Legal Torrent Files – What Is Vuze Doing & How Can You Help

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Support legal torrents.

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Torrent users and supporters share hundreds of thousands of files each and every day. People upload and download all sorts of content that is entertaining, educational, and informative and choose torrents as a preferred delivery method. Unfortunately, while there are good and law abiding torrent users, there are a few bad apples scattered among the worldwide masses of torrent users.

This is a brief summary of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, what to look out for, and how you can help.

1.    What Is Vuze Doing To Promote Legal Torrent Downloads

For starters, Vuze has never, and will never, support illegal torrent downloads or activity associated with the sharing of torrent files that are connected to copyright infringement in any way, shape or form.

Although torrents themselves are a legitimate way to share files, understanding the rights of copyright holders and what content they have or have not authorized for free distribution is the core to understanding the difference between it being legal or illegal to share or distribute content using Vuze.

Remember, if you use Vuze torrent client software for P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing then use it responsibly. Be aware of illegal torrents and avoid downloading them. Don’t infringe copyright.

In an even greater effort to support artists, authors, scholars, researchers, human rights activists and all content creators and rights-holders alike, Vuze is taking a more active role on its social media profiles to promote legal torrent file awareness and to emphasize purchase of copyrighted content where rights-holders have not authorized free sharing. Vuze Facebook fans, Vuze Twitter followers and Vuze Google Plus actives will see an increase in the amount of posts that oppose infringement and support and promote purchases of content.

Moving forward Vuze will be taking a more active role on its blog and social profiles. Subscribers, fans and followers will see a noticeable increase in the quantity of posts connected to topics such as gaming, music, film, books, politics, human rights and more.

We believe in sharing news, updates, and content in our posts that is relevant to our users, and by sharing content that doesn’t infringe copyright. By delivering legal content updates and legal torrent files torrent users are better able to discover even more legitimate content that is free under Creative Commons licenses or otherwise and free with the consent and approval of the artists, content creators, and rights holders or in the Public Domain. This effort will help diminish the amount of hunting and sifting that a user might normally take when scavenging through questionable files.

Although Vuze may be increasing its communication about legal torrent files and other topics, it’s imperative that you not mistake any of this as suggestion that you share or  download files that infringe on copyright. This is not the focus or intention of Vuze, or its discourse.

To illustrate, if Vuze mentions that a famous film director has died and we refer you to what we reasonably believe is a source for short clips of films by that deceased director that do not infringe upon any third party rights, we do not want you to use Vuze to share or try to download a full-version of the most recent summer blockbuster film from said film director. Understandably, Vuze cannot guarantee that our referrals and links to sources, sites and/or files are 100% impervious to copyright infringement, but we can try to use good judgment and stave off questionable materials. The takeaway here is Vuze hasn’t ever and never will support sharing, posting, promoting or downloading of illegal torrents, and our future blog and social outreach will reflect and uphold that standpoint as much as can reasonably be expected.

Use The Hashtag #dic

If you’re active on social media (and these days, who isn’t) you’ll begin to notice that Vuze posts and shares will include the #dic hashtag — short for don’t infringe copyright. Through the hashtag, we will continue to reinforce our messages regarding the importance of copyright, to creators and rights holders, on one hand, and consumers, fans, and citizens, on the other.

You can help support and learn more about legal torrent sharing by reading more about using Vuze legally as a torrent client, and by using #dic in your social posts and shares. Again, if you use Vuze, don’t infringe copyright, and encourage your peers to follow suit. Enjoy torrents, enjoy the technology of Vuze, but use them wisely and legally.

2.    Why Is Vuze Concerned About Illegal Torrent Files

Torrent files that infringe on copyright are illegal — plain and simple. If you can purchase it at a store (brick and mortar as a physical product, or online as a download, or streaming), or it’s currently or was recently in a movie theater, or was or is on television (OTA, Cable and satellite), and it’s also available as a torrent the chances are that it’s an infringing torrent file.

Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily true in every instance. There are many artists, authors, educators, rights-activists and other creators and rights-holders, that do distribute and allow the re-distribution and sharing of some content for free for any variety of reasons, and that’s great. And if you like the band, for example, buy what they are selling, go to their live shows and buy their merchandise. Support the creators

Now we can get into all sorts of political, social and even religious discussions on this topic, but right now as the laws exist in most places downloading and sharing content without the authorization of the rights-holder is stealing, and even if one copy was purchased, passing digital copies around via P2P is still illegal, sometimes criminally so. Sharing and downloading infringing MP3s and MPEGs is virtually the same as swiping from a brick-and-mortar.

At the very least, Vuze recognizes that there are a variety of viewpoints regarding what may be a complex area of the law involving the uses (or occasional misuses) of neutral technologies such as Vuze torrent client software and content available through other various P2P applications, and some of the viewpoints expressed by third parties might be biased or controversial.

Although we can’t expose you to all the resources on these viewpoints, studies, laws, social movements (including civil disobedience), policy positions, alternative methods to compensate copyright holders (such as compulsory or collective licenses), and even religions (e.g., http://kopimistsamfundet.se/); we encourage you to learn more.

Other than supporting and respecting the rights of creators, artists, and rights holders, as well as consumers and citizens, under the laws as they exist (and that isn’t to say that certain laws should not be modified, or that the interpretation or application of those laws is always fair or just, or do not have unintended consequences), and being against copyright infringement and other misuses of P2P technology, Vuze just provides a neutral technology and does not take a position endorsing or supporting any particular viewpoints. Nevertheless, we are also against censorship and are in favor of legal free speech (not all speech is legal).

3.   What Should Vuze Users Look For

Through Vuze, users can distribute and discover a multitude of torrents, which are legally distributable. Some torrents files are available thanks to rights-holders using a Creative Commons license. Some of those licenses allow for distribution, copy and play as long the artist receives credit. Additionally there are works in the Public Domain, which might allow free distribution of some older content, as well as more recent movies from independent filmmakers, including those who make documentaries and mainstream music via recorded live concerts, such as “jam bands.”

A collection of what we think are free and legal torrent sites have been compiled for torrent users. It is updated often so check back regularly to see what has been added and what has been removed.

Determining whether a torrent file is legal or illegal isn’t always cut and dry, but there are some elements that torrent searchers should consider before clicking download:

Commercial content

It’s not rocket science – if you come across a movie torrent for the new Matt Damon movie Elysium (2013) when it’s still in theaters and even when it’s left and become available on DVD – it is highly unlikely that the movie studio would release it for free. Consider it an infringing torrent file. If it’s on network TV, HBO, Hulu or Netflix consider it an infringing torrent file. If it’s a studio song that is on a major record company label consider it an infringing torrent file. If it’s on the New York Times Bestseller list consider it an infringing torrent file.

Creator content

Some artists and other creators and rights-holders share their content through the torrent protocol for free. Torrent users need to read the torrent description to attempt to determine if the torrent was created by the artist/creator himself/herself or by the person offering the download. Use the Internet to search for the same works by that artist/creator to investigate for yourself whether or not that content is for sale or license. If it is then it would probably infringe upon copyright if you download it for free.

Other tip-offs

Many torrent names will contain keywords that highlight infringed copyright. Knowing some of the terms will help you steer clear of illegal torrent files. For instance, often times file names that include words like “burned,” “ripped,” or “cracked,” were not likely reproduced for free distribution with the consent or approval of the rights-holder.

4.  How Can Vuze Users Help

Being vigilant is one part of the equation, but the other is doing the right thing.

  • Don’t infringe copyright. Support artists, creators and rights-holders by going to their shows and purchasing their content.
  • Upload content that you create legally, and that clearly meets Creative Commons or Public Domain criteria.
  • Use the #dic hashtag in your social posts to show solidarity in supporting legal P2P file exchange, artists, creators and rights-holders.
  • Condemn and consider reporting illegal content infractions.
  • Be politically active if you don’t like the laws that exist or that are being considered.

Torrents do not equal piracy. As we shared above, it’s the decision of the artists, creators and rights-holders, as well as whether the work is in the Public Domain and not the torrent protocol that provokes legality. Torrenting is simply a neoteric means of communication.

Join us and support us in our stand against copyright infringement.

We want to again stress that we respect the rights of copyright holders, and hope and expect that you do too.

Any use of Vuze® or Vuze+™ that violates an intellectual property right or any right of a third party is not allowed. Please do not infringe upon copyright. Content available through Vuze® or Vuze+™ may or may not comply with copyright laws in your territory or country, and Vuze is not responsible for content you may download or share. The Vuze® name is a registered trademark of Azureus Software, Inc. The Vuze logo, Vuze+™ name and logo, and frog logos are trademarks of Azureus Software, Inc., with registration applications pending in certain territories. Other names, logos, and marks may be trademarks of their respective owners. The use of a trademark of any third party does not signify or suggest the endorsement, affiliation, or sponsorship, of or by us of those trademark owners or their products or services, or they of us or ours.

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