Businesspersons and corporates use torrents to further their business and engage many customers to their undertakings. Torrents have widely been used in the entertainment world that includes songs, videos, and TV shows. There are mainly two categories of torrents; the legal and the illegal torrents. According to statistics, the illegal torrents seem to make more profits through sale of copyrights. On the other hand, the legal torrents due to their high integrity level tend to take a large number of corporate businesses. Basing on research, the developed countries seem to take the lead on the use of copyrights. The file sharing have widely spread with the advancement in technology and internet.
Definition and network
Torrents are a tool used to share a file by peers across networks with the use of their private computers. Torrents without interferences are legal. Their use to download illegal contents or copywriting content renders them illegal. Torrent network expands by many people downloading a particular file from a person associated with torrents to their computer. A personal computer is downloaded of everything in a case where an individual is in ownership of files with torrents. As the number of persons, possessing the torrent-associated files goes up, then only bits taken from each individual to come up with files completed of a new download at an end. The good thing with this is that large files are easy to share and on the other hand, users are at leisure to interrupt torrents and resume at wish.
Origin of torrents
Torrent websites are file-sharing tools that emerged in replacement of a model known as the Napster file sharing, which crumpled following a series of lawsuits. This fall of the model to an extent was due to a struggle between the supporters of free media and enforcers of the property rights. This solution by the torrents website is however not a remedy to the battle on file sharing since it is presently also facing legal challenges even though it has become a popular website.
As a result, many are in the dark of what the whole issue of torrents is. The reason traces back to the press that has all through had negative ideas towards file sharing. The press seems not to consider the inventive purpose that had led to the start of the Napster file-sharing model. To their disadvantage, the accusations against them base on copyright laws written before the emergence of computers or internet.
Legal and illegal torrents
Torrent as stated are tools ‘innocent’. The remaining legal or crossing to the illegal side wholly depends on the individual using them. To use the sites on the positive side of law, will take an example of the Bittorrent sites .Listed down are some of the ways to follow;
1. Try the best to use the legal Bittorent as the network for ones file-sharing by this it is sure that all the downloads are legal and the content being shared is also legal.
2. In situations that one opts to use sites that are popular, but known to have illegal materials distributed, then one need to carefully select the torrents that he is sure that are not copyrights. To know whether a file shared is legal, they have cover under license an example of this is the Creative Common License (CCL). These types of files clear to be distributed. One can also check on the license agreement of an individual if such exists.
3. The other concerns the placing of folders. Whenever a legal file places on the wrong folder, whether accidentally or knowingly and the content shared with others then one is liable for prosecution because of copyright infringement. To avoid this, it is of importance to check that the folder on ones drive contains no copyrighted material before attempting to distribute it to others.
A torrent is termed illegal when;
1. One downloads for example music or video got from CDs by somebody else. Being the origin or just the recipient does not count when it comes to law. Note that individuals distributing files on P2P kind of networks tend to split files into fragments to increase the speed of downloading and uploading. Immediately one begins to download and up or video load these fragments with anyone else, the distribution is termed illegal.
2. A person wishing to download files and share them got to be cautious of the presence of a notice on copyright and if absent, it is always wise to research on the licensing on the particular file he wishes to distribute.
3. Keep away original CDs rips purchased from others and ensure that such are not stored in a folder shared through ones P2P program.
Origin of BitTorrent as a legal torrent
Bran Cohen created BitTorrent. He created the program with an aim to let users fasten uploads and enable the download of huge loads of data and files hundred times bigger than an MP3. Bran introduced his work globally in 2002 at a hacker conference. He demonstrated it as an open source of a project targeting the geeks who at the time needed cheaper way to swap their Linux software online. Due to its fast nature, millions have downloaded BitTorrent application. According to Cohen, the more files one is ready to share; the quicker any torrent downloads to one’s computer.
The way BitTorrent Works
Bram Cohen's method is faster and with added efficiency than the P2P networking.
1. One source file within a swarm (BitTorrent users) spreads round pieces of a film or video or TV show in order for everyone to have a chunk for share.
2. After an initial download, the pieces are uploaded to other BitTorrent users needing them.
It is of rule that each downloader to do some uploading. Because of more people trying to download, the uploading is faster.
3. After a while, the swarm shares all the pieces, with everyone having a complete source of their own.
Advantages of BitTorrent Protocol
A. High speed downloads- Its increased demand helps achieve this speed. BitTorrent protocol derives its fastness from breaking up large files to blocks of small sizes.
B. Simplicity- BitTorrent unlike P2Pprotocals functions on a web-based distribution model built on HTTP protocol. When the user opens the torrent type of files, he is allowed by the protocol client to save the file where he wishes and until the user closes the transfer, BitTorrent continues to share a file to others.
C. Overcoming free riders- This problem of obtaining service with no contributions leads to overall decline in performance. BitTorrent design is to apportion the greatest upload bandwidth to peers who supply the greatest content volume.
D. High integrity- it has achieved this by accepting a file-tracking server making it gain acceptance amongst corporate users.
Countries leading in BitTorrent download
United States appears on to be the leading with an average of 96.7 million of downloads Drake being the most common artist with BitTorrent operators. The UK takes the second place with about 43.4 million, with Ed Sheeran a songwriter and singer being top. Italy being third has 33.2 millions of downloads with Laura Pausini a pop singer being the most popular. Canada is fourth with 24 million and the fifth in the list is Brazil (Billy Van) having 19.7 million downloads. The rest in the top ten are Australia (Hilltop Hoods) being sixth, followed by Spain (Pablo Alboran), India, France (Sexion) and Philippines
Digging deeper, research has shown that a large number of the population using BitTorrent use it to download a TV-show. The TV-shows however follow in percentage to the music and movies download. From the table below, movies take the lead with 26.6 per cent, music 16.36 per cent, the third is software 8.37 per cent, and TV-series comes fourth with 7.21 per cent while games and others have 3.68 and 37.72 respectively.
Problems facing the torrent websites
Just like the older generation websites, torrent websites face stiff challenges while trying to ease the way of sharing files to its users. Users of these BitTorrent and similar programs distribute copies of copyrighted contents which is illegal to peers getting themselves as users and the torrent websites into trouble.
Examples of a case regarding torrent
In February 26 2006, a press release in America by Motion Picture Association (MPAA) on behalf of the major movies studios sued IsoHunt and TorrentSpy among other websites stating that they were a strategy to promote copyright infringement. In another suit against TorrentSpy,the judge ruled out that the website keep a record of its users. Seeing that this would endanger many of its users, the two accused have devised ways to avert the order by the judge. TorrentSpy are now categorizing and blocking US users to prevent American users from searching on their sites. Alternatively, they have a page with the title, TorrentSpy Acts to Protect Privacy, where the users from the US are forwarded. IsoHunt on the other hand took the step of moving its servers from the country to Canada. This move was with intensions to run from the US authority. IsoHunt has come up with a process to enable owners of certain contents to be in position to remove it from their site. The web has also ways of blocking the torrent trackers from access to their sites.
Despite the efforts to keep off US users by the two, the technology used is questionable since the blocked can still access their sites if need be. Court decisions on this matter seem to create unfriendly implications for any organizational case that may arise after. The only remedy to copyright breach by the torrent websites is the Act Congress passed in 1998; Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Profitability of torrents
Torrent freak, a website started to give latest trends of file sharing by the BiTorrent disclosed the amount of money earned by the entertainment industry from its illegal downloads. It showed millions earned from copyright owners. The statistics proved that the illegal downloads are far profitable compared to the legal downloads. In their research, copyright holders get around 150 times more in trailing file sharers than he gets from the sale of actual music.
Studies have also shown that a large number of artists profit an unauthorized file sharing. Their huge album sale lies on the fact that people download these songs at no price at all. Researchers have found out the reasons for this as
a. Music done by famous artists is readily and widely available on networks of file sharing.
b. There is the chance for people to download new music varieties free from both the popular and non-popular artists.
c Through piracy, new artists are discovered as well as the availability of social music and their services.
From the above, it’s clear that those wishing to do start businesses or expand their marketing strategies will be in better position realizing the need of torrents. This apply most to the music, video game and the TV shows. However, the illegal torrents are a territory they should stay away from for its use, though doing well in terms of income, may get oneself in the hands of prosecution. The music industry is at risk of not getting its artists to the top of the chart since their customers have the opportunity to attain all kinds of music and have room to explore new music at no costs.