Trevor Akinde, Author
uTorrent is one of the most widely used torrenting clients on the internet. However, some people question whether using a torrent client or uTorrent, in particular, is legal.
The answer to these concerns could vary depending on where you live, but most of the points we’ll discuss are applicable all over the world.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the legality of uTorrent, so stick around.
What Is uTorrent?
uTorrent is a torrent client developed by BitTorrent, an American company based in San Francisco, California. uTorrent has over 170 million active users, making it one of the most popular torrent clients out there and the company’s most used torrent client.
Is uTorrent Illegal?
To cut it short, the act of torrenting itself is 100% legal, which means that uTorrent is legal too. uTorrent doesn’t directly offer torrent files for the users; it’s merely software that uses a shared, peer-to-peer network that allows users to download torrent files. However, this only applies if you’re downloading content that’s not copyrighted.
If the files you’re downloading are copyrighted, you might get caught if your Internet Service Provider is monitoring your web activity. You could also be subject to lawsuits from the copyright holders themselves.
Some of the content that’s highly likely to be copyrighted include movies, TV series, ebooks, computer games, and productivity software.
However, uTorrent isn’t legally responsible for the type of files that the users can download, which means that you can safely use it as long as you’re downloading torrent files that are free to use or don’t hold any copyrights that prohibit its unauthorized distribution.
This all doesn’t mean that BitTorrent didn’t face any lawsuits for encouraging piracy and infringing copyrights. By being an involved party when a user downloads pirated content, the company is sometimes accused of copyright infringement under some jurisdictions.
Nevertheless, as long as you’re not downloading copyrighted files, none of this should be a concern for you.
Using uTorrent Legally
If you want to let a large number of people have access to some of the files on your computer, you can simply upload them to a server and let people download the files from there.
However, such a solution can only be feasible with small files. On the other hand, applying the same method with lots of large files can be impractical, and your web host could charge you additional fees if you cross the bandwidth limit.
That’s where torrenting clients like uTorrent come in handy. Instead of letting everyone download from the same source, you’re allowed to “seed” the files to the other user who downloaded the files.
That user then contributes to making the files available to download for even more users, which means that the bandwidth consumption is shared between you and the other user. The cycle goes on until a significant number of users have downloaded the files. At that point, your bandwidth’s contribution becomes virtually negligible.
Another reason why people use uTorrent is data redundancy. It can be quite risky for businesses to rely on their servers for file sharing. Your users won’t be severely affected with torrenting if your servers went down, since the files will remain available through other seeders, saving your business a lot of money.
To sum it all up, uTorrent is, in fact, legal. As an internet user, you’re free to use it for downloading content that’s not protected by copyrights.
You just need to avoid downloading copyrighted content to avoid legal actions and lawsuits. If you want to go the extra mile and protect yourself even further, you can use a VPN service to hide your IP address and avoid your identity from being exposed when torrenting.