Ethical issue involving download site

A friend and colleague sent me an invitation to a private download site carrying videos of recent boxing and MMA matches to download. I didn’t ask him for it, I had told him if he saw a fight online I’d like to see it too. I should have specified only legal downloads. Then he tells me I have to register with the site now because he can only invite 3 new members a year. If I don’t register the invitation will expire and he’ll hear about that. I told him I wasn’t really interested but he’s kind of touchy sometimes and I don’t want him to think it’s any kind of slight to him personally if I don’t register.

I have no intention of downloading anything from this site. If I simply register and never use this site am I violating any laws, regs, etc… Is it unethical to contribute to this kind of downloading to which I am personally opposed simply by registering. I don’t really care what others are doing on these sites, and I’m not really fond of the concept of protecting the interests of content producers relying on an honest public to enforce their perceived rights, but I follow the rules as it affects the industry I work in. I’d feel like hypocrite if I actually downloaded any material from there, but am I just overthinking the concept of registering with it?

He is a good friend, and I’d rather avoid the conflict of saying I won’t get involved at all. Am I just overthinking this, or should I just tell him “Sorry, can’t get involved” to maintain my own integrity.

It sounds kind of dumb and picayune as I write this out, but I’d like to hear others opinions.

ETA: Even if gets a little ticked off he’ll get over it before too long.

Just say you really don’t want to do it. Geez, tripolar.

Just don’t bother. Tell the dude you don’t do it.

I personally use BitTorrent to download TV and I am always inviting friends (well not sending invites, just mentioning it) and they always say “no thanks, we don’t want to be involved in that” and I say “ok” and that’s all.

Yeah, I’m worrying too much about this. He lives overseas and he’ll be coming over in a couple of weeks and I’m already trying to figure out how he ended up not talking to a third common friend. If this upsets him I’ll just have to wait for him to get over it.

Well! Anyone else have anything going on? >:^)

believe it or not torrents are perfectly legal, well the legal ones are anyway. I use torrent sites for file sharing on a kinda regular basis because its the best way to share these particular files.

This exactly - the torrent site, in and of itself (most likely) isn’t illegal.

There will also be many legal files that can be shared (maybe)

I’d go one of two routes

  1. Register and then not use
  2. Don’t register - but let him know you haven’t with the explanation that if anyone found out, your job would be at risk - and this risk (no matter how small) simply isn’t worth it.

Or possibly
3. Explain that your SO freaked out about torrents - and it just isn’t worth the drama to register after her freakout.

go ahead and register but dont use it
save yourself any worry or trouble from your friend
and just dont download if that is the issue

That’s a good solution, she’s certainly not thrilled with the idea. Not that 2 isn’t a realistic answer, but he’ll understand that I’ll be more concerned about my wife’s reaction than his.

ETA: I’m giving him more slack than usual since he lost both his parents recently and I’m sure that’s why he’s been so touchy lately.

Why all the beating around the bush? If he’s such a good friend, could you just tell him: “Don’t get upset, but I don’t feel comfortable registering because it puts me in an ethical quandary. I know you disagree and I don’t mind, but I work in this industry so it would be hypocritical of me to do this.” What kind of friend worth keeping wouldn’t understand that?

I think he’s in an emotional state because of the death of his parents. He’s already on the outs with a common friend over what is likely a stupid misunderstanding. I’m going with bengangmo’s suggestion number 3, then I’ll try to explain it to him more rationally. And if that causes a lasting problem then you are correct, he’s not a friend worth keeping.

I see. I guess nobody I know is that emotionally attached to torrenting, but evidently he cares enough to be on some private tracker, so maybe it does matter to him. Good luck and hope you resolve it suitably :slight_smile: