Bit torrent is a complex subject. As a technology, it’s perfectly legal. But what you do with it could be illegal.

Before we get into the legalities of torrenting, let’s briefly summarize what BitTorrent is and how it works. Basically, BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network and protocol. But what does that mean? Well, normally when you download a file you pull all the bits off a server. If this server has limited bandwidth, the number of people downloading can be quite limited.

BitTorrent splits that up. Files on the BitTorrent network are in parts scattered between “seeders” (computers that host the full file) and downloaders. So when someone downloads a file, they are getting parts of that file from many different computers. This is the peer-to-peer component of torrenting. You don’t just get from a central server; you pull…

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