Several governments have been fighting the crime of piracy. Even after promoting anti-piracy with the famous slogan “Say no to Piracy”, the crime still exists. One of the biggest piracy databases could be Torrent sites. Sites such as Piracy Bay and Extratorrents have lured hundreds of millions of people to download endless amounts of free media content.

Many Torrent sites have built their business by outmaneuvering the MPAA and RIAA. These torrent sites have hit the bottomline of the movie and music industries. This has been happening over the past decade, and it isn’t good news for torrent fans.

According to a study by computer scientists at Birmingham University designed to find out how much risk file sharers have to take to upload and download files online, when someone downloads the torrent file, his IP address is linked with other IP addresses throughout the world that are hosting the file. MPAA and RIAA have the ability to track down the user using the Torrent with the help of IP addresses. It works similar to computers’ online fingerprinting, as reported by BBC.

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Researchers at the Birmingham University told the BBC that they were “surprised” by the quantity of monitoring agencies employed by the MPAA and RIAA online. Almost three years were spent on the study, and they found that IP addresses and other data are gathered for future use.

“You don’t have to be a mass downloader. Someone who downloads a single movie will be logged as well,” a researcher leading the team said to the BBC.

“If the content was in the top 100 [most popular downloads], it was monitored within hours. Someone will notice and it will be recorded,” he added.

Things have turned bitter for people who thought they can get away with hosting Torrent sites. Several cases have been reported, and the affected people have posted their stories on Reddit.

Also Read: Game of Thrones: HBO to Allow Illegal Torrent Download in Australia?

These “horror” stories should be taken as an example for people to refrain from getting into legal trouble over illegal Torrents.