Pirating in Private - How not to get caught

By now you’ve probably installed limewire or some other peer to peer program. You’re downloading in relative anonymity, that’s the beauty of peer to peer, there is no central database or logs of your downloads.

Dangerous Waters
But what about the torrent site? ThePirateBay, MiniNova, etc… well, it’s safe to say that they log web activity and by that I mean they probably have your IP address and where you went on the site and what you did. The IP address can be linked to your ISP which can under court order divulge who was using that IP. WALK THE PLANK!

So play it safe, use a proxy. A proxy is simply a site that masks your location, by allowing you to surf through them. Below, I've included a tool that generates a "random" proxy

Enter a URL to visit via proxy:

Or choose from thousands of working proxies by going to http://proxy.org

Real Protection
Free web proxies are just a start though, if you want true protection you need to use a full feature proxy tool like Secure-Tunnel.

From their website: “Secure-tunnel masks your IP address, replacing it with one of our own, and mixes your traffic with thousands of active connections, making it impossible to determine who you are. We also port forward all your data through a single standard port and encrypt the data so administrators and ISPs cannot determine where you are going or what you are doing while online. Your data and personal information cannot be logged or tracked because it is encased in our secure tunnel.”



Video Pirates: How to Turn on Subtitles

So you've downloaded a foreign film, congrats you are expanding your repertoire and cultural savvy! But then there's the issue that you don't speak French/Spanish/whatever language that's spoken. Before you go and download Rosetta Stone and try to learn the language, you should probably just turn the subtitles on. This is tutorial for the many leechers that want to understand how to make the subtitles work. In fact it's quite simple.

Step 1: Get Subtitle Display Tool
Download VobSub. Install.

Step 2: Get Subtitle File
If your download did not come with subtitles (and most do) there are plenty of sites that allow you to download the subtitles for free. Check www.divxsubtitles.net for starters, download it and put it in the same directory as the movie. Since the subtitles probably did come with your download and are just sitting in a zipped folder or are already in the same folder as your movie you can skip this step. Just look for the file ending in .sub

Step 3: Turning on the Subtitles
It works like this, the subtitle file must be named exactly the same as the video file with the exception of the .sub extension.

So if your movie is named: StarWarsIV.DIVX.avi
then your subtitle file should be named: StarWarsIV.DIVX.avi.sub

If you don't see the file extensions (.sub or .avi) you can turn those on in Windows by opening the folder then clicking Tools > Folder Options > View (Tab) and unchecking the box entitled "Hide Extensions for Known File Types".


That's it! You should now be watching that film with full subtitles!

Here are a few of my favorite foreign films.

The Tools of a Leech

The most basic form of pirating seems to be focused around stealing what has already been stolen. In pirating terms this is called leeching. This is the most common form of pirating and probably the safest as you are using the seeders as a virtual buffer for your stealing... but we'll get into that in more detail later. So let's get down to business and put together our tools, but don't worry, all is free in the world of a pirate.

Tool 1: The Download (P2P) Software
This is the software that will actually retrieve your loot (movies, music, applications, etc...) from the web. The P2P stands for Peer to Peer, which basically implies that there is a level of anonymity when you are using it since there is no central server, only peers. A good analogy is the difference between checking a book out at a library versus borrowing a book from a friend or peer. There seems to be many different P2P applications these days and so I won't get into naming them now but instead focus on one of easier to use tools known as Lime Wire. Lime Wire is opensource and free for it's basic version but costs around $30 for the Pro version (faster), which, is actually easy to steal. But for now, let's just get the basic version. www.limewire.com/download/. This will install on OSX, Windows XP/Vista, Linux, etc... It should be a quick and easy install and even work behind a firewall. Should you have any questions during the install make sure to use the Lime Wire website for help.

Tool 2: The Torrent List
The torrent list is usually a website that lists available downloads (torrents, or bit torrents). Again, there are many available, however, the most popular tend to have the best downloads and communities that keep virus ridden downloads at bay. Lime Wire and the other P2P tools usually have a built in "torrent search" but they usually are not as effective as the torrent lists on the web, so if you decide to use the built in search you'll be in dangerous waters. So, ready to bookmark? Try this site first: The Pirate Bay (TPB). The Swedish run site is fast becoming the "Google" of the pirate world There are a number of other quality torrent sites, but for simplicities sake we'll just focus on TPB. Once on the site just search for what you want and when you find it use the big green "Download This Torrent" link on the items view page. This should automatically start your download software, Lime Wire, and the actual file will begin downloading!

Tool 3: Players, Readers, and Codecs
You may have heard the terms mp3 or Divx, but in the pirate world these are just a few of the file types you will encounter. In order to access that content that you recently downloaded you will most likely need something to interpret it from "pirate form" to something your computer can understand. There are many different file types so to keep it simple here is the absolute "must have" for beginners list.

  • iTunes (mp3 and other music format player by Apple)
  • Codec Pack (allows you to play most videos in any player)
  • WinRAR (allows you to read almost unzip any compressed file)
  • Magic ISO (allows you to mount virtual CD/DVD drives from CDs/DVDs you've downloaded)

Those are the essentials, now we're ready to plunder.

A Pirates Mind

Pirates have long been feared and regarded as low-life, self indulgent, and a ruthless treasure hunting counter culture. Their tales are that of legend and have awed many a young child. These pirates have dissipated over the years and are all but extinct except for a few roving gangs in the Indian ocean.

Alas a new form of pirate has emerged whose population is growing daily, in fact you've probably spoken with one this week or are even considering joining their ranks. These pirates have replaced the lingo of old with terms like torrent, mp3, divx, screeners, leechers, and seeders. They also pursue treasure but in the forms of free media, and computer applications. Instead of ransacking towns and fighting navies they are stealing from Hollywood and fighting the RIAA. These are exciting times for a pirate because there is excessive bounty to be had and it's never been so easy to steal.

So this is the start of my quest to understand pirating, to get inside the mind of a pirate by becoming one and divulging my experiences for the education of all those who are interested in this growing counter culture. Yo ho, Yo ho! A pirates life for me...


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