I think they will hang out me +_+ if I go to the USA :D

  39. Hi there;

    I learn some tricks (from experts) for the ppz that have problems with downloading from torrents.
    If you can, get a 2nd laptop.
    go to coffeeshops, bars, cafes that have good wifi connection.
    download from there and change your location every day. (eg; monday bar 1, wed coffeeshop 2, etc etc).
    so you can get away withit for long time, once you get the file or music or video you need, pass it on hhd or other laptop.
    after 4 a 6 month, change the laptop, get a 2nd new one;)

    Go.od luck & Remember ” I didn’t told you nothing” ;P

  40. So basically if I use utorrent to download movies it’s illegal…but the chances of getting caught are pretty low since it’s not something of grave matter right? I’ve seen people say utorrent is relatively safe to use so I won’t have to worry too much about viruses right?

  41. Torrents are illegal and they are all digital copies, so digital copies are also illegal so when you buy a dvd and they give you a digital copy it is also illegal. I’m not sure what the difference is because all I do is download, watch and delete. If you make copies and sell them that I can see would be very illegal. What I do is exactly like streaming view it and forget it.

  42. thank you for the information guys. i was looking up the consequences for downloading a torrent now that i found out i was illegal the hard way o.o kinda freaking out rn DX

  43. I downloads torrents such as :- Tv Series(Game of thrones) , Games(CoD) , Movies etc from pirate bay
    I just search the thing I want , looks for a better quality and seeds and download it via Utorrent.
    Is it Illegal? , and is there any possiblity that my privicy is getting leaked? or any virus issue?

  44. i am downloading call of duty modern warfare on torrent is that illegal? And is pirate bay illegal in bangladesh?

  45. Hello everyone. To keep it real, yes torrenting is illegal. Using utorrent, bit-torrent, and all the other programs will definitely get you in trouble. My service provider turned off my internet and sent a letter in the mail a few days after my internet was shut off. I was mad when I thought my router was broken. I talked to my service provider and they told me that there was illegal downloading being performed that was being monitored. They even knew that I downloaded a movie 4 months prior to the shut off of my internet. What they are doing (At&t, Comcast, Verizon, Frontier Communications) is allowing you to do some illegal downloading to build up a case against you to fine you and throw you in jail. You can try to use and pay for a VPN (Virtual Private Network) but they also keep packets of your data for site tracking and payment information purposes so basically your never anonymous and your privacy isn’t actually private from your service provider nor the rest of the world. Save your money and pay for what you want no matter how bad you want a program, music, or to watch a video and delete it after you watched it. I don’t mean to scare you if you have already done some downloading but clear illegal stuff off your hard drive.

    Even programs like CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and Avast Antivirus send information that you have on your computer to there servers to help protect you from threats and if you have illegal programs, music, or videos, it going to be scanned for threats and sent to there server and THERE’S A RED FLAG and there monitoring team will contact your service provider for illegal downloading of content. If you dont believe me, read what the privacy of what information they gather and what these Antivirus programs do with your personal information after it scans your computer for viruses and malware. I hope I have been helpful and like I said, I been there and done that when it came to downloading video’s and games. Please don’t do it. Its too easy now and days to get thrown in jail. Especially from downloading a few of your favorite programs. Save that money and buy it.

  46. I think if your country does not forbid you to download torrent and you use it for private use, then it may be legal? I often download movies with torrent URL with HD Video Converter Factory. It is so easy to use. Just paste the URL to it and it will download the movie with high speed.

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