Torrenting is not illegal in Australia, but it can be if you use it for sharing or downloading copyrighted content.
The Australian government banned the use of torrenting websites, so now ISPs are bound by law to block torrenting websites, and the only way you can access and use them is through a VPN
Have you ever wondered why torrenting is such a big deal for governments around the world, and why they are against it?
Well, you might be surprised to hear this, but torrenting, as a form of peer-to-peer sharing (P2P), is technically legal.
Still, when you use it for illicit purposes like downloading copyrighted material, you can definitely get in trouble.
Most countries have different regulations on the matter.
Australia is one of the few that completely shut down torrenting sites.
So what does this mean for you?
Here is everything you should know about torrenting and privacy in Australia.
Downloading Torrents without a VPN is very risky!
Whether you are downloading music, e-books, comics, TV shows, movies copyright trolls, and ISPs are in hot pursuit of torrent users. You should always use a VPN while torrenting, so your identity remains hidden and no one can read the contents of your internet traffic through encryption.
Is Torrenting Illegal in Australia?
To answer your question – no, torrenting is not illegal in Australia.
However, a few years back, the Australian government imposed a nation-wide ban on torrenting websites.
It was to prevent users from accessing and using pirated content.
So while it’s not illegal, torrenting and P2P sharing is not an easy thing to get your hands on.
Even when you are not technically breaking the law.
Australian Piracy Laws and Legislation
The laws and legislations are there to fight the ongoing piracy problem in the country.
In December 2018, the Australian government expanded the country’s Copyright Act of 1968 and introduced a new amendment that implied strict website-blocking measures.
Even before this, Australia was stern about torrenting in general.
Still, the expansion of the legislation was just another move in the war against piracy.
Nowadays, ISPs are bound by law to block all access to torrenting websites.
Those who do decide to break the rules, should keep in mind that the ISP can see all online activity, and store this data.
According to the Australian legislation on data retention, ISPs can store data on their users for at least two years.
It basically means that whatever you do online is not private, and your ISP can not only see this information but use it against you.
Also, with the Copyright Act, copyright holders can now apply for injunctions, and they have the power to block access to certain websites that illegally profit from their work.
When the injunction is granted, the ISP has to block that IP address.
Can You Get Fined for Torrenting in Australia?
Piracy constitutes a criminal offense, according to the Trade Marks Act 1995, the Copyright Act 1968, and the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994.
Obviously, if you make a criminal offense, you’ll get fined.
That is pretty much the case in countries all around the world.
However, the type and severity of the penalty vary depending on the country.
In Australia, it’s a pretty harsh penalty.
Citizens who commit a more trivial crime would often go off with a warning first from their ISP.
Still, considering the fines, I would suggest being extremely careful with this. Better safe than sorry.
How Much Is the Fine?
For copyright infringement or counterfeiting, the penalties can go up to $117 000 for individuals, and up to $585 000 for corporations.
Or you can be imprisoned for up to five years.
According to the Australian IP Government agency, the fines apply to people who knowingly import, possess, sell, and distribute copyrighted content.
They also appeal to those who sell infringing copies of computer programs or if they transmit a computer program to enable it to be copied when received.
What Torrenting Sites Work in Australia?
People will always find a way to get what they want, especially on the internet.
So, despite the circumstances, some torrenting sites work in Australia.
Take, for example, The Pirate Bay, which is probably the most notorious torrenting search engine online.
No matter how many times they take it down, it always finds a way back.
On the list of torrenting websites that you can use are also Torrentz2, LimeTorrents, 1337x, Yify, etc.
But there is a catch.
You can only open them with a reliable VPN.
Otherwise, it’s an endless struggle to get a torrenting website that still works, let alone to use it safely.
How to Torrent Safely & Anonymously in Australia?
I would recommend VPNs for torrenting no matter where you are, even in countries that don’t have such strict regulations on P2P sharing.
That way you get to keep your online privacy, well… private.
With a VPN, you’ll stay away from prying eyes, from your ISP, and your government.
Plus, you won’t have to deal with blocked content or geo-restrictions.
One VPN that works for me is NordVPN because it enables a list of servers made particularly for P2P sharing.
That makes it easier and safer to access and use torrenting websites.
Not to mention that NordVPN offers a bund of other features, excellent security, and privacy, and it’s completely reliable.
If you are hesitating, give it a try without risking your money.
NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-return policy, so if you are not satisfied, you can get your money back and try with another VPN.
Australia is not the strictest country when it comes to torrenting, but you still need to be careful with those fines and penalties.
If you want to keep your privacy far from prying eyes and your ISP, make sure to try NordVPN, Windscribe, or another reliable VPN of your choice.
As long as you use a VPN, you’ll keep your online anonymity and access torrenting safely.
I hope you found this article helpful.
For any additional questions you might have, or maybe share your experience, don’t forget to leave a comment below.