So as you all know (unless you have been living under a rock), Kickass Torrents is down. The alleged founder of the maliciously benevolent site, Artem Vaulin, a 30 year-old Ukrainian citizen, was arrested for allegedly founding the infamous site and lay the net of piracy. Even more recently, the Torrents search site Torrentz.eu went down too. This sparked a debate on the freedom one is allowed to express on the Internet of Things. This sparked a debate on the constitutional legality of Torrent itself.
Torrent and the idea itself is not unethical or illegal – it is just unbelievably convenient to transfer large amounts of data in a tidy, organised manner. The code for the software was open-source and out there, and the creators of torrent software such as BitTorrent, UTorrent and Vuze should remain unaffected by these shutdowns.
However, this level of convenience and the way the US Navy released the TOR Project allowed ‘pirates’ to upload data obtained illegally or through means otherwise, while being secure and hidden behind a string of proxy servers. The website itself is usually hosted on a high security server which is unbreachable. Therefore, Torrent is an easy and safe method to upload games, movies, songs, a season of a TV series or anime, or THE ENTIRE ANIME ITSELF.
Now how does it affect you – the average or even below-average Otaku that hogs over Dragon Ball Z and nothing beyond that? Well, it really shouldn’t, since you shouldn’t be pirating anime anyway. When you pirate your anime, you are depriving the artist the financial and emotional motivation that powers him to create content – FOR YOU. The creator has put in hours of mental and physical effort, this is probably his only means of livelihood. If you are pirating that dope new season of Dragon Ball Super – you are taking away from Akira Toriyama’s cash-filled hands.
If you DO pirate anime – there is no guilt. You can just stop and continue to watch your anime at sites like Crunchyroll, Toonami and multiple other streaming solutions that offer great bang for your buck. You can support the artist to continue creating stellar content for you to build more dreams on. The same goes for manga – there are many illegal free manga providers, none of which I want to name. The solution here will be elaborated in another article later.
I used to pirate my software too. We all did. When I built my first PC (which I love to show off about, even though it is not as good as Linus’ setup), I found that I had the capability to run a lot more games and watch HD videos lag free. I started pirating games – a free, simple option. I used to pirate my manga too. However, about one-and-a-half years ago since the day this article was written, I started creating my own content. As a creator myself (not a very good one), I connected with the feeling of being cheated of your own resources. I put a lot of time into my animations back then – I still do – and if that became commercially successful and acclaimed, and somebody just released it on the net without giving me what I felt I deserved, I would feel bad. I would probably keep my content to myself, not show it to anybody else. And that is not what I want to happen to any creator or artist out there. Imagine a world without the greatest literary works you have heard of – I keep bringing this up, Death Note is a work of art. I definitely wouldn’t be exposed to manga and anime then.
You wouldn’t be who you are now. You wouldn’t be reading this article on this site. The artists need you. You WANT the artists. Please support them in their endeavors.