Torrents, Cyberlockers and Copyright sharks

Posted: 20/04/2013 by zandtao in Struggle
Tags: ,

I have fully committed to torrents with my movies now or I will store my clips at my You-Tube and my Natural News. I have had issues with cyberlockers that I will explain below. Torrents are the easiest form of file-sharing, and people sharing torrents don’t profit from it – cyberlockers are a business – maybe torrent sites are as well. I would like to earn some money from my writing, whether as Zandtao, Wai Zandtao or Matriellez, but I make no real efforts to do so. Some people’s blogs are an earning strategy, this blog definitely does not have that. I write because I have to – blogs or books, Nature through me has stuff to say I believe, I hope people read – but I know of only 3. If I didn’t do it because I am driven, it would not be an effective use of my time.

Many blogs refer to clips or movies, and maybe some of these people are earning a living from the movies. I respect that, and will always remove any references (torrents or blog-entries) if requested, but the truth is I have no idea whether I am breaking copyright or not. Movies appear on the internet, below are lists of sites which send me free movies; I have no idea whether they are copyrighted or not. I have no intention of circulating copyright movies. One or two movies I use are Pilger. I think some of his older stuff he gives away, and I think he accepts earning a living from his new stuff. But in truth I don’t know. I have somehow downloaded some Pilger, and referred to it in a blogentry. This maybe means I am breaking some copyright law, but is that my intention? I will always remove copyright if requested, and would always apologise, but they do not request. What I am saying is that it is not my intention to break the law.

But in truth at the moment I have no issue with the law because I live in Thailand. But the movies I refer to are in English and English-speaking countries and Europe are where Hollywood, with their allies – porn, are fighting battles and are imposing on government to oppress the people about copyright. There is an excellent blog that keeps me up-to-date on this issue, torrent freak, if you have time it is worth reading them. Hollywood and people exploiting copyright are behaving horrendously, the tactics they are using are oppressive, and as far as I can see the ISP’s are being complicit. I want to go into some of this. Using torrents is not illegal, in the same way as downloading legal content is not illegal. The legal issue is whether the content is legal, either for torrent or downloads. Therefore if my movies are torrented or downloaded legally I can share them with you legally, so please be clear torrents are not illegal – it is the content. And I cannot confirm whether my content is illegal or not. Now what is happening in the West is that there are sharks preying on young kids. These companies backed by Hollywood, discover an “illegal download” from ISP’s and are sending letters to these children saying pay a fine, we won’t take you to court and stop downloading. It is not clear to me whether the courts would back up these sharks but they are in business – so parents must be paying. Horrendous! Shouldn’t we be protecting our kids? They are trying to close down Pirate Bay, a torrent search engine, and the courts are supporting this. But why? Pirate Bay searches torrents, and torrents are legal. But if the results produce torrents with copyright content, have they committed an illegal act? Surely the illegal act is if someone knowingly downloads copyright content. Here’s the real rub. Hollywood do not want to pay for individual prosecutions in court, they just apply continual political pressure through US government and other western countries follow. I am not even sure if the companies harassing children want to go to court, if their letters produce cheques from scared parents that is enough. And what confirms for me how horrendous this process is is that the porn industry are leading players in this copyright battle. Instead of those being connected with the porn being seen as sleaze, the porn industry are earning establishment points. Sick. Many servers respond to take-down requests but these are being misused blanketly by the copyright industry. Through torrent freak I have read of cases where up to 50% of take-down notices were bogus. They are being generated by computer and appear to be sent off indiscriminately. Such practices ought to be defended by the courts but the courts are defending big business – Hollywood.

With regards to downloading torrents copyright hounders seek records from the ISP’s, and the ISP’s appear to be giving out this information relatively freely. Apparently – I am not too sure, during the actual sharing there is no ISP record, but the click that leads to the download is recorded. People in the West can use VPN’s to hide their usage from ISP’s but I don’t know a lot about that – not my country. I have also read that using turbo-enabled in the Opera browser prevents the ISP getting that information (this I have gleaned from torrent freak). Both of these mechanisms are legal although I believe you pay for VPN.

To reiterate, torrents are not illegal. On this site I have torrents referring to movies I downloaded for free. I do not know whether they are copyrighted or not, if I did I would remove the torrents.

I have stopped using cyberlockers. I have had issues with 3 cyberlockers – mediafire, 4-shared and vimeo. Vimeo shut me down but they were helpful. They sent me emails about removing illegal content, I have no disagreement with that – I didn’t know whether they were illegal or not. However they eventually closed me down. If they had continued removing files I would have been perfectly content. With mediafire and 4-shared I just got an email, you’re out. In 4-shared case they say I can use name and password to download, but this gets messy for people. I think – not sure – one such movie that was copyrighted was “Crazy Sexy Cancer”. I liked the movie and blogged, but there is no torrent. If I can share the movie legally I will. I use other cyberlockers and I will leave the links there but will not be creating new links.

How they are dealing with the cyberlockers is typical of the heavy-handedness. Megaupload was a typical cyberlocker. I don’t know whether they had more or less copyright content than others, the copyright status of the files on the cyberlockers appears consistent with all these lockers. They were shut down by the FBI. Security forces in New Zealand siezed the servers and invaded the home of the owner. Then the grossness of what they had doine started to appear. Megaupload had been hosting files of ordinary small businesses and individuals. These people have asked to get their files and they cannot. They have even applied to court and been refused. To refuse people access to their own legally-owned property seems far more criminal to me but the courts have supported the Hollywood-inspired termination of Megaupload and not allowed these individual customers access. On the three cyberlockers I used, there is no effort to say the files I ahev stored are legal or illegal, no effort to allow me to remove illegal files etc.; all this takes time and money and cyberlockers are free to me. I accept it as the way of the world that what big business wants government gives them, I accept that civil liberties are token – that is the way of the world, but for all people reading this who do not accept this assessment please tell me how can such blanket action be legally acceptable in countries that are supposed to support civil liberties?

So again I finally want to state my position. In future I will be using torrents only. I do not want to break copyright law in my sharing but I do not know if I am. If I receive an appropriate take-down request I will do so. As a user in a western country you need to be careful. Remember torrents are legal but if the content is illegal you might be liable. Seek advice to make sure the downloading cannot lead to exploitation by these copyright sharks. Sadly in all of this people are being censored to having less access to information that should be publicly available.

Here is a zip-file of all my torrents to download as of 20/4/13 based on the list of movies described here.

Here is a list of places I get free clips:-

Top Documentary Films

Documentary Heaven

Documentary Wire

Films for Action

Brave New films

Thought Maybe

Free Online Documentary


Forbidden Knowledge

Next World TV

  1. […] Torrents, Cyberlockers and Copyright sharks […]

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