One of the world’s most significant debates as of 2020 is the use of the internet and the ease of downloading content through torrents. Torrenting is a type of file sharing and file sharing is not illegal. However, you can easily find yourself on the wrong because most downloaded material using torrenting sites is copyrighted. In Australia, internet service providers (ISP) have found themselves in courts since they have become vulnerable to music and film publishers’ copyright claims. Media companies in Australia understand that they cannot stop people who are interested in torrenting media illegally. As such, they want laws that can force internet service providers to block specific sites that host torrenting parties. Read on to discover whether you can be fined for torrenting in Australia.
- What is Torrenting? Torrenting occurs when you download or upload files through the BitTorrent network. Torrenting is when you download content from other users’ devices on BitTorrent instead of downloading it to a central server. In simple terms, a user uploads files from their devices for others to download. You require torrent management software to connect to the BitTorrent network. You can download such software for free. Torrenting allows you to download or upload a file to multiple other users simultaneously. Most people associate torrenting with piracy since you can use it to share copyrighted files.
- Legality. Torrenting is not illegal in Australia. However, downloading unsanctioned copyrighted content is prohibited. Currently, it is not always immediately possible to know which content is legal or illegal to torrent. Some files fall in a gray area, so it is easy to find yourself on the wrong unwillingly. Internet service providers and copyright trolls monitor the BitTorrent network, and they can take action if they find you torrenting illegally. They can either send you a warning letter or slow down your internet connection. Torrent users who do not wish to associate themselves with privacy use Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to hide their internet activities from their ISP.
- Torrenting without a VPN. If you find it expensive to pay for a VPN, you can use Tor. Tor routes your traffic through multiple volunteer nodes. However, Tor is slow, and it is often used for simple browsing. Tor is also a popular tool for hackers and criminals. As such, you may attract attention from your ISP and law enforcers. You can also use Peerblock, which blacklists IP addresses that try to track your online activity.
- Safety. For your protection, avoid downloading movies, TV shows, and games that are not yet 60 days old after their release date. During this time, movies make the most of their post-box office money. As such, copyright holders place all their anti-piracy resources to go after torrenters of new releases. You should also choose your torrents wisely. Copyright trolls closely monitor torrents such as ThePirateBay and Kickass. Read through the comment sections to see what other users are saying about the torrent.
As long as you practice safe torrenting, you have nothing to worry about.