Hi all! I want to learn more about the legal issues with Tribler before I would consider using or contributing to it. Is development of any torrent video streaming service legal? If yes, in what countries? And what about its users? It is legal to use such a service? How does Tribler deal with this legal/ethical dilemmas?
Thank you for your interest! I’m no lawyer, yet I’ll try to answer your questions to my best.
Is development of any torrent video streaming service legal? If yes, in what countries?
In general, it depends on your jurisdiction. Though, I’ve never heard about any jurisdiction where development of torrenting software is illegal.
And what about its users? It is legal to use such a service?
Usage for certain purposes (e.g. piracy/pornography) is certainly prohibited at some places.
How does Tribler deal with this legal/ethical dilemmas?
We don’t do anything prohibited in EU or US. We respect patents and copyright. Whenever authorities would ask us, we cooperate if the law orders us to do so (e.g. in a police investigation of someone using our software for illegal purposes). Though, we carefully design our software so we are only able to provide consultative service to law enforcement agencies. This means Tribler is designed to be untraceable and unaccountable. We never collect any information about our users (except anonymous bugreports).
To this day, for 14 years of Tribler development, no Tribler developer had any problems with the law.