Mr Goat "Added to which, there is nothing illegal about torrents or torrent sites. I just used one to download the latest build of Ubuntu. I found the torrent using google."
I agree with you Goat, nothing illegal about Torrents, they are merely conduits. But when you use them to UPLOAD copyright material and share it, yes, that is "aiding & abetting".
Google is a SEARCH engine, not a FILE SHARING SYSTEM.
I understand you are debating the tiny, pedantic, differences but for what purpose? Are you just stirring the pot, playing defense lawyer, or assuming the role of Devil's Advocate?
If I post the URL of someone's illegally uploaded DVD, even for the purpose of letting the copyright owner know where it is, then by your logic I'm aiding & abetting as well.
INTENT is a key element here that you seem to be ignoring.
INTENT is the difference between murder and self-defense.
In this case it is the difference between a TORRENT service ALLOWING people to upload copyright material (or to be 100% accurate - allowing people to upload URLs that point to where the files are for the specific purpose that other users can download them) and a SEARCH engine telling you where someone has posted something on the web.
If you wish to argue along this path, then you might think about the responsibilty the ISP has.
One of our sites got booted of our ISP because we were hacked three times and the hackers put invisible links onto our front page directing people to Viagra sites.
We were not even aware but the ISP did not want to be associated with any kind of illegal or unethical behaviour (maybe they can be fined for hosting sites that do that sort of thing, I have no idea) but even though we explained we were unaware of being hacked, we were booted.
Now if pressure was put on all ISPs so that if they were found to be hosting illegal torrent sharing, (and by that I mean a collection of links to illegal files stored on other computers) then I think this sort of file sharing would fade away very quickly.
At the moment, I think the industry is a little self-regulated with a lot of ISPs trying to build a good reputation. Then there are others that simply want the money.
Just like in our business.
BTW: No-one answered my question about a hundred posts ago.
I asked, if you had two screens up on your computer - one displayed a magic DVD your really wanted to see and it cost $25 to download from an online store, and the other a torrent site with the download for free... where would you click?
Unfortunately, most people will choose the free option then, if caught, try to justify it with:
* "There's so much junk produced on the market I wanted to preview it before buying."
* "If it's really illegal, then why was it so freely available?"
* "Copyright only applies if it's sold, not if it's shared."
* "I didn't know it was illegal."
People know that's it's wrong to steal, but when tempted with theft that they think they'll get away with... many find it irresistible.
Look at riots for example. One person smashes a shop window, grabs a TV set and runs, others see him get away with it and taking advantage of the situation they do the same.
The only reason we don't see this sort of theft on a daily basis is that police catch the rioters and charge them. They let the community know that this is unnaceptable and if you do it you stand a good chance of being caught and punished.
Unfortunately, the theft of intellectual property, the stealing of movies, music and DVDs, although it is clearly denounced as theft (just look at all the warnings at the start of movies etc) people see their friends getting away with it and think "Why should I pay? No-one else is!"
I have to concede I am wrong to think education will change the behaviour of the majority of the population. The threat of punishment is the only thing that will stop piracy.
(On a side note: We have the same problem here in Melbourne right now with street violence. People know it's wrong, but so few people are being caught and even fewer are being punished that crime is escalating. People are calling for the same sort of "Zero Tolerance" policy that appears to have helped New York City fight crime. We simply don't have enough police to enforce it though. Instead the politicians keep buying more CCTV systems... that way, when we find a dead body on the footpath, we get to see how they were killed. Too little too late. But that's another issue, if you want to debate or discuss that PM me!)