Is torrenting legal in Canada?
Can you go to jail if you get caught by the government?
This comprehensive guide will cover all of those issues.
What Exactly is Torrenting?
Is Torrenting Legal in Canada?
Torrenting is not illegal in Canada, and you can share and download movies, TV series, documentaries, a concert, or your favorite artist’s entire discography so long the content is not protected by the copyright laws of the Canadian government.
The Copyright Modernization Act
By now, you know that some countries are not happy with torrenting because it may result in legal and copyright infringement issues. Canada, in particular, is very protective of the intellectual property around the web, and you could say that the country encourages people not to ‘torrent.’
The Canadian Copyright Modernization Act is the instrument guiding citizens in what they need to know about the copyright, it’s possible infringements, and punishment in the case of apparent violations. Torrenting can result in one of the above because some users indiscriminately share content without even checking the copyright information.
The old Copyright Act focused on written publications, although the newer instrument has added video, audio, and music files as the intellectual property that should be copyrighted and protected to avoid piracy and other illegal activity.
One of the crucial segments of the Copyright Modernization Act is the “format shifting.” It refers to the acquisition of the same property you currently own but in a distinct format, for example, acquiring the private version of a concert DVD, or a CD, in a digital audio form, which is a common occurrence in our world.
The “format shifting” activity is entirely legal, but, according to the Copyright Modernization Act, it is not legal to distribute digital content that disrupts the “digital locks” or “Technological Prevention Methods” (TPMS) that are present in most DVDs and CDs. The mentioned scenario creates confusion, which results in a gray area that people that are torrenting take advantage of in Canada.
Users need to be careful while they use the format shifting approach to download torrents because while the government hasn’t had the interest in clarifying the contradiction described, it could potentially lead to trouble if they decide to do it.
ISP Copyright Infringement Notifications
Since the amendment of the Copyright Modernization Act in 2015, Internet Service Providers are in the obligation to notify users if they see any activity that they may consider dubious or illegal.
One of those events is torrenting, although in most cases, users can do it in peace as long as you respect copyrights and do not promote piracy.
What is a VPN?
VPNs are online encryption tools or resources that are known for enhancing privacy, security, and anonymity among web users.
They take your IP address and hide it from any third parties out there looking to use it to track you. The Canadian government will have a hard time knowing you are torrenting because you will become almost invisible on your online ventures.
VPNs also help you access or unblock restricted content around the web, no matter where you are. Virtual Private Networks are sought after for torrenting because they help you protect your IP address, thus giving you another layer of protection in a dangerous activity like sharing data and files with strangers via torrenting.
Since there is a six-month data retention requirement for Canadian IPS and VPNs in place, you may want to find and install a VPN that isn’t in the nation.
Otherwise, it will retain logs of your traffic for half a year.
Best VPN for Torrenting in Canada
IPVanish: Another fast option in the market, reaching up to 74 Mbps. It has servers in over 60 countries, and more than 40,000 IP addresses to give away. With DNS leak protection and robust encryption protocols, IPVanish is a solid choice for torrenting in Canada.
Private Internet Access (PIA): If you are looking for value for your buck, then PIA should be your choice. This VPN client is reliable across the board, and it lets you torrent with its good speeds and more than 3000 servers.
Check my list of best VPN services in Canada for more providers!
Turn Off Seeding (File Uploading) for Increased Security
If you want to enhance your privacy while torrenting in Canada and download content from all kinds without having to worry about the government and its constant surveillance of your acts, you could implement additional measures other than getting a VPN.
Remember that most of the times you don’t know if you are uploading content, and that is the thing that concerns the government and your ISP the most because the majority of torrent clients do the uploading process automatically. It is also known as “seeding.”
But, fortunately, you can choose to disable seeding or the uploading of content from your part.
It is as straightforward as to modifying the settings of your preferred torrent client with the intention of preventing it from upload data or files.
Some torrent providers can avoid the uploading process by trade.
In conclusion, what you need to know about torrenting in Canada is that you are allowed to do it as long as you read and understand everything on the Copyright Modernization Act.
Respecting intellectual property and copyrighted content is the central issue in the country, not the act torrenting itself.
Every province has its interpretation of the legal documents and some different laws among themselves, but if you want to torrent files in absolute peace, get a VPN service like NordVPN and turn off seeding in your torrent client.