It's 2016. Why Do You Torrent?

marigold

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For me, pirating also has several reasons, though over the past few years, thanks to the interwebs, these reasons have changed somewhat, by bringing the world closer to me.

Availability of content - Where I live, neither audio nor video is comfortably available. If I want to buy something, either cd's or movies, I will have to buy it on-line (saves me taxes, but adds shipping). In addition some content is not available in the USA at all. I had to enlist the help of a relative overseas in order to get a certain music cd, and then it was a download rather than the disc I would have liked. There is no way for me to get European, Australian, Asian or even Canadian TV other than by pirating.

Cost - I pay for a bunch of channels for which I have absolutely no use, but I would have to pay a hefty additional sum for the premium channels like HBO and Showtime, something I'm unwilling to do. (I would trade in about 75 channels of what I get now for 1 HBO :p)
As far as books is concerned, with very few exceptions we are not reading dt books anymore. Pirating books gives me the ability to sample an author before I lay out 16 bucks for a paperback or 10 bucks for same book in digital. I still do buy books, but never from authors I'm not familiar with. I also pirate books when the price irks me. I probably would pay the price if I knew that the author actually got a fair share of the proceeds, but I'm unwilling to support the publisher to the nth degree.

And ultimately there is the feeling that good shows/books/music should be passed on and shared :D.
 
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pWned

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I think my motivations have evolved over time.

I was grandfathered into BT via Napster, KAZAA/Morpheus/LimeWire and whatever all their names were.

At the beginning my motivations were pure :p. Spirit of sharing, community and all that.

If I'm really honest today I'd have to answer I just want free shit without region restrictions and forced advertising and in proper resolution. Yeah, I've become that shallow and no point in pretending otherwise. I'm still an expat overseas, and despite TV over here becoming somewhat digital, the original sound channel is only available on few select shows. Try watching anything dubbed in German, holy foshizzle it's bad!

The way I see it, I've earned my stripes, I've done my part. I'm still trying to be a "good user" on the remaining trackers I still have. I seed everything I get as long as available HD space permits, but other than that my days of being a great asset are kinda over. The occasional forum post here and there, a couple donated hours of volunteer work now and then at sites I like in particular, that's about it.

As for why BT in particular? It just works so damn well with SickBeard and CouchPotato. Frankly, I would probably use Usenet if it wasn't for all the shitty fake and low-quality uploads. BT means curated content from sources that are held accountable if they upload shitty crap. BTN + PTP + CouchPotato + SickBeard is basically like having the best cable provider in the world.

I know it's kinda shameful, but to be honest, I don't really have the energy anymore to pursue torrenting as some form of hobby or anything like that. I burnt myself out rather quickly with at times obsessive uploading/seeding strategies (yes, I was once the mother of ratio whores) and my fair share of community dramaz. Maybe I'm just getting old.
 
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martianka

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The day that Spotify content can be downloaded for free and a completely free Netflix features films from North Korea, Iran and Cuba, as well as the full American assortment....
That day I will consider ceasing bittorrent.
 
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Klatt

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Because it became obvious to me (and not so much to Itunes kinda people) just what a goldmine private trackers were. I had done a lot of public tracker torrenting, got on Demonoid, then caught wind of even more exclusive and better sites that were around. The organization, amount, and quality of content available on private tackers is unmatched, and you don't get harassed by your ISP for transferrring it. I started out on Napster and usenet, private trackers are an evolution of this activity.
 

Vaalbeast

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I torrent because it's easy. I can transfer and use the files however I want. I have a full selection of the quality I'm getting, and always at the maximum speed my internet can support. I don't have to worry about physical media, or accounts on 2 to 3 streaming sites, or if my hardware has all the correct copy protection protocols.
All I need is internet and hard drive space.

Technically I could afford what I want, and I don't have issues with availability where I live, it's still literally easier as a technology-minded individual to torrent.
 
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Capone

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I love 1080p Blu Ray movies,(25-50$)ebooks(2-15$)audiobooks(20-60$),self help/elearning videos and programs,software(5-5,000$),TV Series in 1080p Blu Ray(100-200$. Music(12-25$). The amount of media I consume,it would cost 25-75,000+ a year!

I could never afford it.

Also, No streaming service has the library like what,Ptp,theplace,vault,geeks,show,Movie packs,obscure films found on secret cinema,Ptp and KG. Nor the quality of the content P2P does. And it's free. We get to share our favorite content. The forums give us a great place to discuss everything!

The movie reviews are never posted by publishing company bots like at Amazon or goodreads! Everything is so much more personal,hands on and convenient. The staff,members provide help on almost any subject. If there's an issue,PMing staff is A LOT easier than contacting Netflix or Spotify,Amazon prime,etc....

It's about sharing at most places and not money which is anrarenthing these days. I respect that! The request system,plus we can stream these torrents through coachpotato,right?
I see no upsides to not using private BT sites. Use a cheap,10-15$ a month (some are less at 5-7$ a month). You get way more content at a higher quality!
 
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BlastGT1

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I started with Napster, on dial-up no less, back in 1999. Since then I've used most of the well-known filesharing clients and networks of the day, and got started with torrents in 2004. Since then I've never looked back, although very occasionally I will get content from somewhere other than a torrent site.

I started with downloading music, then when we got a CD-R/W the game was afoot! I'm primarily an appz whore, because I don't watch a lot of movies or TV, don't listen to a lot of music, and don't consume a lot of digital books, since I mostly read news articles and such online. My ideology regarding torrents is mostly shaped by the fact that I'm an appz whore. Why the hell should I pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a single program? Photoshop was damn near 1000 bucks when I first got a copy, and there's no way I could ever afford that. Then there are programs such as AutoDesk's AutoCAD, which is several grand per copy, and I know there are others priced even higher. I'm also driven by the fact that sometimes I need an app for a single use, and I'm not shelling out the money to pay for it if I can grab it for free. I'm all for open-source software alternatives, but oftentimes there is not a good alternative available, or whatever is there just pales in comparison.

Along with that philosophy, my reasoning also became "sticking it to the man" once the MPAA and RIAA began ridiculously overstepping their authority and suing individuals for what they call piracy. They are technically correct in that downloading without owning a copy is illegal, but the definition of piracy used to be used in reference to illegal duplication and distribution of content with the purpose of profiting from it. When digital consumption became a thing because of the internet, and more importantly high speed internet, the movie and music industries refused to find new ways to market content (iTunes music being a notable exception) because they did not want to accept the idea of losing profit margin. 15 dollars for a CD and 20 dollars for a DVD, and the fact that you couldn't choose the parts you wanted and leave the rest, effectively drove people to do what those industries feared.....mass-downloading of content. I find it ridiculous that technology usually forces innovation and adaptation UNLESS you're a big corporation or conglomerate. That, however, is another discussion for another thread.

I suppose I probably should feel guilty, but honestly, I don't. Not when multibillion dollar industries would rather waste millions on litigation instead of spend those millions constructively by finding ways to cater to their customers. Now I will support some small indie content providers with my hard-earned cash, such as my friends The Trese Brothers, because they are trying to make a living doing what they love, and putting quality ahead of quantity. I like those who put their heart and soul into their work, and do their best to make it right. I don't like those who sell out and forget where they came from because all they see now is dollar signs.

Last, but not least, is the fact that I love community. I enjoy sharing with fellow pirates, and enjoy more interacting with them. I've made many friends over the years, from all over the world. I put over 5 years into the community aspect of torrent sites, and another 4 after that doing the same thing with my own little forum. In the end, being able to share content and myself with others is a good half of why I still torrent.
 

cherwonk

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For myself...I used to torrent (I cant be doing that stuff anymore) because of a couple of reasons. All of which had monetary roots. The movies, well basically I was tired of dishing out my hard earned cash for what turned out to be crap. Plain and simple torrenting helps me weed out the crap Hollywood releases on a weekly basis. After preing the movies if they are to my liking I purchase them. At present I legally own over 500 titles, closer to 600.
As far as software goes, LoL when Microsoft went and made it one disc for one computer ... they pissed me off. When I saw Adobe charges $1500 for a single software program... that pissed me off. I dont mind buying if the price is reasonable, I owned Win 95, 98,ME and NT and presently own 3 copies of Win 7... not by choice.
For now I need to rely on word of mouth if movies are good or not, as far as OS and software. I think it's almost time to introduce my family to Linux.
 

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The country I live in doesn't have options for getting legal content in a nice or efficient way. The bandwidth is too slow to stream anything, even over VPN & I don't get the breadth of content anywhere else besides torrenting.

The community can sometimes be nice too, but it depends on where you decide to settle.
 

Silk186

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Because I'm a digital pirate ARG!
Seriously, I want shit now and I don't want to pay for said shit. I hate commercials on TV, I want all my content on demand.
I'm too cheap/poor to pay for much and a lot of it I wouldn't know how to get any other way. I could probably get some from the used market for older content but I don't really see a difference between pirating and buying second hand content. One is more legal but I don't think it is more moral.
 

Port

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Simple.

Cost and delivery of content.
 
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Cherokee

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Well, before I started torrenting, I tried to get the content legally, and was unable to do so. At that time, I could have paid for what I wanted, which was access to the UK Big Brother show. There was a service that was forty five bucks a month, that allowed access, but it only accepted credit cards, not bank debit cards. So basically I started torrenting, because I could find what I wanted on mininova. When I was on mininova, the files i was getting said bb-tv on it, so I signed up, and there I was in the private tracker world. Now, even if they offered it, I couldn't afford it. I used to spend a lot of my working time in libraries, so would be able to read most anything they had. However, I'm not very close to a library where I live now, so I do read ebooks that I download off of pirate sites. I don't think it has actually affected my purchases, since (like before), I still buy used books at sales. (I like having a book to read in the bathroom, and ebooks are never going to be as good a substitute on that one!) I was able to throw away several large boxes of cassette tapes when I got my first computer, and realized the Grateful Dead had put all their shows online, though! As far as music, my mp3 player has substituted for a decent radio station, the likes of which I haven't seen since FM came out in the late '60s. :D
 

opensea462

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For me it is chiefly convenience, community and discovery.

1) Convenience - I find torrents, especially private trackers, to be insanely easy to use and reliable. The quality is also great once you get into good trackers. I am glad there are services like Netflix and Spotify out there that are offering this convenience and forcing the big cats to realise that the status quo is over and that they will have to stop screwing customers over if they want their patronage. I hope this trend continues and eventually becomes profitable and sustainable so people can keep producing content and get revenue too without screwing over the customer too much.

2) Community - Most trackers I am in have a nice enough community that help users out. TPS in particular is very helpful and creates great bridges to connect with. It's special to be with like minded people and at the same time have views challenged. Being willing to learn lots of new things helps too I have found. I also find that the members from all trackers are quite varied so you learn lots about the world most of the time.

3) Discovery - This is probably the most important part for me. I am certain that more than 50% of the content I have seen and heard of has come from browsing various trackers and forums that I would never have even heard of otherwise. This means I am exposed to new people and teams that otherwise would not reach me. I then become their fan and keep on supporting them in whatever way I can.
 

IronMaiden

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Significantly reduced my use. On and off download 1080p of the movies i wanted to watch in HQ
 

ZebTM

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I originally started pirating because I've always had very little money and wanted to to get more content, it's as simple as that. I remember back listening to the same albums I scrounged up the money to purchase hundreds of times, even if you like the album originally that will make you hate it :p Overtime though my motivations have evolved. It's still a lot about getting stuff I wouldn't be able to otherwise but there are other reasons now too.

History


I didn't get around to private trackers until the last two years, actually, although I've been pirating before that. I experimented with Bearshare for music briefly, and did a lot of tracking down individual files be they torrents or direct downloads or whatever as best I could.

My first experience with a private piracy site was being invited to luelinks in 2009, which was a direct download site where everything was hosted on megashare. It was basically like reaching pirate nirvana - over 100,000 megaupload links to almost anything I could dream of, at my fingertips. That lasted me good a good while, although the links section of the site eventually closed a few years ago, a year or so later being succeeded by SoItGoes. I also was invited to a private FTP-based music site at some point, their goal was less to create an archive of music but to share music people personally liked.

Eventually the person who invited me to the FTP site invited me to What in early 2014 which was my introduction to private trackers, after a rough start I got to Elite and then spread out throughout the private tracker ecosystem through official and unofficial invite threads. At this point I think I'm on every tracker I know of that I want to be on.

Why I torrent


Originally I just wanted to get stuff I couldn't afford, but my motivations have changed. One of my big motivations now is delivering new content to people. This includes shuffling torrents around between trackers sure, but Bibliotik introduced me to doing my own rips (for better word) and introducing content to private trackers that had never been there before. I've uploaded over 100 "retail" ebooks to bibliotik which has never been made available for piracy before that and it gives me a lot of joy to see people downloading those uploads.

Another new thing I'm enamored with on private trackers is all the content that straight up isnt available legally, whether stuff that's been lost in the copyright gap (someone is holding on to the copyright but not making it available for sale), stuff that is limited to sale for certain countries, material that has never been made available digitally or if it has its in substandard quality (I'm looking at you WebDLs) Private trackers offer a lot that the capitalist system of content distribution simply cant, even for someone with unlimited income.

In closing I'd like to say that I consider private trackers to be libraries of culture that need to be protected. Underground libraries yes, and unfortunately always under fire, but some of the most important cultural resources that exist today.
 

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I started with fserv's moved up to scene dump sites and then when torrenting came out moved over to that.
I couldn't afford to pay for everything I wanted. They used to have demoware and shareware so you would know what was good or not.
I played that one table in Epic Pinball for years.
If Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, HBO GO, Showtime, CBS and etc were one streaming service and had shows the same time as they aired. I would pay for that.
I did pay cable company for TV service with HD and DVR service. I couldn't watch when cable went out stuff that was already recorded because it had to call home to see if it was OK to play.
I bought Skyrim after playing a cracked version and loving all the mods.
Why buy stuff the media companies claim you don't own and only have a license to play and then have to buy it again.
Records, Cassettes, CD's, MP3's, FLAC
Beta, VHS, DVD, BluRay, 4K, 8K Bluray or newer version.
I can download it to mediaserver and stream it from plex. All my TV Shows, Movies, and Music. eBooks, magazines, and comics I can load on my ereader or tablet.
I started getting into comics since it easier to read cbr, cbz, cb7 files now. I started with reading them from Hoopla Digital thru the library.
Some content I would not be aware of it wasn't for the Pirate Life. I want control of my content and not the providers.
 

7vincent7black7

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When I torrented for the first few times, it was with a mixture of 1 part terror, 2 parts adrenline, and a final quarter of confusion/uncertainty. I had bought a gaming computer about half a year prior, for the first time, and discovered I could pirate video games, at a time when I found the number of games I wanted to play did not balance with the number of dollars that sat crinkled in my wallet. My first year of torrenting/pirating was basically that. I couldn't afford to, or otherwise didn't want to, pay for all the games I wanted to play on my computer, so I torrented/pirated them, played them for a few weeks, and then uninstalled -> deleted them off my hard drive.

The amount of enjoyment I got out of doing this was immense. I will never again feel the satisfaction I experienced at, not only being able ot play newly-released games of that time, but even games I had wanted in the past, but couldn't have afforded. Of course, I eventually looked at the possibility of extending this, in my case, greedy habit to that of the xbox 360 which sat on my dresser, but I discovered that I had a disc tray which was difficult to modify, in order to play torrented 360 games. So that never happnened.

Year 2 came around and it was bad for me, at that time. If any pc game came out at all, I didn't think about buying them anymore, my first thoughts went to waiting 3 days, pirating it, playing it for about a week or 2 max, then uninstalling them. Long story short, it was in that year that I burned myself out. I pirated lots of games, just to play them for a few days, get bored, and uninstall them. I never looked at them again. I realized I no longer had the gaming attention span that I used to. I couldn't even stay focused on games that I legally owned anymore, because I would get bored very quickly. I finally realized that I was no longer "acquiring" games because I liked them, or because I couldn't afford it, but simply because I was able to do so, and it was about the ability of being able to pirate anything that I wanted, at no cost to me, without having to answer to anyone for it. (Especially when I eventually learned ot use Private Internet Access :3 )

My love for gaming had been swallowed up in the abyssal maw of my own gluttony. Video games no longer meant anything to me, especially since by this time I had come to terms with the idea that I wasn't going to justify pirating games without supporting developers. I was, at this time (and still am somewhat), okay with the idea that "I was just a bad person who only pirated things he had no intention of keeping". Which happens to be the curious reason why I have never pirated a music album. Well, I gave up pirating for awhile. I started buying a LOT of the games I had acquired and liked. I didnt' buy games I had pirated, but found I did not like, but if I had pirated it and played it extensively, and enjoyed it? 9 times out of 10, it wound up on the list of games I bought finally as some form of recompense.

I still torrent things still now, but not in the way that I used to. I almost never pirate anything anymore. These days I pay for the games I want to play, although once in a while I might slip up. I'm only human, and I am a human gamer, who ends up making up for it by buying said torrented game on steam. Most of what I end up torrenting these days is freeware or whatever.

Except ******* Microsoft Office. That yearly price for such a software as that, which has been out for so long, is unaffordable. I'm pretty unrepentant about that one, admittedly. :) Other than that, I try not to derive my pleasure from the things that I have by my ability to get them for free, or even at a cheaper price. That was my big mistake. I thought I had some kind of right to things that didn't belong to me, and it became my vanity and greed. I guess its a matter of appreciating the things you have by being willing to pay for them. But when it comes to pirating, not torrenting (because there is a difference to me), that's just my personal experience.
 

jagura

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I'm an archivist. I like collecting high-quality tv series in many formats, even for the same release, and I like to sort and tag it extensively
I have a large archive of series
 

Kivharo

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So I suppose my scenario started downloading MP3s back on P2P using iMesh, Kazaa, Frostwire/Limewire etc, but things started to get a bit more serious I started pirating software, burning CD's and downloading through IRC with the likes of IRCspy.
So BlastGT1's post pretty much sums up my reasons for torrenting, A couple of points in particular stand out to me:

Why the hell should I pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a single program? Photoshop was damn near 1000 bucks when I first got a copy, and there's no way I could ever afford that. Then there are programs such as AutoDesk's AutoCAD, which is several grand per copy, and I know there are others priced even higher. I'm also driven by the fact that sometimes I need an app for a single use, and I'm not shelling out the money to pay for it if I can grab it for free.
For me pirating software was really the only way I could get the software required to study. This was back when Dreamweaver / Flash were still with Macromedia, Photoshop from Adobe and CorelDRAW. These weren't exactly inexpensive apps, and the 'education pricing' still saw these products total well over a thousand dollars. Staying current with the latest software meant pirating, and that's a habit that dies pretty hard.

I find it ridiculous that technology usually forces innovation and adaptation UNLESS you're a big corporation or conglomerate. That, however, is another discussion for another thread.
To this point I don't necessarily agree, the technology changes the way users access software, consume and share content. This changing landscape forces the corporations to adapt and slowly alter their business models in an attempt to retain their existing user base and maintain growth. Most notably we've seen this happening of late with the influx of subscription streaming services. This kind of forced change is by and large the best thing that could possibly happen to bring the current (and outdated) methods of distribution to into the 21st century. (But yeah that is a bigger discussion for another time.)

So to the point of why we, or more specifically I still torrent. Because the truth is that my first point of call for most media is actually through my subscription services (pending availability in my region). I tend to only download after the fact to file away in the ever growing collection of digital media.
With software I honestly tend to pirate apps I either use infrequently or to test out a suite of apps before deciding on one I wish to use long-term.
I personally find private trackers are an entirely separate beast. It's more about a community that's built around the torrents and the file sharing. I would consider these places specialist interest groups. The torrenting is really an added bonus.
 
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xevex

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I torrent for a lot of reasons, but maybe most of all because I have been 'torrenting' all the way back to the early 90s. Yeah back then there was no torrents, it was BBSs, etc. I got so used to being able to just download what I wanted, when I wanted it with no restrictions what so ever. I never in my life had to deal with buying music for an iPod and then not being able to transfer it to my phone. Or scratching a disk and loosing a game, movie, whatever. For the end user piracy is the superior option in many ways. It took the music industry forever to even have a legal way to buy music online, the whole time the MP3 scene was booming. Then they did DRM for a while and finally released their grasp. For TV shows I set my RSS feed and forget about it, it's like having a DVR that already removed the commercials for me. I share some drives and my media player can play them as easy as using Netflix. It also has become somewhat of a hobby collecting stuff :)