Torrenting, a new way to get stuff you don’t want to pay for

By MARISA HIVNER

It’s safe to say that the price we pay for entertainment has skyrocketed over the past few years; I mean, I remember when I could see a movie, at 8 p.m., for $6. That’s a matinee these days, if you’re lucky. Nevertheless, there are always ways around paying to be entertained and the most frequent way online is by the use of torrents.

When you normally download a file, you download it from a single source; torrents, on the other hand, are files that are downloaded from multiple sources simultaneously. There are many torrent sites out there today and they are all, for the most part, free to users.

The content of what can be torrented is simple: just about anything. Movies, music, pictures, computer programs and documents are all up for grabs on these “you name it, you got it” forums (sites such as thepiratebay.org and www.torrentsource.com). With that being said, where does that leave the media industry?

The negative aspects of torrenting are obvious: the industry is losing money. Without the sales of these commodities, many corporations may not be able to continue producing media or media tools due to a lack of funding. Additionally, torrented material may be at risk of legal repercussions, such as royalty fees, violation of distribution rights, copyright, and so on. Even so, billions of Internet users continue to torrent.

Torrenting can be a useful tool to many people and smaller operations, though many disagree. It allows for a more cost-effective way to acquire material that can be helpful in the development of projects.

Torrenting is also a time-saver; it is often quicker to torrent something rather than to go to a store and buy it, or to regularly download, simply because it allows for the download of multiple parts of the files at the same time. For instance, let’s say a photo-editor needs the latest version of Adobe Photoshop. It saves time and money to torrent the program, rather than to make a trip to the local Best Buy, spend upwards of $300, and go home and install the program. It’s a more productive and economical choice.

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