Hey, I actually am new (at least in the last few years), and not an alt. This is my first post by pure coincidence. I just joined to post a few things about Sabayon and my experience.
However, I would like to point out that laws are relative. Morality is relative too for that matter, but on an international forum there is likely to be some variation in what is "legal".
I am a forum administrator myself. I am not a cop and do not expect or care if my members are law abiding citizens or not, as long as they are respectful of the community and of myself. The real issue for me is not that I care if people are downloading torrents or even stealing from Walmart, but that I do not want to be liable and be the one who gets in trouble for allowing content that some other idiot posted. When I explain that it is not a judgement against their lifestyle or choices but simply an action I must take to protect myself, most people are cool with a few mutually agreed upon standards.
Not all torrents are illegal. In the USA most content produced since before the 1960s (and a lot of content up through the 70s even) is considered public domain. If you wanted to download an old Frankenstein movie or the original Nosfaratu or Metropolis, it would probably be perfectly legal for you to do so as long as the content actually IS in the public domain. If it was remastered in technocolor in the last 20 years and released as a special edition, it might not still be public domain if it contains added content. A lot of classics of music, movies and books are actually perfectly legal to download and share. Some books and movies are meant to be free and might be public domain or creative commons or similar. A torrent is not automatically criminal activity.
Some countries might also have lax laws about file sharing. My opinion is that once a movie or song hits the public airwaves, it is public domain. Anyone could have recorded it with Tivo or VHS. Torrents are more convenient and thus more prevalent, but it is essentially the same idea as copying a movie from TV or maxing a 'mix tape' for a girlfriend. Format is the only difference.
However, I would respect a 'no torrent' rule, simply because I understand that it brings scrutiny and can be difficult to verify its legality. I do not care if people pirate stuff, I just do not want to give the tyrants another excuse to come harassing me.