End User Licence Agreements and Copyright Issues

Learn how to BitTorrent like a pro, in a few easy steps. (BitTorrent, 2014) BitTorrent welcomes clients to their website by encouraging them to illegally download like a professional. Upon reading BitTorrent’s copyright infringement policy the following is stated;

“BitTorrent respects copyright law and expects its users to do the same. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), the text of which may be found on the U.S. Copyright Office web site at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf , BitTorrent will respond expeditiously to notices of alleged copyright infringement that are reported to BitTorrent’s Designated Copyright Agent” (BitTorrent, 2014)

BitTorrents End User License Agreement also states that;

“You will not use the Software for illegal purposes.” (BitTorrent, 2014)

The opening statement of their copyright infringement policy is clearly hypocritical. BitTorrent undoubtedly disregards copyright material and are constantly publishing material for free. Numerous legal actions have been launched against BitTorrent in the United States.
The problem, however, is that the person listed as the account holder is often not the person who downloaded the infringing material. Or put differently; an IP address alone can’t identify a movie pirate.” (TorrentFreak, 2014)
Whilst tracking users who download illegal content enables the uncovering of the IP address, this address is useless to prosecute a member of society. Therefore all cases against BitTorrent have been dismissed.

Therefore the question arises who should be held responsible for breaching copyright law? Is it the platform that distributes the material or the users that download and consume the material? The debate is still ongoing and conclusion are far from being drawn.

Reference List:

BitTorrent, Copyright Infringement Policy, viewed on 23/3/2014, http://www.bittorrent.com/legal/copyright

BitTorrent, End User Licence Agreement (EULA) 2014, viewed on 23/3/2014, http://www.bittorrent.com/legal/eula

BitTorrent, Getting started with BitTorrent, viewed on 23/3/2014, http://www.bittorrent.com/get-started

ERNESTO, Judge: IP address does not prove copyright infringement, viewed on 23/3/2014, https://torrentfreak.com/judge-ip-address-does-not-prove-copyright-infringement-140121/

U.S. Copyright Office Summary 1998, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, viewed on 23/3/2014, http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

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One thought on “End User Licence Agreements and Copyright Issues

  1. The fact that BitTorrent even have a copyright infringement policy i find to be a contradiction. Despite the policy clearly stating “you will not use the software for illegal purposes” how would you even use this software legally, or do you think this is just a ruse in order to provide a sense of legitimacy to the software?

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