Online file-sharing giant Megaupload.com was recently embroiled in a controversy for copyright infringement. But the larger sphere of users who indulge in piracy use torrents, and though illegal, it doesn’t deter them from using it. But there are mixed reactions among users about the future of torrents.
Nakul Gupta, founder of The Filmery, and an avid torrent user says that he doesn’t fear torrent websites shutting down. “If these websites are shut, the trend will pick up where users will be forced to go backwards. They will start using Kazaa, B2B and Newsgroups. This is the only way, unless they work towards a new method of file sharing. It is going to be difficult to shut down so many websites,” says Nakul confidently.
Even if torrent sites shut down, there is always an open-source network for sharing files online, says Tharun Bhaskar, director, VG Media. “While they may not be particularly user-friendly, there will always be a method to beat the system. But torrents are peer-to-peer based websites and there is no third-party involved. In such a scenario, you can’t hold torrent websites for copyright infringement,” says Tharun.
“If at all torrent sites are forced shut, more people will come forward and fund alternate software. It is a domino effect,” adds Tharun.
However, a devoted torrent-user, Faiz Rai, director, YellowStudio Works, says that there is always an impending danger that these websites will be forced to close down. “If one shuts down, two more will pop-up,” he comments. Kumail Sadiq, a student, says, “It will take a long time for torrent sites to shut down. But I am afraid that it will happen one day. Websites like Filesonic have been pulled-out and it is only a matter of time till more are shut.”
“I support the movement on shutting down torrents, though I am myself addicted to torrents and am consciously perpetuating piracy. But these artists work hard and we need to respect that. Instead, there should be another method that will draw people away from things, like iTunes,” says Faiz.
Nakul, on the other hand, argues, “If file sharing is wrong,then Youtube must close too. These websites contain user-generated content. This is the reason why SOPA and PIPA were dangerous as they would have put on us on such websites.” Few think that the end of torrents is nearing, others are of the opinion that if not torrents, there are other methods for file sharing.