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June , 2017
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Torrents 1

Torrents is a phenomenon that has taken the internet by storm. Ever wondered how people around you talk about some random movie which very few have heard of or avid discussion of random characters such as ‘Orochimaru’ and ‘Itachi’?

Confused! Well, the answer to this is ‘Torrents’. Be it the death of the legendary Michael Jackson or the much awaited release of Harry Potter and the Half – Blood Prince, the internet and more specifically torrents community have their own way of reacting to it. A search of the word ‘Torrent’ in Google provides links to about 144,000,000 pages in .08 seconds. Wow! Any person with a general knowledge of the net can simply access the genie’s lamp called Torrent. Torrents these days cover hosts of subjects relative or not. Incidents such as the release of any movie, song, eBook, game or a television series always come under the scanner of the torrent network. Youngsters find torrents as an easy platform to interact with people from different cultures, races, ethnicity and share an opinion.

“Torrents works on a simple phenomenon of sharing data from one personal computer to another through the means of internet”, says Avinash, a college-going student and a die-hard fan of torrents. If Avinash is to be believed, he says he has collected data of over 5 TB (terabyte) over internet and knows many with collections as huge as 40 TB! With storage devices getting cheaper and internet becoming faster you need not be a geek or a nerd to find the files one needs. Shoeb, who has been using torrents from the past 3 years, tells us about his love for old cartoons which rarely come on television these days. Now, he thanks torrents for helping him find them and burning them away neatly into discs.

“A few torrents act as a boon to students because of the availability of eBooks on various subjects required for the course study and higher education and hence it is very essential to have knowledge about torrents”, says Sidharth. He also revealed how the eBooks gained from the torrent network helped him in completing his project work and win accolades from his professor.

uTorrent. Credits:Wallpen

uTorrent. Credits:Wallpen

Torrents are still young when compared to the traditional client-server model where a user downloads a file from a particular server, but is much more effective as it reduces the need of an intermediary server, which many developers cannot host and the individual home user can act as a server to host his / her file for the world to access. This model is very famously known as P2P/Peer to Peer model with its origin on the lines of NAPSTER. A few simple steps through which any user can start exploring the world of torrents can be laid as:

  • Installation of a Bit- torrent client such as µtorrent or bittorrent.
  • Searching for the required file (A simple search of the file name along with key word ‘torrent’ on Google will do the trick)
  • Saving the .torrent file on to your system and opening it with µtorrent.

Manoj, a class 12 student opines highly of torrents as he considers it to be cool and ‘in’ these days. “I find it very flattering when all my friends keep on inquiring me about the latest movies that I watch and the TV shows that I share with them.”  Sonal, who recently came to know about the easiest way of getting the latest bollywood songs without stepping outside her home is enthralled by the concept. Supratim, a third year engineering student and a freelance web designer described how his desire for designing was greatly influenced by the ‘mangas’, which he had downloaded from various torrent blogs to watch.

Life definitely becomes simpler thanks to torrents with the easy availability of data but the dark side of it still haunts many with many organizations trying their best to eradicate this evil. For the record, in 2008, a popular bittorrent website ‘Torrentspy’ was shut down with the owner facing a law–suit of $110 million. Many people knowingly or unknowingly commit to the crime of piracy, which is affecting millions of lives and is a major concern for all the governments around the globe.

TPB Server. Credits: www.engadget.com

TPB Server. Credits: www.engadget.com

A programmer associated with a large corporate firm, who did not want to be revealed discussed how his counterparts in the U.S had made the life of fellow programmers difficult by pressurizing them to develop a code that is tough to crack. He also told how the crackers were really good at their job and were every time successful to beat the large firms to dust. A sort of moral boost given to the torrents is from the open source community, which aims at making the internet and its applications free for all the way internet was first supposed to be. With companies such as Sun, Mozilla and a host of other Linux installations hugely relying on torrents to distribute their data, it is very difficult to challenge the power that torrents command.

With over 25 million peers alone on ‘thepiratebay.org’ of the almost 1.5 billion internet users it is difficult to gauge the dimension this baby has taken in just the matter of a decade. With 73 % of the 5 million users of windows OS in India being pirated and an overall loss of about $21 billion and about $172 million loss the Indian Inc. faces due to internet piracy. But, Ramya (name changed) an enthusiast of the open source community opines differently and tells “internet piracy may be affecting many but has also proved to be a claim to fame for many. There is always positive a side to everything”. She also puts in picture the various situations where internet piracy has worked magic by acting as an excellent gimmick. Russell Peters, a globally renowned standup comedian shot to fame when his show ‘Russell Peters Live’ was leaked on the internet”. Similar was the case with Paris Hilton in which a very infamous video of hers’ was leaked online and later she tried to cash on similar lines.

Around the world there have been instances where the producer of a movie/TV show has thanked the file sharing community for helping them market their movie. For example, The movie “The Man from Earth” “, a small-budget science fiction movie made for a price of around $ 200,000 got a review on a popular movie review website Releaselog along with its download links. This review generated a flood of comments and scores of downloads. Eric Wilkinson, the producer of “The Man from Earth” thanked the Releaselog community for piracy and said they were helping sales. According to Wilkinson, in two weeks that passed after Releaselog wrote about the movie, it rose from the 11,235th to the 5th most popular movie among visitors to IMDB, a popular online movie database featuring user-generated reviews and rankings. Many people these days feel that the days of traditional marketing are over and a need to revamp the marketing strategy of large corps is needed on the lines of Apple iTunes® where a music album can be bought for a price less than a dollar. A few like Wilkinson are thinking of releasing movies under the Creative Commons. Adithya, a movie freak delivers the final punch to large production houses by saying “Only bad movies have to fear piracy”. And, given the number of bad movies studios continue to produce, they have plenty to fear.

Still the torrent networks need to become more responsible regarding copyright infringement and should try to support the community by helping spread free and legal data.

Torrents – sharing is caring :)

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