Last week, India became the latest site to ban torrents. The ban was effective immediately and anyone found violating it would be charged with criminal offence. The guilty party would be fined Rs. 300,000 (about $50,000) and 3 years of imprisonment. This move came just one month after the owner of KickAss Torrents, Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland. This shows the stand majority of nations are taking against torrent sites.So with most of the nations most likely to follow the suit, the situation looks dire. Most of the people are advocating the ban of these sites. However, they are missing the bigger picture here. Here are some of the major reasons why torrent sites shouldn’t be banned.
TORRENTS ARE NOT AT FAULT
Now one thing that everyone has to understand is that these torrents are just like Google. They are not violating any law. They are acting just like a search engine. If you are banning porn, you ban the porn sites not Google. Similarly, if you want to ban the copyright infringing things, ban them not these torrent sites. These sites are just acting as redirecting pathways. The actual content is still with users. None of this content is hosted by the sites and so they are not responsible. A better approach will be to attach filters on these sites. This way, no infringing content can be shared and torrents can still work.
Now the major purpose for which torrents are used is to download movies and TV shows. Since this is copyright infringement and illegal it is no wonder that media houses want these sites shut. What they need to understand is that even though if these torrent sites get shut, people can still share stuff. Imagine you have a group of 20 people and you all want to watch 20 different movies. All you have to do is buy one movie each and share it amongst your friends. The end result will be a 95% loss to the studios still. Increase this on an exponential scale and the profits made by the movie houses are almost negligible. They are still incurring huge losses and nearly everyone cannot be arrested for copyright infringement. A 2-5% profit is nothing to cheer about.
REMOVAL OF OTHER CONTENT
Now torrents also host a number of free content. These things are pretty hard to find anywhere else. Not only that, but to download this free content, you have to register yourself innumerable times too. By the time a person is done, their will to download is lost. What these torrents do instead is to allow us to seamlessly download stuff. Just because they are being used to download infringing stuff doesn’t mean that they ought to be completely shut down. A couple of rotten apples doesn’t mean that you throw the entire lot out.
THE DARK WEB
Now people have been advocating that since the Dark Web is not allowed on the surface, then why should these sites be allowed to be on the surface. Here is the reason, the dark web is mostly used for drug dealings, hiring murderers etc. If you push these torrent sites in the Dark Web, then you are forcing people to come in contact with such nasty elements while doing the harmless thing of downloading movies illegally. Yes, both things are illegal, but the gravity of them is extremely different. This move will be exposing the society as a whole to such nasty elements just for the sake of a few dollars. A few million dollar loss is much more preferable than a few million murderers and drug addicts.
So here are my thoughts on why torrents shouldn’t be banned. Did I miss any important points? What are your thoughts on this issue? Do let us know in the comments section below.