Can someone explain me the behavior of crowd when there are mostly downvotes because of one sentence in answer. And from other site wrong and misleading answer (also one sentence) get only upvotes

And here the answers in question:
mostly downvote and this sentence:

Do not use p2p/torrent to download this software!

mostly upvotes and this sentence:

As a point of clarification, it is not illegal to download Lightroom either, as long as you have paid for it

  • 1
    Perhaps the voting on those answers has changed in the last few days since you've posted this meta question, but as of today I only see 1 downvote on your answer (+3, -1), and the other answer is (+4, 0). So the difference is just one voter (again, as of today. Perhaps it was different a few days ago).
    – scottbb Mod
    May 28, 2019 at 12:31
  • 1
    It was, @scottbb :) But I saw confirmation of one old expression: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" :D May 28, 2019 at 15:43

4 Answers 4


P2P/Torrents are sometimes used for legitimate downloads as well. You shouldn't pirate Lightroom, but if there is a download of the non-cracked installer on a P2P service, there's absolutely nothing wrong with downloading it via P2P which may very well be faster than from Adobe's site.

I'd guess the downvote was probably for the very random bit about Lightroom. They weren't talking about downloading Lightroom at all, so it was very out of left field. Mostly people have been unvoting though, only one person downvoted, I'm not sure that's really something to get too worried about.

  • You are right, p2p sometime/in some cases are used for legitimate tasks. My intention in answer was to warn people in general. For me the case (and this Q/A) is closed :) May 25, 2019 at 4:19

Your answer was likely downvoted because it contained a broad rebuke of the use of p2p downloading for any reason. Because the question was specifically about darktable, "Do not use p2p/torrent to download this software!" appears to refer to darktable. (I didn't vote, but vaguely recall having that impression.)

Further, in the comments, it appeared you were doubling down on the recommendation to not use p2p to download darktable. You even extended your statement to include other open-source software (Debian). You had opportunity to change course to refer to LR or restrict your statement to proprietary software, but you didn't back down.

Even though you've changed the statement to refer to LR, reading your comments on this page, it still seems you recommend against using p2p software at all. You are allowed to have that opinion, but other people are also allowed to disagree and downvote.

The other answer does not come across to me as "wrong". However, it does not directly answer the question. I did not vote for it either. I felt both answers were lacking, so wrote my own.

The following is a partial account from the comments to illustrate – it appears you're speaking against p2p generally.

Philip Kendall asked:

Why shouldn't I download Debian, which includes Darktable, via BitTorrent? (Yes, I know I'm being slightly pedantic here)

You replied:

Because AFAIK in Germany network traffic is monitored and maybe you will get in your mail a fine. Of course you can complain and provide evidences Debian is free software, etc. But why put yourself in troubles?

flolilo said:

Errrr....and why would they do that? There is nothing, I repeat, nothing in European or German law that prohibits you from using BitTorrent. It is, however, illegal to download pirated software - no matter whether you use P2P or not. If your P2P software uploads pirated software (which you downloaded before) while you download darktable with it, you may get fined - for uploading, not for downloading.

You replied (1, 2)

errors happen. And then you should prove this is free software. It's wise to stay away from torrents/p2p.

I have several examples (of fines) about usage of P2P and one of them was wrong. But as you know this kind of statistic should be checked on government level.

flolilo wrote (1, 2):

"errors happen" - indeed. That's why we have courts and lawyers. Errors can happen to anyone at any time: You could, for example, get fined for driving too fast although you neither own a car nor have a driver's license and although never having bewn at the place of the speed trap in your while life. Does it happen often? Well, I heard of more of these cases (3) than about P2P-cases (0). Add that to the clear lack of laws that prohibit P2P usage and...

That's why we have lawyers and courts. I find it very hard to believe that the sentence was "use of illicit P2P software". I could be wrong of course, but I guess that at least heise/c't and/or other computer-specific news outlets would publish such cases, especially if there was an error involved.

  • For what it's worth, the official styling is "darktable". Despite those preferences (old newspaper adage: "if you want non-standard capitalization for your name, buy an ad") using Darktable is reasonable, especially at the beginning of a sentence. But "DarkTable"... eh :)
    – mattdm
    Jun 11, 2019 at 19:27

I'm not sure I understand your complaint.

Your statement, that one should not use p2p software to download Darktable, is misleading and confusing.

The other statement, that it's not illegal to download Lightroom when it's properly paid for (e.g. from https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html) seems fine.

If you disagree, use your own votes.

  • My statement cover not only Darkroom but also LR. And my understanding about second sentence is: it is illegal to download if you did not paid for it. Of course my English is quite broken so maybe it's my fault :) May 24, 2019 at 15:25
  • 1
    I'll be happy to upvote if you clarify your statement.
    – mattdm
    May 24, 2019 at 15:30
  • I add clarification for LR (because for Darktable we go in different discussion which is not for photo.SE :) ) May 24, 2019 at 15:33

I didn't vote but your

Do not use p2p/torrent to download LR software!

did sound odd. Nothing wrong with P2P per se, even to download LR software if you have the license. If it's a warning that the Adobe folks could be setting up bait torrents to catch the IPs of downloaders for legal action, it should be stated more clearly. If it is a general warning against P2P, then it is possibly misinformed (P2P is safer than shady download sites).

  • AFAIK in Germany is not wise to use p2p to download any nonfree software. May 24, 2019 at 20:05
  • Your statement didn't sound like it was restricted to Germany (and even if so, a bit of explanation would have been required).
    – xenoid
    May 24, 2019 at 20:16
  • If you check the question you will see OP ask about Germany. So my answer was in this direction. May 24, 2019 at 20:27
  • @xenoid The original was to not use p2p to download this software, which may have been read to refer to DarkTable because that is what OP was asking about.
    – xiota
    Jun 11, 2019 at 4:30

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