Paying Users To Report Fake Torrents is Illegal, Anti-Piracy Outfit Claims

TorLock, a torrent site that claims to be virtually free of 'fake torrents', is offering $1 to users for every fake file that they can find. The offer was put in place by the site's owner since he's confident that the site's collection of 140,738 torrents is as clean as it gets. However, the Indian anti-piracy outfit Aiplex Software is determined to put an end to the offer, claiming it is highly illegal.

torlockFounded a few months ago, TorLock is a relatively unknown name to most BitTorrent users. Nonetheless, the site has already captured the attention of various anti-piracy outfits.

In common with most torrent indexers and search engines, TorLock is committed to ensure that DMCA takedown requests from copyright holders are handled properly, but there’s one outfit for which this is not enough.

TorLock advertises itself as the “no fakes torrent site” and claims that it is nearly impossible to find a fake file among the 140,738 torrents that the site currently hosts. To illustrate the confidence the site owner has in TorLock’s “VeriPLUS” system, he has an open offer to pay $1 for every fake torrent users are able to find.

“Simply take the url of the fake torrent and paste it into the message box, remember to give a valid email where we can get in contact with you to discuss the torrent in question and arrange payment,” says a statement on the site. TorLock’s owner Jack told TorrentFreak that this offer still stands. “I’m sure that we are one of the biggest verified sources in the torrent world right now,” he said.

The offer is an interesting gesture, and it’s good to see efforts being taken by site owners to prevent spam and fakes from flooding indexers. However, the $1 per fake torrent offer is not liked by everyone, the Indian anti-piracy outfit Aiplex in particular. Yes, the same Aiplex that admitted to DDoSing torrent sites, to conspiring with the Government and signing contracts worth thousands of dollars to protect Bollywood films.

Aiplex claims the offer is highly illegal, which it pointed out in an email to the TorLock owner.

As always, the correspondance from Aiplex is not the most outstanding literary work, and even plain incomprehensible here and there, but the core message is clear. As can be read below, Aiplex believes that offering users money for their fake torrent reports is highly illegal. The reason they give is an odd one though, to say the least (note: verbatim quote).

We have seen u advertise in ur site that you give $1 for fake. We trust this is highly illegal and we will fight to protect our clients rights. You cannot pay people for other’s material, you do not own the rights. We have already ban ur site. Now we will come after u and the people who host ur illegal website… The Indian Govt wont take this and will suport us in the battle against ur and other sites. Other people dont pay users for helping piracy. U will get in trouble for this… u do not understand who u are dealing with. We demand u remove the offer and also adhere to the many requests we have sent u to delete illegal files… We will not ask again…

Aiplex seems to argue that TorLock’s owner can’t pay users for reporting fake files, because he doesn’t own the rights to these fake torrents. This makes no sense, right? If we follow this logic it would be illegal for TorLock’s owner to take down torrent files following a DMCA complaint as well.

We’ve read this and the rest of the email Aiplex sent a few times now but we have really no idea what it means. The only thing that’s clear to us is that TorLock’s owner Jack appears to be in serious trouble and Aiplex and the Indian Government have allegedly set the wheels in motion for a site-ban.

Too bad, TorLock seemed to be a promising site.

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