Blocking of torrent sites will not dissuade pirates: Here’s how
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Blocking of torrent sites will not dissuade pirates: Here’s how

For several years the entertainment business has blamed companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for not doing enough to prevent instances of Internet piracy. Infact at entertainment industry bodies at various have accused Google of fuelling it and profiting from it.

tech Updated: Feb 14, 2017 19:25 IST
Siladitya Ray
Siladitya Ray
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Torrents blocked,Google,Yahoo
Many countries have taken measures to shut down the peer-to-peer downloads site but somehow the torrent sites are still accessible to many users via new websites.(Shutterstock Image)

The entertainment industry has for years blamed companies such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for not doing enough to prevent instances of internet piracy.

In fact, entertainment industry bodies at various times have even accused Google of fueling it and profiting from it.

Reports said on Monday that Google, Yahoo and Bing executives met representatives of the entertainment industry in the UK facilitated by the British Intellectual Property office and that the search giants are close to signing a deal to ban torrent aggregators.

The move intends to ensure that access to pirated content is cut-off at the search level itself. For example, a consumer searching for ‘Download movie XYZ’ will no longer be directed to torrent sites from where the pirated copy of said movie can be accessed.

While the move may prevent some people from accessing pirated content, savvy users will easily be able to circumvent it.

Here are five ways how the torrent sites will still be accessible to users:

Through other search engines

Most pirates are likely to move from the traditional search engines like Google and Bing to privacy-focussed ones like DuckDuckGo and Ixquick. Sites such as DuckDuckGo emphasize on protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filtered search results. This means no website, including torrent sites, will be filtered out from search results.

Directly accessing torrent sites

Popular torrents sites maintain their own internal search engine for pirated content. Users can go around the ban by simply visiting popular torrent sites directly and searching for the content they need. The most popular public torrent platforms offer very sophisticated search engines that allow users to filter results by popularity.

Private trackers

While public torrent trackers (platforms) are popular with most users, private trackers offer a significant upgrade. They’re called “private” because they regulate who is allowed to use the site or in other words they are an exclusive community.

Because the rules are so strict and the sites are so much less visited than sites such as The Pirate Bay, users are a lot less likely to have someone looking over their shoulder. So, the search engine ban hammer is unlikely to affect access to these sites because of their relative obscurity.

Illegal streaming sites

Torrenting is so 2003 and illegal streaming sites are the new king, at least that is what the data says. A large majority of traffic for both TV and film piracy is now being hogged by streaming piracy sites instead of torrent-based downloading, with roughly 58 billion visits last year alone according to research group Muso.

“There’s a clear piracy audience trend change away from content ‘ownership’ using P2P/Torrents or web downloads,” the company reported.

Just how large is that? According to Muso, streaming volume accounts for approximately 74% of all TV and movie piracy online, with traffic to torrent sites dropping sharply.

First Published: Feb 14, 2017 18:20 IST