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#31030 2-Mar-2009 12:56
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Hi - I was wondering if anyone can help me and tell me exactly what a 'torrent' is please?

A friend of a friend downloads stuff like movies / fitness programs... using a torrent. I don't know if what he is doing is illegal or not, but I'm curious to know what a torrent is.

thanks in advance  :-)

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  #198757 2-Mar-2009 13:14
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Short answer is bittorrent is a file-sharing network protocol.  Long answer here:

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  #198759 2-Mar-2009 13:16
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if you listen to some people its the end of the entertainment industry.

Common sense is not as common as you think.

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  #198760 2-Mar-2009 13:22
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A torrent is a way of quickly download a file from many different sources, instead of being limited to a single slow connection.

There are legal and ilegal torrents. Many software companies distribute large files through torrents, while some media companies do the same.

However most of the commercial media content (music, movies, TV series) is under copyright and is not released for this kind of distribution. In other words, yes your friend is doing something illegal.

Also you probably heard of the New Zealand Copyright law and the new s92a which should come in effect by the end of March. In short the law says that ISPs are required to provide ways to disconnect any users who repeatedly infringe copyright mainly by downloading material through electronics means (in other words torrents, rapidshare files, etc).

You should read at least this and then and and and and

Also this has been on TV news the last two weeks, and some of us participated in a manifestation in front of the Parliament.

I really suggest you (and your friends) should read those links - understand them and what impact they represent in your lives - then spread the links so others that don't know about this learn about it.

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  #198854 2-Mar-2009 23:10
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Too add to above explanations

A torrent is a group of people sharing pieces of a common file. The file itself could be anything like a movie or music file.

A single seeder / person uses a torrent indexing website to say 'i have this file currently shared'. Other people can come along and download this file from the seeder's computer. When they download the file, they start sharing it in pieces to other people.
Eventually you have a swarm of people exchanging small pieces of the file over the internet and each will get a copy once they have collected all the pieces.

The benefit of a software company or a greenie group sharing their latest auckland road pollution documentary is that they only have to upload the torrent once or twice and who they upload it to will pass it on to others. They have less of a cost on their internet bill because the bulk of the sharing is done by other people.

Like our leader here said, there are copyright implications. Many people use torrents as a cheap way to distribute copyrighted media such as movies and music so I would like to re-enforce that you follow his links and read up about what makes a torrent legal and what makes one illegal.

Ray Taylor

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