What happens to people caught downloading torrents?

Online piracy
Chances are if you haven’t done it yourself at some stage, you have benefited from someone downloading torrents. There have been many warnings to users over the years, but what actually happens when you are caught downloading torrents?

Is downloading torrents illegal?

Game of Thrones leaks earlyDownloading torrents is perfectly legal. Torrents are simply broken up files shared between users in peer to peer downloading. The problem begins when users download copyrighted content through torrents and peer to peer sharing. That’s not frowned upon, it’s good old fashioned illegal.
Internet users downloading the latest Game of Thrones episode to the blockbuster movies like Star Wars, are costing the entertainment industry billions, with one particular movie in 2005 losing $6.1 billion to piracy. While these calculations are never perfect, given many downloaders would have never paid in the first place, there is no refuting the fact piracy is bad news for Hollywood.

Reaction to online piracy in Ireland

Online piracy has made the headlines in Ireland quite a bit in recent years. Eir, formerly Eircom, initiated a three strike policy against its 700,000 customers in 2010. Despite sending out an undisclosed number of warning letters, we believe no customer has been cut off for illegal downloading of copyrighted materials. Virgin Media state on their website that “they take the threat of online piracy very seriously” and after briefly resisting, in 2015 installed the same three strike rule as Eir. To date, it also looks as if Virgin Media (formerly UPC) have not cut anyone off.

International reaction to online piracy

A recent Reddit thread brought together the stories of various people from around the world and their piracy stories. We’ve picked out our favourites, though some have already been deleted, to answer the most popular questions.

What to say if caught pirating

plead ignorance gifWe do not condone pirating: it is illegal. When caught, fast thinking CoreyC simply pleaded ignorance, blaming an innocent lack of security as causing the issue. Redditors agreed this was simply good, solid advice.
reddit comment relating to downloading torrents

What do internet service providers say in their piracy warnings?

It turns out that proving what their customers are doing is extremely difficult for internet service providers. Despite the fact that large sections of the public find it creepy, in some circumstances, monitoring internet use is illegal. Considering the minefield providers find themselves in, they often keep their warnings nice and vague to avoid saying anything that will land them in hot water.

Providers use this vagueness to ‘honey pot’ customers into giving themselves up.

Is there anything that can be done should you get cut off?

Yes. You can ask nicely apparently.

reconnect Cost of pirating in Germany


Remember, the worst outcome might not be getting sued …

Redditor, LordNeddard, can testify to not all awful outcomes of being an online pirate end with being sued.

squirtIn short, you shouldn’t download illegally shared, copyrighted materials. It’s illegal. At the same time, it looks unlikely that much will happen to you, in Ireland at least, for doing so.

You can read through the thread in full on Reddit, though due to the huge amount of deletions, you’ll need the Uneddit tool too.

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Founding Editor of Goosed, Marty is a massive fan of tech making life easier. You'll often find him testing something new, brewing beer or finding some new foodie spots in Dublin, Ireland. - Find me on Threads

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