From Torrent Freak:
Fifteen years ago, online peer-to-peer file-sharing was a fairly straightforward process. One simply downloaded a file-sharing client such as Kazaa, searched for whatever tickled one’s fancy, and waited for the file to transfer.
While it was undoubtedly easy, slick it was not. ‘Shared folder’ type applications like Kazaa and LimeWire were slow, clumsy and a haven for fake files and junk. No wonder people got excited when BitTorrent came along a few years later.
Today, people getting into the P2P file-sharing scene experience an altogether different dynamic. In some ways it’s more difficult to get going from a standing start, but for those prepared to handle an initially steep learning curve the rewards are potentially much greater.
However, with great ‘rewards’ come great responsibilities, especially when it comes to sharing copyrighted content without permission. As a result there are many misconceptions about what is and isn’t legal and how people are ‘caught’ (and by whom) when using tools such as BitTorrent online.
I never ‘seed’ so I’m never going to get caught
For the vast majority of users, seeding is the act of sharing content they have already downloaded. So, when a movie has downloaded and clicks from 99% to 100% complete, their BitTorrent software starts sharing that entire copy with the world.
However, many users believe that if they stop their software before it starts seeding, that means they cannot be tracked by anti-piracy companies. Unfortunately for them, that is completely untrue.
Any user in a BitTorrent ‘swarm’ has…