Here is why torrent trackers banning Windows 10 is naïve and premature

When it comes to the world of bittorrent, you cannot sidestep the big red flag that the majority of its usage is for sharing copyrighted material. Sure, torrents have legitimate uses, but let's not kid ourselves that most users are trading music, movies, games, and comics.

Putting that background into context and it is understandable that people running private trackers like iTS are slightly paranoid. After all, their business can be one fraught with lawsuits and criminal penalties.

Who is banning what?

If you have never heard of iTS and some of the other sites reported on Torrent Freak this Saturday as 'banning Windows 10', don't worry as these are the small fish in the torrent world. Unlike the legendary Pirate Bay or Demonoid, iTS and others are relatively unknown and, therefore, their actions less interesting.

According to the site Torrent Freak, who reports on the bittorrent scene, iTS has already banned Windows 10 users from using their service and BB and FSC are considering the same. The reason? Their misinterpretation of Microsoft's EULA for Windows 10 and the Windows Store.

Indeed, Windows Central initially fell for the legalese trap when we reported that Microsoft could "revoke" or disable pirated games. Of course, anyone who has used Windows Phone in the past knows that Microsoft has had this ability for a very long time. Indeed, we once watched it work with a pirated GPS app found in the Store. A user bought, downloaded, and re-uploaded the software to the Store and offered it for free. Microsoft not only banned the user but then pulled the pirated software off of people's devices.

Windows Phone Marketplace works...pirated software promptly removed (2011)

This ability to be able to revoke software offered through the Store is very important for piracy and security concerns. Were Microsoft to find software that illegally recorded phone calls it would be necessary to pull that software not just from the Store but from unsuspecting users too.

Put it this way: For years, Microsoft did not have a centralized store for distributing protected software. What is the legacy of Windows? Browser helper objects, pirated software, viruses, and yes, whoops, security risks for the common people. Ironic that in addressing security and safety in Windows 10 Microsoft is being accused of draconian privacy violations.

Folks, someone, has to watch the software. If not you, then good luck to grandma downloading that .exe from whatever site she received in that phishing email. Likewise, best of wishes if you want to hack Xbox Live or use OneDrive to distribute pirated software (or worse).

In short, Microsoft does not like the idea of you using their services to facilitate a possible copyright crime or aid in distributing illegal pornography. Do it if you want to, just don't ask Microsoft to help you by letting you use their technology. Some users may see this as intrusive, but Microsoft has a business to run and a reputation to uphold.

Their reasons are…crazy?

Complaints from iTS and BB range from the ludicrous:

"Amongst other things Windows 10 sends the contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers. Obviously this goes way too far and is a serious threat to sites like ours which is why we had to take measures" the insane.

"What's particularly nasty is that apparently it sends the results of local(!!) searches to a well known anti-piracy company directly so as soon as you have one known p2p or scene release on your local disk … BAM!"

The company in question is MarkMonitor, whom, as Torrent Freak rightly points out, Microsoft has been working with for years. Even more, MarkMonitor is also used for anti-phishing schemes, and spam passed through Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Outlook. If you ever wondered what powers Microsoft's SmartScreen technology (which you can disable), well there you go.

As far as sending the contents of your local disks directly to their servers, well yeah, welcome to the world of OneDrive, which syncs your folders to the cloud with your permission. Granted, you can disable OneDrive, or only share particular folders, but such nuance is lost of the geniuses at iTS.

I want academics, researchers, and experts tell me I should fear Windows 10, not some kid running a two-bit torrent site.

All you need to know about privacy and settings in Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge

Paranoia is good, but facts are better

The problem I have with all of this privacy paranoia is we have yet to see any conclusive information about what "bad things" Microsoft is doing with it. Particularly I mean there have been no prominent hackers or academics yet who have done an adequate analysis or written any white papers on major security concerns.

Those critical analyses may be coming, but until then it is hard to get too worked up about it. Alternatively, if you are that concerned with security, privacy, and air-gapped PCs, well what are even doing using Windows? To my knowledge, no 31337 h4x0r fires up Cortana before coding their latest exploit. But hey, there are a lot of script kiddies out there, what do I know.

None of this is to say Microsoft is a do-goody company or that you should completely trust them.Certainly not. However, until those with expertise weigh in the matter, I simply won't take the what-if legal and technical advice from bloggers or those without reputations in the field. If you are getting security advice from anonymous staffers on a torrent site or YouTube, well, I think you could do better.

Microsoft's EULA is not much different from what was in Windows 8. Using services like OneDrive, Xbox Live, Windows Store, Skype and other services comes with a certain surrendering of privacy.You are transmitting data through Microsoft or even letting them store it. Microsoft's servers host OneDrive. If you are putting illegal material on there, it is akin to harboring a fugitive in your house or at the very least, puts the company in an awkward public position. I also think Microsoft having safeguards to prevent people from hacking Xbox Live or posting pirated software in their Store is a good thing.

For now, I think these obscure torrent trackers are in the wrong. Personally, I don't even care I just worry about the unfounded fear spreading to more legit services. They are acting out of a misreading of the EULA and yes, the burden of proof is on hackers and computer scientists to back up their fears with real examples, or proofs of concept.

Still, if you are committing crimes, pirating software, distributing illegal pornography or staging the next big terrorist attack, perhaps you should jump to Linux. But if you needed me to tell you that, well, your life of crime won't last long anyway.

Speaking of torrents and Microsoft, they still don't have a problem with torrent software in the Store. Torrex Lite (opens in new tab) and Torrex Pro (opens in new tab) were just updated for Windows 10 and are still fantastic apps. Considering it is not their app or service, this should not be a surprise. Microsoft, to our knowledge, is only concerned with (a) their software and services (b) improving those through collected user data and (c) making sure their services are not being used to commit a crime.

The idea that Microsoft's new mission is to try and screw over their users of the OS by reporting them for torrents is a bit of a stretch. Just thinking of the PR nightmare that would create for their OS would unimaginable.

Do you disagree? Is Microsoft's Window 10 the next gateway drug for the NSA? Is any modern OS truly secure from prying eyes? Sound off in comments.

Source: TorrentFreak

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • It might be because I'm sleepy, but, I'm lost.
  • You're on Windows Central. To the left is some coffee, to the right a Red Bull. Welcome!
  • I'm awake now.
  • Typo in the second paragraph  "iTS are a slightly paranoid".  The "a" is spurious. (I think)
  • Just a read it in an Italiano accent! It's then a perfect, no?
  • ^~^ haha
  • You cracked me up good, that was sweet. Fyi, awesome read and I share your frustration which I think you did better expressing than I did when I first read about those wise guys.
  • Excellent sum up of the situation, Daniel, I'm glad a rational mind got an article out. And kudos for Demonoid lol. Anyway, personally I'm not so sure about w10 - I own a couple of businesses that deal with material of a confidential nature. Now this might be indicative of the great morons we have in Whitehall but I've personally had lunch with a great and good chap that told me the bank of England will recommend their institutions not upgrade until msft get round to configuring install packages with all the garbage and bloat removed (similar to what Bank of America) will look at, before going or rejecting an upgrade. Needles to say my it chap is on to Microsoft looking to make that happen. I have no need of systems like Cortana, have my own dedicated systems and am happy to pay whatever cost to keep my privates private (for the good of all, China market flux and all). Anyway, thank you for clearing up the fud. If one uses msft apps one should expect scrutiny and security. But then if one uninstalls all that stuff the reverse should be borne out.
  • Clueless tinfoil hat wearin people are freaking out about a TOS they don't at all understand. Basic paranoia. Nothing to see, as the article said, the ones doing it are of no importance.
  • Screw pirates anyway. As the article said, there are legit reasons for doing so, but they are far and few in between.
  • This is exactly it. I almost commented on one or those other stories but decided that my statement would fall on deaf ears and was therefore not worth the effort.
  • Heh, let me guess: You're perfectly capable of reading the jargon in ToSses? I call bullshit on you.
  • When you read the TOS under "Ondedrive" then say "Windows 10 steals your dataz!!!1!" then yeah, you're full of it. It's not that hard to understand how section headers work. I've seen several people cite Onedrive, Store or Xbox TOS for their security "concerns" regarding Windows 10, and it just shows that they're either too stupid to understand what they're talking about, or they know they're full of it but they have something to prove.
  • Paranoia is good, but facts are better   Privacy is needed, but privacy in 2015 on computers is a LIE - ask Snowden
  • I wonder why those site administrators are dumb to understand the difference between Microsoft Services Agreement and Microsoft Software EULA They should read windows central more often
  • They were probably looking for free press. W10 raises major privacy concerns but does not concern the torrent crowd.
  • Which major privacy concerns? I have yet to see anyone point out where people's data is at risk due to Windows 10, where it was not in 7. I'm curious to get more information but as of yet I haven't been able to find any concerns with evidence to back them up.
  • Well said. Too bad that click bait is driving down the public's perception of Windows 10. From local news to well known sites, Windows 10 just can't seem to get positive traction in the press/media.
  • I don't know, outside of the initial week, no one outside of tech websites seems to really care about Windows 10's privacy features.  People are already more than trusting of their electronics from the big names (Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, etc.) that it has gone into acceptance of Windows 10 by now.  It's really just the tech-oriented (whom, depending on their age, can be very anti-Microsoft) that still try to parade it around, but unlike when they paraded around the Start Screen faults of Windows 8, these privacy features aren't something the regular user will experience every time they start up their machine, so it gets ignored.
  • My experience online has been a bit different. Every few days, I've seen another clickbait article talking about MS impinging upon user's privacy with W10... and I've started to see more and more people online echoing those comments as rationale for why "W10 sucks".   Given that most of those people are probably sharing every little detail of their own lives on social media, amongst a flood of food-related instagram photos, I'm not sure I understand their furor.
  • What really funny is there probably posting the negative windows 10 comment about how much Microsoft is snooping on them from a android phone and everyone know's android phones spy more then any other OS it's the only reason google made it and gave it away free to gather users data.
  • But if Ms can uninstall an app from your phone/pc/gadget .. does n't this lead to privacy concerns?? Posted via the Windows Central App
  • It's only apps attained illegally through the Store and it has been around since 2011. To feign shock at this "news" just shows how out of touch the media is when it comes to Windows. Also, why is it a privacy concern? To revoke an app they hit a code and it pulls it from the device. Has nothing to do with personal information.
  • Yeah i agree on pirated apps/software... i really think all these major players of this game are messing around with our info.. be it ms or google(alphabet) or apple Posted via the Windows Central App
  • I disagree, most mainstream media has been extremely positive. Just niche sites giving it crap for specific reasons. But your NBC/ABC/CNN types have been pretty positive.
  • I've seen a few articles from big sites that copy the headlines from more obscure sites. Also, if you use a portal, like bing or google news, or yahoo, msn, etc. then you'll get articles from big and little sites alike.
  • Yeah, I don't know what you're talking about. All the media coverage has been overwhelmingly positive. Search "Windows 10 Reviews" and see for yourself.
  • I give them two weeks until they realize how stupid they are and silently backtrack
  • Using torrents is no different than stealing from a shop. I genuinely haven't done it. And wont. I will gladly pay for games and movies and music. It should be paid for. People who use torrents are not good people. They obviously have no problem stealing when they cant be found out. That is a fact.
  • Actually it's not the same because you're not taking anything away from anyone. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but it's not the same as stealing a physical object someone else owns.
  • "because you're not taking anything away from anyone"
    You are taking money that they may have earned through the sale of the app or album. Yes, that is stealing. Just because it is not physical does not mean it's not the same.
  • Most of the people who pirate never intended to buy it in the first place. I doubt they lose that much money. Still wrong to pirate though. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "Most of the people who pirate never intended to buy it in the first place."
    I've heard that before. For some sure, for others, not. I'm not sure any of that matters. Saying I had no plans to buy a BMW anyway, does not mean it's not a big deal stealing one ;)
  • Yep which is exactly why I said piracy is bad. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually most pirates spend MORE on genuine material than the average user does.
  • Must be reading the bible upside down. How can anybody say people who steal from others to the point they are called software PIRATES are more creditable than HONEST people that work for what they get and don't steal at all? No wonder android is the first choice for pirates.
  • Once again, stealing a physical object that someone owns (a BMW in your example) is not the same as downloading a digital file.
  • @willied Daniel clearly doesn't understand the distinction, or nuance of any kind. 
  • Oh I get nuance @Kooosh, hence why I wrote this article. I just disagree . Impugning my intellectual ability does not diminish my arguments nor my opinion on the matter. But I get it, you're mad cause I don't agree with you or @willied, so you know, I'm dumb.
  • All the ones who say it isn't stealing would feel differently if it was their intellectual property being downloaded for free and by-passing their wallets.
  • The bottom line is you are not entitled to either. Yet because one is not physical, you feel less 'bad' about stealing it. It's okay, humans are very, very good at logical loopholes and tricks to convince themselves their behavior is not bad or damaging.
  • And you're very good at being condescending. 
  • So if you write a program, and people pirate it, you will not do anything about it?  I know where you are going, both are wrong and no matter what you type you will never be able to justify, if you could then you are smarter than all the lawyers, and Napster would still be going strong in its past form.
  • @Kooosh Condescending or just articulating my position with disdain for your statement? It doesn't matter, actually. Depends on your perspective.
  • @Daniel: What I don't like is people getting up on their high horse and calling people thieves that aren't. Not to mention that you're probably a hypocrite. I find it hard to believe that anyone of your age hasn't ever exchanged music with their friends. 
  • Daniel is right to have disdain. Your logic is flawed and self-serving. Feel free to call me a hypocrite, but I legally own all digital materials I possess because they are work products requiring the compensation the artists value them at. If you don't agree with the price don't buy, but don't say it isn't theft when you steal it.
  • @sporosarcina You don't "own" any digital media. It's funny that you think you do though. Enjoy spending all that money on things you don't own, can't sell, can't give away and can't will to your family.  
  • It's one thing to have download a music track when your 16 and don't know any better but to download thousands of songs for years and know that it's stealing someone's hard work and not care is the point it is thievery and if you don't like it to bad IT is what It is. These people the software makers they spend thousands of dollars and to go to collage to be able to male there software they got student loans to payback and a family to provide for then when the make a app program or game some entitled prick thinks its fine to not pay for it and download it free of pirates bay. Guess what now he can't pay his student loans he can't put food on the table the Irs takes his taxes to payback his collage loans and all because someone didn't wanna pay a couple of bucks it messed up how you could even think to justify it is above me.
  •  I've been downloading torrents for years ( music and programs ) and i have no problem with it. Why ?? Cause i don't give a **** about paying. I will NEVER pay for something i can get for free. So keep sucking those "software makers" dicks, u ***. 
  • @Kooosh
    "Not to mention that you're probably a hypocrite. I find it hard to believe that anyone of your age hasn't ever exchanged music with their friends. "
    I would be a hypocrite in this instance if I said "I never download torrents!" or "I would never download torrents!" and THEN I was caught downloading torrents. That is how I can be a hypocrite in this situation. But it is true that once I was in my 30's and started to make real money that I stopped torrenting. Wasn't worth the trouble and I can afford to buy things now. is a lot easier than finding something worthy on the Pirate Bay.
  • Seriously Daniel ..came to fight the pirates?
  • "bad/wrong" is technically correct, but "damaging" is what's questionable and is why stealing a digital copy of a movie isn't the same as taking a BMW. If you could stop the pirating and the IP owner's bottom line does not increase, then there is no damage, even though its technically theft (and a lot of reasearch supports that ) The trouble with facts is that they are, by definition, facts, and choosing not to believe them will never change that. And the fact is that driving off the show room floor in a $100k (or whatever) BMW is not the same as downloading a hooky copy of Driving Miss Daisy. Without even getting in to the "wouldn't have bought it anyway" discussion, there is the fact that you have removed a physical object from it's owner and denied him/her the opportunity to sell it, with IP that is not the case. To be more accurate with the BMW analogy, you would have to have stolen the plans for the BMW and made your own car (not for resale, for you own use) - in that case BMW has not been disabused of it's ability to get money for it's physical item, and it is very difficult to demonstrate that you have caused damage to BMW by building your own (because you would never have bought it in the first place). This is why any legal case for piracy is based on the sharing, not taking of digital images (ie the sharer/facilitator not the recipient) Actually some US courts now see the word "theft" as pejorative in this context. So Daniel, your choice to classify the two as the same. Of course your choice, and your right to try to make others make the same choice as you is, well, your right, but your choice does not change fact.
  • Yeah because records companies didn't at all see huge drops in sales when pirating music was more mainstream.
  • @willied, what if the digitally pirated content is software, such as a game, and requires access to a server? If the server is paid for via subscription or sales, and you're bypassing this by using pirated version of the software, would this then be considered stealing? There have been quite a few cases where developers have discontinued apps on Android, becasue people sideloaded an APK or Amazon provided the app for free, driving server usage up, without matching this in app sales revenue, making it difficult for the devloper to continue running said service.
  • That's definitely stealing as they're costing the developer money for using the services.
  • Yes it is because the software makers own the rights to that game and want to get payed for it how would you like some punk kid to steal the food of yo kids plate cuz that's what your doing when you pirate software.
  • A car is a bad example though... if I broke into a BMW dealership, photographed a car, took precise measurements of every component etc then went home and meticulously made a perfectly working replica with the BMW badge on it then I am guilty of copyright infringement (aside from trespass onto the dealership haha). The same goes for any physical item. Producing something physical costs time and money for each copy, therefore stealing a physical copy has resulted in actual monetary loss. A digital copy costs practically nothing to replicate and therefore "stealing" a copy results in no actual loss. Of course the artist/company has had to outlay time & money before they can churn out endless copies, and they no doubt tout the tiresome 'lost revenue' argument. But with all things being equal, stealing a physical copy is far worse as it costs them money to replace it and they definitely can't get the revenue from it - a digital copy has no such losses as it is infinitely replaceable. Hence why 'taking' the latter is considered Copyright Infringment and not property theft / stealing.
  • Intellectual property aka work product has a value and will get you locked up for stealing it in America. China will give you a business loan for stealing work product / intellectual property.
  • There is a very simple way of looking at this. If you do not think it is good enough to pay for that software, movie, music, and excreta then go find something better that meets your needs. If it doesn't exist then make it and put that "company charging so much for such POS blah blah" out of business.
  • That's fine, when there isn't a monopoly controlling everything. For example, Australian publishers (for games & music) had effective monopolies on the Aussie market for decades - keeping the cost of music CD's at $20-25 and games at $80-90. People started to use 'grey imports' but of course they just lobbied the government to clamp down on anything that undercuts their ridiculous profits. It took several years for albums to get into the $10-15 range, while games are still locked at that price (including pressuring Origin & Steam to match the high retailer pricing). I'm not saying piracy is the answer (although to many it is), as I just ignore local retailers and buy online or overseas.
  • Yes, the government collusion problem is a large one. In the U.S., many smaller music groups gladly give away their music for free. They would love to have people "pirate" their music, just to have folks listen. They make money through concerts, and may sell some CDs or merch but mainly they just want exposure. Sadly the recording companies and government policy make it very hard to get exposure or income without working with large labels, and the labels are the main benificiaries of music sales, most groups make their income from shows. The music industry once had a monopoly on music distribution, and gave consumers one option to get music: buy a CD/cassette/record. People often only wanted one song, but had to buy an entire album to get it, and often the albums sucked. Bands were pushed to produced albums at a high rate so the labels could make more. Now that consumers can stream, buy individual songs, or pirate, labels have less control and their profits have plummeted. They're doing what they can to get profits back, but pirating isn't their only, or probably main enemy.
  • Exactly right. I was burned by overpriced, sometimes shitty albums with 2-3 good songs and the rest as filler. I stopped buying CD's a decade ago and generally switched to digital streaming or radio. These days if I want to listen to a song I jump on Spotify (or similar) or even YouTube. I have no desire to 'own' the music as I have access to it anyway. I support the artists by going to their concerts & buying their merch. As far as I'm concerned music doesn't really have a 'value' and I can still support the artists without paying for it, and without pirating it either.
  • From what I know, this is where most of their money comes from in the first place, concerts. A large bulk of what Spotify and others pay is to the record label then they get paid a percentage of that percent. Correct me if I am wrong.    
  • Stealing, as defined by law, is not the same as piracy, as defined by law. Piracy doesn't have the same properties as stealing. Calling piracy for stealing is just downright wrong.
  • It is still stealing!  Do I need to explain it to you?
  • Copyright infringement != property theft
  • I have a crappy Nexus tablet that I will never use again.  So if you stole that tablet from me, by your f'ed up logic, that doesn't count as stealing because it doesn't cause me any damage!?!?  Wrong! Illegal downloading is stealing, period!
  • No, it seems you are the one with f'd up logic. That would be property theft, as the property was physically in your posession, had/has a value, and you are denied being able to use or sell it. Whether you despise your tablet or not has nothing to do with it. Taking a copy of something digital denies the owner of nothing except 'potential earnings' which may or may not have happened. If someone copies all of your private photos from your PC have they 'stolen' them or breached copyright & privacy laws (hint: it's the latter)? Illegal downloading is copyright infringement, full-stop!
  • It has nothing to do with stealing. If you need a pretty metaphor, it's like looking at postcards in a museum, and taking a picture of them with your phone, without the authorization of the museum. When you buy any kind of software, you're only acquiring the license to use it.
    Pirating photoshop is using it without the right do so, because you have no license.
    Stealing photoshop, is getting the source code from adobe, and deleting all of Adobe's copies.
  • That is a decent analogy, but still not right. That photo of a postcard is not the original copy and therefore not the same. With digital media, you do not lose quality of the product. You can copy the product over and over without losing quality.
  • ...and forgetting quality, there is the functionality that you are actually paying for. No one buys apps or games to just look at them. I don't buy MP3s to look the data in the file, I play them through speakers to listen to
  • Exactly! everyone's so eager to ignore the fact that you are benefiting from the fruits of someone else's labor and that you should compensate them for the money and effort they've invested in creating that product! Spare us this "it's just making a copy" BS!
  • No you're wrong it's stealing. Take a picture of Michelangelo's David and tell the police "oh im just acquiring the licence" you'll get knocked the fuck out
  • I think you're describing police overuse of force, which is a different discussion, but thanks for your contribution.
  • Not all torrents are illegal, so your whole comment is just a bit off... many companies use p2p technology that is not different, some even do it by .torrent files. if you want to download a linux distro it's easier to do it from a torrent in many cases sometimes it's the only way, I remember Mechwarrior having a torrent download file to get the game when it went free.
    ALso somepeople use torrents, it might not be legal but sometimes it is the only way to get content, like getting a korean drama or movie, that will never go to any other country because trasnlations and subtitles are made by the community. you might call that stealing, but sometimes it's the only way of getting something on your side of the world. But being honest, have you ever used youtube to listen to music or anything? grooveshark? maybe shoutcast? do you think they are legal sources? do you think you are doing good? only becuase you are not downloading torrent it doesn't mean you aren't doing anything illegal. because yes, listening to music through youtube is not legal either. unless it's a legal official channel.
  • I downloaded the Windows 10 iso via torrent (yes, I checked the hash) because IE was giving me nightmares with my 1mbps connection... I also downloaded Ubuntu as my backup OS,and various other large files, that I could not possibly download normally.
  • Seen too many of these good old pre-movie adverts: [img]
  • I would mostly agree with that. However there is another side to that. In the country I live in, piracy was flourishing for many years. I could start the history of piracy in Lithuania since it was occupied by USSR - all the western music was pirated here and without piracy nobody would have even heard The Beatles. After USSR all the media was really expensive compared to the medium wage. Any legit DVD, CD, or game was ridiculously expensive. There were always much cheaper Russian versions, but nobody in my generation knows the language. No parent would buy his child a game that costs 1/10 of his salary. However - everyone wants to watch films or listen to music and you can't do anything about that. Actually this situation led to the fact that Lithuania has one of the fastest internet networks in the world. It also created a generation of people who were actually computer literate - it's not that easy to be a pirate. At this moment I feel like the piracy is actually starting to die here. Steam and rising economics allow people to buy games (and I probably have all the games I have pirated in my steam library). There is also Spotify killing the need for music piracy (and I actually use Premium). The only part missing is a good video streaming service (like Netflix). Because using an outdated technology like Blu-ray seems stupid. What I want to say - piracy was for a long time the only logical way to get something.
  • I'm on holiday in Russia at the moment, and a few people I spoke to think it's absolutely hilarious that I actually pay for games. I explain it's really cheap through Steam, I want to avoid viruses/malware etc. but they still think it's funny you'd pay money for something that is 'suppposed to be free'
  • To understand why there is so much piracy in post-soviet countries, you must understand how people lived in USSR. Back then it was absolutely normal to steal, because most stuff belonged to 'nobody'. Everyone was stealing. The best job was the one where you could steal something from your workplace: food, clothes, etc. That is why many post-soviet countries are still extremely corrupt, to a level than most western people can't imagine. So stealing something that is not actively protected is ok there. However, as I said, I think that, at least in the post-soviet countries that joined EU, the piracy is slowly dying. As well as corruption. That's mostly because the generations are changing and the need for piracy is decreasing. That is mostly what I see in Baltic countries.
  • I'm glad to hear things are improving for y'all and the market is spreading. I hope property rights continue to improve and the socialists don't take back your governments. Good luck over there.
  • Just an fyi, if you've ever made a copy of a cd for a friend or borrowed a movie then you've stolen before and should consider yourself a "pirate". Not saying you have, but I'd bet money on it.
  • Not all use of torrents is illegal. Most Linux distros are obtained via torrents. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No, it's actually no different than going to the library and photocopying a book. You haven't stolen any property, but rather infringed on copyright...
  • "You wouldn't download a CAR!!!"
  • So glad you pointed this out. Being a content creator and musician I just find it shocking the way these guys complain and moan as if they're entitled to steal & distribute people's hard work in the first place. Go jump off a cliff if you don't like that your thieving ways are being monitored.
  • Sharin copyrighted works without permission is illegal -- torrents, by themselves, are not. There are several instances where torrents are prefectly legal. Torrents are mostly used -- when talking about the legitamtive use of them -- is for offloading bandwidth from server/CDN.
  • In times of Netflix, steam, mixradio, spotify and windows store / xbox services, i Wonder whats justify piracy...
  • Laziness.
  • Poor and or unemployed people, or my favorite, the kid that will try to use the "It's copying not stealing" argument. Those are my favorite lol
  • Not everything is in those services and not everyone can stream stuff due to certain constraints.
  • As always, the justification is "why pay when I can get it free for no consequences?". It's not a digtal realm issue.  People try to do this sort of thing where they think they can get away with it in the real world as well.  It's just a lot easier for them to do in the digital realm for numerous reasons.
  • Mostly quality, convenience, and crippling adware. Many streaming services are prety damn poor quality, certainly well below a BR rip, unless you have extremely unstressed fibre. You can watch a downloaded rip at your convenience, on whatever device you like. Also paid for services often blast you with ads, even if you pay, a real turn off. This is especially true of BR discs and DVDs.
  • Also don't forget, poor edits and deletions of scenes. For instance there are alot of hilarious scenes of Shaolin Soccer missing from the version on Netflix. Another example is Halo:Forward unto Dawn, that is also missing a few scenes as well. If you want another, Captain America: The first Avenger, there is a scene that is visibly speeded up - all three examples of edits are not there in final cut version publicly available on DVDs or Blu-ray. The point I'm trying to make is that streaming services are not adequate avenues if you want untampered viewing, your better of buying or renting the DVD or Blu-ray.
  • Netflix is terrible quality, lacking offline storage, lacking dubbed audio etc. Microsoft movie store is more my thing, except I can only play the files thru that player, also still lacking movies and dubbed audio. So for movies and TV shows, why would I pay for less quality, less "features" and less convenience? Music tho I agree, with Spotify or Groove there is no really good reason to pirate. Still missing a good ebook service..
  • this service is not available in your region/country
  • They just a idiot maybe In past indeed I'm using Pirated version of software, movie and music Windows, Office, Games, Anime, Mp3. Included. But these days the legal version already so cheap and mostly free.
    Windows 7 starter cost about 20$ for OEM license. Instal it to my PC,Upgrade to 10 got windows 10 Home. Can go 64 bit via fresh instal afterwards
    office ? 365 cost about 40$ per year if you know how to get it.
    Games? Steam offer great prices. And sometimes FREE
    Music? MixRadio, Spotify cover it
    Movie ? Netflix but need VPN lol
    Japanese Anime? Crunchyroll is free
  • Or Kissanime. Some of us can't access crunchyroll due to regional restriction (well, I don't know about now, but previously I could access due to region)
  • Then use a proxy, no need to torrent here.
  • I wish Microsoft blocked pirated content.
  • They do, to some extent.
  • Can you imagine the backlash if they did? Damned if they don't, damned if they do.
  • I think Microsoft should just focus on making the best possible software. If they blocked pirated software/content they would see a large reduction in their userbase and a lot of people would put effort into improving Linux to be a competitor. A few would move to Apple. Overall though I think Microsoft (or any company) should focus on making the best product available and allowing people to use it as they want. If MS tried to stop pirating, it wouldn't work and would just backfire on them. The things that are stopping pirating are superior legal services, like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix and Hulu.
  • The moral of the story: leave torrents alone.
  • I don't know how all this has sprung up ... If the EULA is very similar to windows 8 then where were these people then? This is some strategy to put a bad light on windows 10...i don't know how but it sure does feels like one...
  • I agree. I'm 70% sure the privacy settings of Windows 10 were the same as 8/8.1.
  • Well Windows 8 didn't have the mass adoption rates as 10.
  • The difference is that Microsoft released one EULA for all of their services recently, so people are citing Xbox or Onedrive EULA as a basis for Windows 10 security concerns.
  • The reaching people are doing to discredit Windows 10 is nothing short of ridiculous. They can't find a fault in it from a technical standpoint the way they could with vista or 8 so they search for literally anything they can use just because they don't like Microsoft. That fact that this is happening from both sides, with whiny basement dweller Linux fanboys, and in the mainstream "I use Apple so why would I ever touch a windows thing" crowd makes it even more aggravating. Anyone who tries to tell me there isn't a media bias is delusional.
  • Most of the scary sounding stuff in the EULA relates to Cortana, malware detection and Defender. Of course Cortana reads your emails, and searches, it couldnt function if it didnt. Indeed neither could Google Now or Siri, which is why they do it to. Defender scans your hard drivers, including file contents for malware, as do all AV/anti-malware, so again, nothing to be concerned about there.   Even if you use a Linux distro that you know collects nothing, you arent as private as you think. Use Firefox? Thats doing much the same thing, as is chrome (and therefore obviously ChromeOS). If you want these services you have to surrender your data. Dont want them? Data is still collected by every OS.
  • Might as well ban Windows 7 and 8. They think Microsoft can't do the things they want to do on older OS?
  • What a fire article...!
  • A lot of fear mongering going on in the torrent world, eventually calmer heads will prevail
  • Site which prides itself on sharing stolen software, music, movies, etc is high and mighty when it comes to calling MS out on privacy. There's some irony with that somewhere.
  • Haha, this, soooo this^^^!!
  • Very well said and I agree with the stance of the article. I can't stand when people rush to jump to conclusions without doing sent research. Got example, my college professor hating on windows and praising apples OS based on windows 8 when they've not even used windows 10 and are ignoring its welcomed success. Even the incredibly biased and unflinching apple fanboys and girls at CNET, can't deny the success and beauty of windows 10 even know they are hating it and I love it because of how bad they have dogged Microsoft and windows phone for a long time now. The Lumia 1020 review from that one woman still blows me away that she would post or that it even got through to publishing, some of the things she manipulated to dog the OS.
  • Lol its funny the male to female ratio at cnet has flipped just look at what things they cover these days. Did the w network buy them
  • I lost track of what the question was.
  • What's really hilarious is most Torrent sites are riddled with links in the hopes that you accidently click on them to intall Trojans/Spyware that access data on your system for their own profit. Maybe they should ban themselves first :)
  • "some kid running a two-bit torrent site" lol
  • This is the problem with the internet. Everyone has a voice (good) but not everyone is equal in terms of expertise but they are treated as such (bad). There are reasons why we pay professional lawyers and not a construction worker for legal advice ;) There are experts out there and their voice on certain matters should resonate more. Instead, everyone is an expert and no one questions their legitimacy.
  • To follow up with your last sentence, we have a similar analogy in our industry - once a passenger has been on their first cruise, then they are qualified as experts on all things maritime and cruising by the end of the cruise.
  • I actually started a thread about this on Saturday, using the same source, only I didn't name the source because I wasn't sure if the good folks here at Windows Central would approve of me posting a link to Torrent Freak. Ah, well.  Visit and comment if you like.
  • My private torrent service is not doing this, and private is more careful about stuff, but I guess that site is not run by idiots who start reading something and then they think it applies to everything. I have written long post about it, why it's stupid to think Microsoft is doing what these people is making up. Everything just seems a b​ig IF and then people turn it into real facts with no real evidence or facts... there can't be real evidence anyway, because all this Windows 10 is spying on us is BS, a big bull crap.  
  • "Pirate scum!"
  • I know somebody that know somebody that has tons of pirated stuff(games, music, videos, popcorn time, and porntime) on W10 and is on the insider program and Microsoft haven't blocked anything on their PC.
  • I guess it's would be considered premature if you bring compensated to spread bad press on Microsoft.
  • You can tell this is FUD since there are apps in the app store that lets you watch in theater movies and copyrighted shows
  • Although, I now wonder about the technicality of it, being that Windows is transitioning to a service and no longer a stand-alone product. Could it be construed as misuse of their services to commit tech-crimes (lol) or does that only really apply in basic terms to having a genuine copy of windows and not necessarily the use of it? Anyway, if they really wanted to report the truth and facts of privacy in Windows 10, they would sit down with a lawyer and ask what the terms meant specifically, because all those agreements are just for legal purposes honestly. =\
  • There's just no upside for them to rat out users for stealing a movie vs. the bad press that they would endure. If Microsoft is using this stuff in a bad way and it gets discovered, I mean, game over. That is a risk I am not sure they want to take.
  • I forgot to say something, If only everyone would read this article and take it, but I am sure people would rather read the paranoid BS and believe on it. That's sadly how this world works. rumors are better than facts, BS is better than reading positive things.
  • If your'e going to actually spend your hard earned money on content, buy a physical copy of whatever it is. When you buy digital content, you don't own it. You can't sell it, give it away, or will it to your family.
  • What you are actually doing (with online digital content) is renting it, not buying it. Because if you buy it you own it (because there is no legal difference between physical/virtual goods). If you use netflix or similar sevices -- you are actually renting the content. However, you buy a game on steam -- you bought it, not rented it.
  • Well said Daniel
  • Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare. No company should allow it on its PCs and no private person in her right mind would install such spy software.
  • unless this is sarcasm.... it seems you didn't even read the article, and you just look like another dumb commenter on internet. not a surprise, it's internet after all. if you were serious, I would advice next time you should try to read the article and stop just commenting without even understanding it and just adding "privacy (insert any negative adjective)" like if that made your comment any more valid.
  • I comply with the pirates statement. Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare. However you turn it.
  • Proof? Evidence? Eh, f' it, it's the internet. The best is when people post about privacy issues in Windows 10 on Facebook.
  • I am posting it here not on Facebook where I don't have an account. The proof is hard to get if you have MS transfering 80MB of data to multiple servers over HTTPS. But, Fiddler2 to the rescue and you will get your proof. Will it change anything in your oppinion?
  • So, what did you find with fiddler 2? Where's the evidence?
  • Yeah, you're gonna need some evidence or your paranoid BS goes in with the lizard people and one world government theories in my opinion. MS is trying, for the first time, to utilize their OS capabilities to improve moving forward. They're not collecting personal or private information for their use, their not sharing anything you do either.
  • MS has placed a blanket clause, in the EULA, that allows them to use any and all infomration as they see fit. I personally won't agree to it, because it gives just gives MS more power (as if they didn't have enough already). They might not do anything nefarious with the collected data, but they now have been given a non-exclusive right to do so.
  • Yes, stay on Windows 7, that will keep the NSA out, lol
  • Privacy nightmare? We'll, to use its features you're sharing personal information. They wouldn't work without it. This is what they meant to have a more personal OS. In any case, every non-tinfoil hat (ie, Linux) modern OS does this.
  • Well I just can't stop myself from posting my opinion on piracy, piracy is a complete stealing not only as a product but also a deceit of the rights of the developer/owner, I believe each and everybody does a job and give some output which is completely owned by that person which he/she provide for a charge and without it, availing such product, device, commodity is a THEFT...
  • That's not true for everything. Most artists don't really care about their music being pirated, because Universal Music & co. Take 98% of the revenue. Artists prefer people who pirate all their music but go to their concerts, rather than those who buy every album, and don't go to concerts. Even for software, it sometimes helps developpers to get their software pirated, as long as it gets well known. I doubt Dassault is bothered by a few people downloading illegal versions of Cathia, considering 99% of their customers are OEM's.
  • It's the Xbox One controversy all over again, everyone misunderstanding Microsoft policies. People are getting dumber each year.
  • Yes they are, I've seen this lately
  • They like to go over Microsoft's polices with a fine toothed comb while while putting their hands over their eyes when it come to Google and Apple.
  • Yep.
  • Sadly many of the Linux fundamentalists are spreading lies about Windows 10 all over the net, and those who aren't capable of critical thinking fall for their paranoid lies.
  • Great article. I can't believe people could think like that.
  • Getting those trackers banning Win10 will lead to them getting less money in the end. Why would i download torrents from a place that won't allow me to download. I don't think many people will downgrade if a site tells them to not download there anymore. They will move on to sites and trackers that do allow them to download. If you want people to stop using your service, this is the way to do it.   So in the end they will get less money for something that isn't even worth the fight. All because they read some blogposts on shady sites with no verification or conclusion to their findings. Anyways, good riddence.
  • >Do you disagree?
     Now-a-days every one is busy to discuss about how much W10 is secure for users and most of them explain it incorrectly and misguiding users. Users if you really concern about your privacy then first stop using Android then Facebook. Windows10 is sucure then all the other OS and also keep you secure online. Thanks Denial for explaning it in properway.
    >Is Microsoft's Window 10 the next gateway drug for the NSA?
     NSA don't care it's Windows or Linux/Unix. But in that case open source is more insecure. FYI, NSA can install code to your HDD firmware which will then sends info to NSA. So neither Windows 10 is a drug for NSA nor steeling you data.
    >Is any modern OS truly secure from prying eyes?
     Nothing is truly secure. If you are on internet, your privacy might be at risk. But you can trust Microsoft as Nadella said.
  • The NSA gets what it wants. The people that think staying on Windows 7 or Linux will keep the NSA out make me laugh.
  • Great article. Definitely show those people and programs fallen for the click bait a out Windows 10 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Can you please move the reported button somewhere else. I just reported a comment by mistake when I wanted to one up it.
  • It's time for a "How to put on rose-tinted glasses and blatantly dismiss al negative publicity regarding Windows 10" Guide!
  • This was fun to read! I still don't worry about what is being reported.
  • f..k them all torrent sites.... they ruin copyright... good article by the way.
  • Well, well, well. I'm so proud of you honest people that have never stolen any software ever! It's so good to know that you've never "borrowed" your office's Microsoft Office with its VLK and installed it on your home computers – only doing "office" work with it, of course. Good on you! That out of the way, I don't bittorrent. I have a healthy fear of participating in a public P2P network. I am paranoid, and am very OK with that. I was paranoid before Snowden; "common sense" – a term I use very generously – dictates that. As you know, one never owns commercial software; it is the property of its supplier. What gives Microsoft the right to reach into my computer and disable other suppliers' software – legal or not? I smell a class-action lawsuit due to their usual arrogance! Why don't they disable WIN10, i.e., their own software, if it's being used as the carrier for this "illegal" activity? What gives them the right to act in such an omnipotent manner? AND, I don't think WIN10 is fantastic. I'm relieved I had the foresight to upgrade only my 8" WIN8 non-productivity tablet. Save for the tiles, its Start menu still comes nowhere close to being as useful as the Classic Start I'm running on my Surface Pro. And let's not even get into the new manner in which updates are being delivered! You no longer have a choice of what and when to update, and worse yet, aren't even informed of the nature of the update! I don't mind that terribly, but I have been using Windows long enough to know how their updates screw-up your system, and of course, it’s already done that with its first set of 3 updates! Truth be told, I have never understood the problem people had with WIN8. I had no problems either on my touchscreen laptop or SP. The interface was different yes, but that never prevented you from using it either as a full point-and-click or full touch interface, or a combination thereof. I continue to do so with all my devices; yes, I even use a mouse and keyboard sometimes with the 8-incher. I think it's solid and will be sticking with it – until WIN10 grows up with more kinks ironed out and yet more stupid decisions reversed.
  • Just because you think something is wrong does not mean you've never done it. Just because you tell someone it's wrong to do something, and you've done it yourself, does not make you a hypocrite. A hypocrite says "It's wrong for you to do, but it's ok for me." People often do things which they know to be wrong, but do out of weakness or make mistakes.
  • Even if this turns into a pirates worst downloading nightmare, it's just gonna be another challenge for hackers: How to crack software protection AND how to prevent w10 from noticing this :).... If I was a hacker I'd already be all over the place looking for options how to accomplish this.
  • Truecrypt container on OneDrive filled with whatever content you like.....
  • Better on Dropbox, since OneDrive still can't differential sync (ie: only the changed bits). Still your whole W10 exposes you and the usage of it on a daily basis.
  • Yea I had noticed that actually, so Dropbox does delta sync thats interesting and good to know!
  • Yes, Dropbox is probably also NSA infected but so far they have not been able to crack reasonable protected truecrypt containers. Diffing multiple GB big containers works pretty fast with Dropbox though, so its the first choice for cloud based private data - encrypted of course.
  • The government is forcing all big corps to do being one,google,apple....their all being controlled by the gov to share our data.....its so Luciferarian
  • Fear your ISP, NOT your OS if you are a bittorrent hound.  The OS has nothing to do with it and your ISP everything.  If anyone will rat you out, it will be them and not Microsoft.
  • And yet there's so many pirated app (mostly games) in Windows phone store and Microsoft doesn't even care until the victims reported it by themselves.
  • Thank you. So much paranoia coming from so-called techies on sites like Are. People declaring that MS Is now Google, data mining everything you do and selling it, working directly with the NSA and everything else you can dream up (as if the NSA needs forced updates, or telemetry uploads to get what they need from your PC). Its all speculation and conjecture - its certainly not anything in the EULA. Its true, the EULA doesn't say MS won't steal your homework and turn it in as theirs, but they don't say they will...
  • So call recording will never come to windows 10 mobile?
    If Microsoft makes very strict rules in terms of piracy and all these stuffs.,it will be a flop in countries like India.u guys in US does not have that much problem bcoz u hav free wifi data n wifi r costly here and most do not want to download each and every app from store,they share apps between them,they need call recording apps,and many apps like that,and believe me this include not just 1 or 2 people,there is more users that need these functions than the entire windows phone community.first make windows 10 mobile a huge success,then u can make it under strict rules,else u will always stay under offence
  • The Verge actually did a pretty good article about it.  You know if the Verge writes about it defending Microsoft then the FUD level has reached 11.  
  • What are you talking about grandma and the .exe file? That's false info to day the least: One is perfectly capable of downloading a shady app that messes the system. Windows 10 had no d day in that. Of you want to post opinions instead of actual stories, all the power to you, but try to stick to the reality please.
  • Where can i find that blueish Insider wallpaper in the photo??
  • If a company uses code developed by another company... or creates the code on their own the same as another companies implementation, is that copyright infringement or piracy? Is copying the "look and feel" of a product stealing, or copyright infringement? Is a movie that follows the storyline of another entirely, or sections, stealing or copyright infringement? Seems people think if a corporate "steals" its copyright/patent infringement (and hence sued for as much), but if an individual does this, it's "theft"! Is using company time, for personal use, theft? Everyone is a theif... taking something someone owns from someone is theft... a car, a chip (without asking) and place in a queue... However, theft is defined as, (criminal law) the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession.
    Where as copyright is defined as, the exclusive right to produce copies and to control an original literary, musical, or artistic work, granted by law for a specified number of years (in Britain, usually 70 years from the death of the author, composer, etc, or from the date of publication if later) The defintition of the words (not that people KNOW definitions anymore, they don't even understand proverbs anymore) demonstrates that theft IS NOT THE SAME AS copyright infringement. Onus is on the person stating they have had goods stolen, to prove as such, that they have been deprived permanent possession. In the digital domain, that's neigh impossible to prove, hence why settlements are what copyright holders aim for.
  • Lots of sheep here getting in line for the slaughter with smiles. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • F
  • It's funny the stigma associated with Torrents, true they are mostly used for the naughty stuff, but they are also used for other legitimate downloading purposes.
  • i have no problem with either, i know what to do and what not to do. if i had a concerned about privacy with Windows it shouldnt matter which version if i wanted to keep stuff private i would never let it stay on my computer nor will my computer be connected to the internet. sounds like to me these torrent have a beef with the policy because it has restrictions and? they want ppl to have fear, their looking for ignorant ppl whose life is the internet and whatever they read is the complete truth. it’s like telling the doctor what you read on WebMD and have the nerve to argue with him cause he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. why go to the doctor if your only your gonna believe what on the internet and not a trained professional who spent their lives in their profession. ppl rather believe an article from someone who they have never heard of before and don’t know their credibility. what’s worse in this situation you rather take the word of hackers, ppl who steal or illegally obtain items (some call it sharing) or what have you over someone who’s livelihood depend on what is giving to the public. But then again this is just my opinion what do I know, I use my Windows 10 every day and have no issues and I don’t do anything illegal with it either. Its as simple as if do don’t commit a crime then you don’t have to worry about getting arrested…hmmmm
  • Well, I don't know, didn't Snowden reveal that the NSA has had a Windows backdoor into viewing user data for years now?
  • Seriously. What's all the buzz about Windows 10 privacy? The NSA, US Gov.? What about it? They do it for years now. As long as my personal info doesn't go public or used in marketing or obscure purposes I don't give a s**t! Should I care about it? Is freedom and democracy being taken away from us? I don't think so.
    I would be concern if I was (or pretend to be) a terrorist! If this is a method, by spying us, to prevent crimes or terrorism, I am glad it works that way. Why should I worry about them checking my emails, my photos, or my software? I have nothing to hide, I have no pirated software on my machine, blah blah blah... So, I really don't care about it! What really concerns me is Facebook, Twitter and others because it seems that terrorist groups use it to promote themselves! ...or am I completely wrong? Maybe I am.
  • They must have some difficulty asserting Illuminati Confirmed for Windows 10 if it has a square logo.