Thursday, April 17, 2008

BitTorrent user burnt by her ISP

A reader of followed some advice for downloading got uTorrent and downloaded some music. Then her ISP sent her a nasty surprise. From Caught Downloading Copyrigted Material Now What?

I recently followed Lifehacker's guide to BitTorrent and set my laptop up with the uTorrent program. Using a combination of PizzaTorrent and uTorrent, I downloaded several movies and albums, perhaps 30 in all. Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Cablevision (my ISP) saying that Paramount/Dreamworks had filed a complaint with them regarding my illegal download of one of their films.

Lifehacker's response was to post this 'How to' for protecting your privacy:


. . . no one likes to have their activities online monitored. Let's take a look at ways you can protect your downloading and file sharing privacy, and prevent the big media companies and other anti-P2P organizations from spying on your file sharing habits.

You can follow the link above and see what they have to say or find the abridged version below:

PeerGuardian 2 keeps track of well known IP addresses that are likely snooping to find yours out -- Not the perfect solution.

Use a proxy like Vidalia -- Not a perfect solution, in fact this may slow your downloads so much that you'd be better off just buying your pirated music and videos on a street corner in China, the Philippines or Thailand once a year on your winter vacation.

Alternatively you could try to shop around for an ISP that doesn't just pony you up for Big Music or move to a country that doesn't seem to have much in the way of copyright laws or enforcement in place (Korea is probably a reasonable bet, we have a Yahoo Real Estate shop on every corner and I'm sure there is no connection with the internet giant we all know).

Additionally, you might consider consuming your pirate materials in smaller doses. The reader that wrote into Lifehacker had downloaded 30+ music albums in short order.

Finally, just relax, Big Music and Big Entertainment companies cannot sue everybody's arse!

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