The Internet has facilitated many things and torrent is one of them.
FYI, the Torrent network is distributed data sharing system. Torrent is a method of distributing data without relying on a single server, this makes it harder for a downloadable file to become inaccessible and allows people to download a file with a speed higher than that of the original uploader’s server without putting excessive strain on the uploader’s server or its internet connection. It is a reliable way to share big files like applications, games, movies, music, and many more things. But the source of this entertainment may not always be ethical, and this is where torrenting becomes illegal.
Redistribution and sharing of copyrighted contents are illegal, you can be booked for some serious fine or sentence for doing this if caught red-handed. Still, many torrent sites are operating openly and users are still using it by using proxy or VPN (Virtual Private Network) to download and share contents online.
So, is it illegal to use torrents in India?
To be honest, and as far as I understand Indian law: Just visiting and downloading files from a torrent site is not illegal. Even some open-source projects are using torrent to distribute their files (example .iso files).
The majority of famous torrent search sites are blocked by the Government of India as none of them follow any rule of stopping redistribution of copyrighted contents. Although it is not illegal either to visit them (can be accessed using proxies or connecting to virtual private networks) or download any content for free for your own use.
Can you go to jail for torrenting?
Continuing the above line (not the headline)…
Things may go wrong when you redistribute copyrighted content. But not for stuff that is already free and open source where redistribution is allowed. Keep in mind that torrent is not a safe source to download *so-called free content*, many users use torrent to download PAID of everything for free which is cracked, nulled, hacked. One may get into some serious trouble as it may contain malware or virus that may infect your computer system.
You may go to jail for torrenting once you try to share anything which is not yours and you have no rights to share it.
Merely visiting and downloading files from torrent sites is not illegal, it’s all your own risk, and if somebody is viewing or downloading files for individual use. But distribution, making copies, and sale or hire of these files and content without the authority and consent of the owner of the copyright is illegal.