We are not going to preach. Of course, it is attractive to download movies, software, books, music, and games illegally. And, very honestly, some of Scamadviser's staff have done so in the past. Why pay for it when you can get it for free?
However, before you do, consider a few reasons why you may not want to download media illegally and check the safe alternatives at the bottom of the page.
It is a crime as you are hurting people
When a book, movie, song, game of software product is created, marketed and distributed, everyone involved in the process has the right to receive money from the sale of that product. Therefore, that product is protected by copyright law upon that it cannot be copied, reproduced or resold without their permission.
We often hear the argument that illegal downloading is not stealing. You may be right that you do not take the product away from another person, but you are stealing money from all the people who are involved in making that product possible at all.
If you do not pay for a game, book, song, movie or other media product that has a copyright, then downloading that file is, in the end, a crime. Likewise, distributing a copyrighted media file, whether via electronic or non-electronic methods, without the express permission of the copyright holder is simply put also illegal.
You may get punished, severely
It depends strongly on the country if illegal downloading and/or torrent sites are prosecuted or not. Countries also have different fees depending on if you have downloaded it for private use or if you are also distributing illegal media (which in most cases you do). In the United States, you may end up with up to 5 years imprisonment and fines up to $150,000 per file (yes, per file). Apart from this fine, the copyright holder can file suit, which can result in additional legal fees and damages. In Japan you can go to jail for up to 2 years and fines up to $ 25,000. VPN Mentor has made a nice overview in which countries torrent sites are considered illegal:
More information about the legal situation per country you can find on Wikipedia.
You put your own computer at risk
Illegal downloading places your computer at risk in two different ways. First of all, the files you are downloading often include viruses, ransomware, and other malicious files. While anti-virus software may catch some of the bad stuff, often it does not.
Secondly, as most illegal downloading happens via Peer-to-Peer networks when you are downloading, you are at the same time uploading files. This not only may slow down your computer, but it is also making you a distributor of illegal media, which is punished much more severely.
Where to download legally?
While you may not be able to get the latest games, books and software there are many alternatives which still get you entertained and working:
- Books: Google Free eBooks, ManyBooks, Open Library, Project Gutenberg
- Music: Amazon Free Music, Jamendo, Revernation, SoundClick, Soundcloud, Spotify
- Video: Youtube, Popcornflix, PlutoTV
- Games: Steam, Origin, Microsoft, Itch.io
If you know of any other good (and legal) sources, please let us know!
Obrigado por relatar um caso de uso indevido.