As BitTorrent gains greater prominence on the internet, questions about the laws concerning BitTorrent are surely to rise. BitTorrent is a protocol of file transfer, meaning any laws must balance the legal uses of BitTorrent.
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What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent utilises a distributed data model to rapidly transfer files from many computers to one computer in thousands of pieces, thus greatly increasing speed and reliability.
As of late 2009, there are no specific laws governing the usage of BitTorrent in the United States. But the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an intellectual property treaty currently being developed on the international stage that will include BitTorrent provisions.
Trackers have been held by courts to be in violation of copyright law as of late 2009 even though the BitTorrent files do not contain copyright infringing media.
Some internet service providers "throttle" BitTorrent connections. This kind of limitation is within the rights of an ISP so long as it is done in a transparent manner.
The increasing popularity of BitTorrent should not be mistook as an endorsement of its every use. Downloading copyrighted material is always a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
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