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Legality with uTorrent


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first of all love the program absoulutely brilliant

i am a year 12 student who is doing a class in computing and our assignment is on web copyright so if someone could tell me exactly how and why this program is legal it would be great.

ty in advance =D but please no analagies e.g. speeding is illegal therefore cars should be banned

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The reason BitTorrent is legal is the simple absence of reasons for it being illegal. BitTorrent is innocent until proven guilty. Finding reasons why BitTorrent is legal is going about it the wrong way.

So there are no reasons why BitTorrent is legal. There are only accusations as to why BitTorrent would be illegal.

Basically it is only one accusation: "The protocol is used a lot to infringe on copyright laws." And virtually nobody (not even organizations such as the IFPI, RIAA or MPAA) really support this accusation.

Even using BitTorrent to infringe on copyright doesn't make BitTorrent illegal, it makes you, the user, either guilty of an infraction/crime or at least actionable.

The exact definition of copyright infringement and whether it makes you actionable or guilty of a infraction/crime depends on local laws. Since the internet is an international medium, all of this can vary widely from person to person.

Also Wikipedia is a big no no in any type of research because people misuse it. They blindly copy info from it without checking out the sources.

C&Ping from wikipedia is a big no no. Even merely reading an article on wikipedia without reading/checking out the sources is a big no no.

But for finding sources about a subject wikipedia can be really nice. If the article is well written that is...

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Accusing BT protocol would be the same as conventional download system as you can download pirated stuff in that way too. So the bottom line is you can't accuse the air freights to have the capability to transport drugs, it's the person who's transporting it. :D

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Forums are in no way better than Wikipedia -- citing a forum post won't get you any more brownie points than citing Wikipedia, especially when few of us regulars are authoritative sources of information. Sure, Wikipedia is rarely ever a source anybody should be randomly quoting from in an academic paper, but it's still a relatively reliable source of information, and is a perfectly decent jumping board to finding other information. Publishing a Wikipedia article is even a requirement for people looking to publish an article in at least one peer-reviewed scientific journal.

well in my school wiki = BIG NO NO! (direct quote from my teacher there rofl)

If your school disallows the use of Wikipedia entirely just because it's Wikipedia, then they're the ones in the wrong. A source of information is a source of information -- it's always up to the user to verify its accuracy, and isn't the fault of the medium. Categorically saying that "Wikipedia is bad" is no better than saying "BitTorrent/uTorrent is illegal." If we're going to say that, then we might as well say "the Internet is bad, and is illegal." It would only fall on a similar level of gross over-generalization as the assertion that Wikipedia is a bad source of information.

I think you see where I'm getting at here. To say that BitTorrent is illegal is the same as saying that HTTP or Internet Explorer or Firefox are equally illegal, because there are far more illegal content to be found on websites than on BitTorrent itself. That websites are the main source of finding such content in the first place (among the many other forms of illegalities found on the web) should make that perfectly clear. This isn't really an analogy either, because it's not so much a comparison as it is a direct expansion of the logic -- the Internet is only a superset of BitTorrent.


- Why is BitTorrent legal? It was designed for the very simple purpose of offloading bandwidth from the source peer (seed) to other peers in the swarm. That it is widely used for many purposes, including not-so-legal purposes, is simply a testament to its success with respect to fulfilling its original goal.

- Why is µTorrent legal? Because it is used to take advantage of a perfectly legal protocol. And the action of downloading/uploading files in and of itself is not illegal.

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