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Is torrenting legal? Why can anyone torrent in 2021 be afraid? As a lawyer, honestly about file sharing.

If you last looked at the legal status of torturing around the summer of 2021, now is the time to do it again. Most people flirt when they see an article about the dangers of torturing, as Germany is far away where they can even “go home” if you download a movie with your home net. Recently, however, there has been a major legal change in Europe affecting torrent users, so it’s definitely worth reading our article.

Is torrenting legal?

As we start with in many cases, we would first summarize the point so that those who only have a few seconds to get the news get it:

Private, non-profit downloads are legal, but torrents also involve uploading, which transmits data, files, or parts of files to the general public. If the file contains copyrighted content, torrenting may be infringing.

So far, however, the release of data from torrents has often encountered difficulties, but the 2021 ruling by the European Court of Justice could make a difference.

After summarizing, we first clarify the basic concepts. For those who are familiar with the concept and operating principles of a torrent, we recommend that you skip the first two points.

1. What is a torrent?

The name torrent actually refers to a file with a .torrent extension that is not the same as the content you want to download and does not contain the movie, game, music, or other material that the torrenter wants to see on your computer, but makes it available through certain programs.

2. How to torrent?

When someone torrents, they are actually exchanging files so they will be both uploaders and downloaders in one person. It is precisely for this reason that we can refer immediately to the problems of legality of the whole issue. After all, if someone no longer just downloads something “for their own use” but also shares it with the general public, they can violate certain laws regarding copyrighted content.

In the case of torrenting, there is no central data storage computer, but users ’machines share the data as equal participants. Torrents are downloaded through a so-called decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing system. For example, if someone downloads a music or a movie, they are likely to download it in pieces or slices with thousands or tens of thousands of users. Then, once a file (movie, music, software, etc …) has been successfully downloaded, it becomes a sharer and uploader itself.

So for someone to start torrenting, all you have to do is download a torrent client (such as uTorrent) and use it to get the files on various torrent sites to start downloading and uploading. This in itself is certainly not illegal, the only question is what files the person will start downloading and uploading.

3. Is torrenting legal?

Basically, torrenting as an activity is legal. Non-copyrighted content and private downloads are not illegal as long as they do not generate revenue.

If someone files copyrighted files, it may already violate certain provisions of the Penal Code.

But why? We wrote above that torrenting is not a download in itself, but also an upload, as our computer is transformed into a self-propelled uploader using a torrent program. For example, many people don’t even know that their machine is constantly sharing certain content (after opening a torrent client), slowing down the Internet and even perpetuating legal violations.

4. What is illegal in torrent? What does the law say?

The Penal Code states:

“Whoever infringes the copyright or related rights of another person or others under the Copyright Act by causing a pecuniary damage” (…) commits an offense or a criminal offense, depending on the cause of the pecuniary damage.

The maximum sentence in 2021 could be up to ten years’ imprisonment if the act is followed with a particularly significant financial disadvantage. However, the law allows an exception to the above regulation by:

“It shall not commit a (…) criminal offense which infringes the copyright or related rights of another person or others under the Copyright Act by reproducing or making available for retrieval, provided that the act is indirectly intended to generate revenue. nor does it serve. “

As we can see, in Hungary, non-profit downloads are not punished by law. However, if someone participates in the uploading of copyrighted content (i.e., torrents and transmits copyrighted content to the public without permission), it may already commit an infringement.

When is torrent illegal? It is worth knowing the detailed rules

Obviously, if someone regularly uses a torrent site (e.g. ncore) and has been involved in downloading and uploading for years, it is difficult to determine the extent of the damage, but with thousands of copyrighted content, they can get into serious trouble. However, an IP address makes it relatively easy to identify an infringing activity if one does not use special protection systems.

Many people think that state-persecuted torture is far from the reality of the present, but anyone who thinks so is very wrong. In Europe, there are examples of ISPs detecting torrents reporting this to the authorities and starting a “reflex” action against the person. There are quite a few examples of someone “leaving” their torrent client during a foreign AirBnB visit and later catching up with the awkward question…

Torrent and law

5. Why could torrents feel safe?

Torrents could reasonably trust that their personal information would not be public. In Hungary, there are no rules for torrent sites requiring torrent users to disclose personal information.

6. What changed in 2021? What can you fear now?

In short, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that data on torrents can (in some cases) be disclosed to holders of intellectual property rights.

A few years ago, a Cypriot company filed a request with a Belgian internet service provider asking it to disclose personal information about torrents. On this basis, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled as follows:

‘In its judgment, the Court ruled, first, that the uploading of segments of a media file to a peer-to-peer network such as that at issue in the main proceedings constitutes making available to the public under EU law. Second, a holder of intellectual property rights such as Mircom may benefit from a system of protection of those rights, but in particular his request for information must not be abusive and must be justified and proportionate. Third, the systematic recording of the IP addresses of users of such a network and the communication of their names and postal addresses to that rightholder or third party in order to enable an action for damages to be brought is admissible under certain conditions. ‘

/ Quote: Court of Justice of the European Union 105/21. s. PRESS RELEASE Luxembourg, 2021. June 17/

Based on the above, everyone should use their torrent client carefully.

The relevant press release of the Court of Justice of the European Union is available HERE .

The Penal Code is available HERE .

If you have any questions, click HERE for a FREE legal consultation.

illegal torrent
Most torrents are not legal

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