Ahhh! The age-old question, “is torrenting safe, is it legal”
This is one question every torrenter has at one point asked themselves. Now I’m not going sit here and pretend that torrenting doesn’t have any repercussions because it does.
Even though P2P file sharing is totally legal, digital piracy isn’t in some countries.
For instance, while you won’t get into any trouble for downloading copyright infringed contents in Switzerland, you would face a serious backlash in the U.S.
It’s all about jurisdictions.
That said, finding torrent friendly locations isn’t easy. Don’t worry, I’ve done all the hard work for you.
In this blog, I’m going to tell you guys some of the safest countries for torrenting.
So without further ado, let’s get right to it.
Is torrenting and pirating the same thing?
Contrary to popular belief, torrenting and pirating are totally different. To keep things simple, torrenting is basically a mode of sharing files. In technical terms, it is referred to as Peer to peer file sharing.
It is highly efficient and totally legal. In fact, even Skype uses this mode of file sharing.
Pirating, on the other hand, involves downloading or sharing other people’s intellectual property without consent. It is punishable by law and exactly why a lot of popular torrent sites are banned in some countries.
I said some because there are still some countries that are safe havens for torrenters. Even pirating isn’t considered illegal, as long as you don’t share pirated files for monetary gains.
Let’s have a healthy discussion. What are your views about pirating, do you consider it illegal? Let me know in the comments.
What are the safest countries for torrenting?
Now for the part, you’ve been waiting for. I’m finally going to tell you what countries allow piracy and torrenting for personal use.
- The Netherlands
The above-mentioned countries are by far the safest. They each offer a few quirks that make these locations perfect for downloading all sorts of torrents. I’m going to discuss each of them down below.
Unlike other European countries that strongly condemn digital piracy, Spanish laws are quite lenient in this matter.
Admittingly, there was a time when the Spanish government was under pressure to ban the use of torrents in the country.
Torrenters were supposed to be heavily scrutinized, however, fortunately, that never happened.
According to the Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, you are free to download torrents as long as you don’t make any money off of it.
Article 31 dictates: “The obtained copy should not be the object of collective or lucrative use, nor should it be distributed by means of price.”
Besides that, Spanish laws don’t permit law enforcement agencies to gather any personal information regarding cases that don’t compromise public safety or isn’t prosecuted for criminal conduct.
What does this mean?
It means your ISP isn’t obliged to hand over your personal information if you’re simply downloading torrents for personal use.
Switzerland is known for many things, expansive watches, delightful chocolates but most of all, its highly lucrative banking laws.
Switzerland also has one of the most lenient torrenting and piracy laws. You can download any digital file you want for personal use.
According to chapter 5 of the Swiss Federal copyright law, “Published works may be used for private use”.
As long as you’re not planning on making any money distributing it, you have nothing to worry about.
Swiss are very keen to privacy. As a result, Swiss laws don’t permit regulatory authorities to spy on their citizens.
It’s literally a haven for torrenters.
Not that I’m over exaggerating but the copyright laws of Mexico are literally a legal mess. Even though the U.S has pressurized the county to strengthen their copyright laws, things haven’t worked out too well.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are laws but they’re just not updated for today’s day and age.
Torrenting in Mexico is unregulated. The story is the same, as long as you’re downloading copyrighted digital files for personal use, you’re not violating any local laws.
Lastly the Netherlands. It is my favorite location to download torrents. Every time I download torrents using my VPN, I make sure I’m connected to the Netherlands server.
Want to know why?
Well, it’s simply because the laws in the Netherlands are strictly in favor of torrenters. You can literally download any digital file you like expect for mainstream copyrighted software.
Downloading software like Photoshop is considered to be illegal.
Even though there is a possibility that this freedom might not last long, it hasn’t stopped torrenters from making the most of it.
Countries where piracy is illegal
What to do if you’re not in a torrent-friendly country
If you’re unfortunately residing in a country that doesn’t permit torrenting, the only way to get past this limitation is to use only the best VPN for torrenting.
A VPN or a virtual private network allows you to switch your original geolocation. Even though you might not be physically residing in a torrent-friendly country, you can virtually appear to be there.
Location spoofing is just one of the benefits of using a VPN. There are many others.
You just need to connect to a server located in a torrent-friendly country, preferably the ones mentioned above and you should be virtually untraceable.
VPNs work pretty much in every part the world except for a few selected locations.
Even though a lot of countries don’t permit torrenting, there are a few locations that still support torrenting.
Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland, and Spain are just a handful of locations that are still fighting for internet freedom and net neutrality.
If you’re not in these countries, you must get yourself a VPN and get past the ongoing online oppression.
So what do you guys think of the above mentioned safest countries for torrenting? Are there any countries that I’ve missed?
Let me know in the comments below.