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The Internet Archive Starts Seeding Over a Million Torrents 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the adding-a-dose-of-legitimacy dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that The Internet Archive has started seeding about 1,400,000 torrents. In addition to over a million books, the Archive is seeding thousands and thousands of films, music tracks, and live concerts. John Gilmore of the EFF said, "The Archive is helping people to understand that BitTorrent isn't just for ephemeral or dodgy items that disappear from view in a short time. BitTorrent is a great way to get and share large files that are permanently available from libraries like the Internet Archive." Brewster Kahle, founder of the Archive, told TorrentFreak, "I hope this is greeted by the BitTorrent community, as we are loving what they have built and are very glad we can populate the BitTorrent universe with library and archive materials. There is a great opportunity for symbiosis between the Libraries and Archives world and the BitTorrent communities."
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The Internet Archive Starts Seeding Over a Million Torrents

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  • Next move (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @02:20AM (#40915167)

    The *AAs start suing the Internet Archive.

  • How about Freenet? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Could the Internet Archive ever validate Freenet in the same way? Show that it can be used for fault tolerant archiving of static data, and not just subversive/illegal speech?

    • by MartinG (52587) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @05:31AM (#40916029) Homepage Journal

      I don't think they are trying to "validate" bittorrent. That's just a side effect of what they are doing. They are simply using one of the most efficient and cost effective ways of distributing data because it helps them, and possibly makes a better experience for the users.

      freenet offers anonymity but they don't really need that here. Bittorrent also offers fault tolerance, doesn't it?

    • Hash matching provides that fault tolerance. If segment hashes don't match then the file corrupts. The Bittorrent protocol is written to deal with that by rejecting segments with unmatched hashes. Freenet not needed, because anonymity is not required here.

    • Freenet cannot be used for archiving data; it is designed specifically to distribute "live" data (data in motion). Freenet only keeps data as long as people are actively using it. If nobody uses a file for a while and something else becomes more popular, the ignored item will be overwritten with the new item.

      Torrents, on the other hand, last for as long as there is a seeder available (and assuming perfect distribution, can even survive periods of no seed available, as long as there's at least one client w

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @02:46AM (#40915311)

    Oh, wait, you don't want to?

    Fine, I'll ask the Russians instead. They always have what I want, in the best format possible, for free.

    This is what enrages me the most today. Everyone is busy off complaining about piracy and bullshit, when they're not making their products readily available in a format I can actually use. I've lost count how many times I've walked into BestBuy holding a bundle of $20 bills only to be turned away because they don't stock something. The last time I went there it was for a Disney movie for the kids- only to be told point blank by the salesman who went into the back looking for the Bluray disk that Disney had stopped producing them (this was a year old movie- hell, we had it in theatres up until about 4 months ago) so that they could re-release it again in a special edition in a few months and charge full pop once more.

    I've gone into more music stores then I can remember looking for CDs of good music (none of this modern day auto-tuned bullshit or the crap where there's some white boy rapping through a telephone effect patch to hard-panned deep beats), and I almost never find what I'm looking for. Then I land up having to either buy the CD from Europe or direct from the band and waiting ~4 weeks for it to show up in the mail- and I've still got to go prod the Russians for a nice FLAC copy to listen to in the meantime.

    Hell, there's been TV series I would HAPPILY pay for to watch and enjoy with my family if I could actually get them on DVD or BR. But no, because of licensing-this-and-licensing-that, once again I'm being denied the ability to PAY FOR my entertainment by the VERY SAME people who sit around bitching and complaining about piracy all day long.

    About half a year ago I got a letter from my ISP basically complaining about the fact that I'd been downloading stuff and someone else was angry about it. It was funny at the time because had I been able to get what I was looking for locally- or even off the internet and mailed to me- I wouldn't have pirated the stuff. After searching the internet for a few hours and finding nothing, I turned to my usual set of trackers and had the thing downloaded in 2 hours. It still makes me chuckle to think that someone out there was peeved enough about me downloading their product to actually complain to my ISP about it, even though their product was made of unobtanium *anywhere*.

    If these people don't want to take my money when I'm literally holding it out to them, arms outstretched, begging them to take it- and all I get in response is a resounding "NO.", I have no sympathy for any of them. The fact that BT is still going stronger then ever today is awesome. Maybe one day the corporate fuckheads of the world will wake up and figure things out, and start taking my money in a sane manner so that both parties can benefit from the exchange.

    -AC (for obvious reasons)

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @03:13AM (#40915439)

      After searching the internet for a few hours and finding nothing, I turned to my usual set of trackers and had the thing downloaded in 2 hours. It still makes me chuckle to think that someone out there was peeved enough about me downloading their product to actually complain to my ISP about it, even though their product was made of unobtanium *anywhere*.

      Exactly. I download a ton of stuff over the internet, mostly older movies, TV series and documentaries in foreign languages, because it's just not available anywhere. It's illegal alright, but the legal risk to me, which is already very low, is made even lower by the fact that (1) the stuff I download isn't exactly prime-time material and (2) there really are no other sources for it, and that's a bloody good excuse I reckon.

      I just don't understand why copyright holders don't grok that people prefer clicking twice in the comfort of their living room to visiting a brick-and-mortar store, or scouring the internet in search of a legit copy of the stuff and finding nothing, or finding something and going through the typical online store shopping cart rigmarole, then waiting a week for the stuff to arrive.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @03:43AM (#40915599)

        I wish we had a law saying that you can obtain something for free if the copyright holders refuse to sell it to you. This would keep a lot of this horrible litigation from ever occurring.

        • by swell (195815) <jabberwock@p[ ]ic.com ['oet' in gap]> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:19AM (#40915745)

          Intellectual property law is designed to protect the creator's right to control the property. It carries no obligation to make the property (or music or movie) available to others. It simply prevents others from doing so for the duration.

          Some copyright holders seem to believe that scarcity can be profitable. Thus Disney can bring out Snow White every 30 years and make a killing, whereas if it was always available the price would have deteriorated considerably. And somehow they are able to protect their copyrights forever...

          • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:32AM (#40915795)

            Intellectual property law is designed to protect the creator's right to control the property. It carries no obligation to make the property (or music or movie) available to others

            One could argue that the whole purpose of copyright is to benefit the society by stimulating the creation of new works that the society can then enjoy, but the part where the works exist but are denied to society under any terms kind of makes the copyright pointless, so the question is whether it should even apply to those cases.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            The nice thing about IP law is that it is just that... a law. You can change it to say anything you want.

            If we decide to put in a penalty for not making stuff available, we can do that.

            • by swell (195815)

              I understand that the US government reserves the right to take control of intellectual property under certain circumstances (national security? not sure what else).

              If an invention, discovery or entertainment production were judged terribly essential to life on earth, the government could make it available to us despite the creator's stubborn urge to keep it from us.

              So if that book you want is out of print, ask the government to step in.

              • So in other words, instead of the public domain, you're proposing putting works into the eminent domain. How would you go about calculating the "just compensation" for a Fifth Amendment taking?
                • by MightyYar (622222)

                  It's not property, it's a creative work that gets the name "intellectual property" via legislation. You change the law that defines "intellectual property" and the 5th Amendment has no bearing. Without IP law, there would be no IP - there would be nothing for the 5th Amendment to protect in that regard.

                  • by tepples (727027)

                    You change the law that defines "intellectual property" and the 5th Amendment has no bearing.

                    The United States is a party to WTO treaties including TRIPS and Berne, and as long as WTO treaties are in force, the United States has to treat copyrights of foreign authors as property.

                    • by MightyYar (622222)

                      Yes, but...

                      There is a lot of wiggle room. For instance, copyright only is required by TRIPS to be 50 years, but it is much longer in the US.

                      And of course, one could exit or renegotiate the treaties, with all that entails. The US is the primary driver of them anyway.

            • You can change it to say anything you want.

              No, only elected legislators can do that, and guess who controls who gets to run for office [pineight.com].

        • I wish we had a law saying that you can obtain something for free if the copyright holders refuse to sell it to you. This would keep a lot of this horrible litigation from ever occurring.

          So instead of refusing to sell, they can just set the price for dealers/distributors to be absurdly high - it's still available for sale. Example: for extended periods, Disney could set the wholesale price of a licensed copy of a particular movie on DVD/BR to about $200million. Then, for a limited time, the wholesale price could drop to $20, so retailers can sell it for about $30 or so. Problem solved, and largely indistinguishable from the present, where Disney simply refuses to sell particular movies for

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            But that's Disney purposefully manipulating things, still with intention to sell their movies.

            Most of the time companies either never ever release their movies and TV series in a usable format, or do it so late, people forget what those things were about. The effect on the company is the opposite -- Disney probably makes more money by behaving unethically (they do it to products with lasting popularity, creating the impression of rarity, and everyone who is interested still ends up buying), those companies

          • I read a story several years ago about a company (I can't remember who it was) that refused to sell a product that would have made an absolute killing. Another company decided to take up the slack and fill the hole in the market with a similar product, which the first company took upon itself to litigate. Sometime during the court process, the first company then did release the product, but at such a high unit price it was basically unsellable.

            Had the court missed this tactic the first company would have wo

          • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @02:33PM (#40920843) Homepage Journal
            If copyrights are property, why aren't they taxed like property? Each owner of copyright in a work published more than x years ago would need to declare a self-assessed value of the copyright and pay a tax every few years based on a percentage of that value. Anyone else could put the work into the public domain by paying the copyright's full value to a government agency, which would perform a Fifth Amendment taking of the work's copyright.
        • There was a dutch version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. As a naive kid I inquired how it could be obtained. The NOS would very happy to supply the copyrighted material. All I would have to do was pay a sound engineer to make the copies. The price was... well... rather high doesn't do it justice.

          But it is available... for a price...

          You can probably get any movie you want to. For a couple of million.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a shining example of misapplication of copyright. When copyright was originally implemented, there was only one way to publish something: you printed it, bound it, and published it as a book (which people were then free to resell). It was never intended to allow the copyrighter to control *how* the work was distributed, because the question didn't arise.

      Now, copyright has the unfortunate side-effect that the copyrighter can control the form in which a work is published, where it's available, etc.

      • This is a shining example of misapplication of copyright. When copyright was originally implemented, there was only one way to publish something: you printed it, bound it, and published it as a book (which people were then free to resell). It was never intended to allow the copyrighter to control *how* the work was distributed, because the question didn't arise.

        Now, copyright has the unfortunate side-effect that the copyrighter can control the form in which a work is published, where it's available, etc. This is actually fairly simple to remedy: allow anyone to publish the work, provided that they provide (say) 50% of revenue to the person who holds the copyright.

        Perfect, I am giving away stuff for free. Here is your 50%, Mr. MPAA Member.

  • Thats a lot torrents to seed, i assume they arent just running a tracker.

    What sort of setup do they have, what bittorrent software do they use ?

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      http://techie-buzz.com/how-to/what-are-web-seeds-bittorrent.html [techie-buzz.com]

      I'm guessing it's just webseeds beyond just running the tracker.

    • remember this is archive.org an organisation that frequently* snapshots the entire** internet. Their IT infrastructure is something quite impressive.

      *okay sites that are updated frequently get more refreshes - you can watch back in time and see how news sites react to world events, but blogs less so.
      ** okay only really websites that are static and don't have a robots.txt

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A really good use for torrents would be software updates.

    If a big software company (say, Adobe or Microsoft) would seed their patch releases as torrents, it would instantly bring torrents into the general public mindshare as a legitimate downloading tool. More importantly for the companies involved, it would also save them vast amounts of bandwidth (especially for the bigger files).

    For a company like Adobe or MS, what's not to like about that? They don't even need to worry about the piracy danger, because w

    • I'm not an expert on torrents, but I would imagine that the main reason is that they're telling the users to essentially get the update from an unvalidated source (other torrenters). I know that there are restrictions in how torrents work (verifying hashes of the downloaded chunks etc) but there is a possible attack vector in people poisoning the torrent feed and trying to push malicious packets to consumers.

      Secondly, the cost/bandwidth associated for the companies isn't a major factor. It may look a lar
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:41AM (#40915827)

    It's shocking that a once responsible organisation takes it upon itself to blur the distinct in the public mind of the role played by torrents in the distribution of files. Much effort and money has been expended to educate the public and their political representitive as to the true negative impact of this technology on the economic welfare of the managers of content creators.

    This wrong minded attempt to compete directly with current content with alternatives that are outside the control of the industry leaders shows the miss use of public moneys in an othrwise open market and I feel certain that come review of that funding influent will be brought to bear that will effect either that funding or the management structure.

    Other key words: feedom, open markets, children, economy, health, security

  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:56AM (#40915893) Homepage

    ... for instance, here are audio recordings of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy:
    http://archive.org/details/IsaacAsimov-TheFoundationTrilogy [archive.org]

    _This_ is what the civilian Internet was intended for: spreading information and culture.

  • Hot lists (Score:5, Informative)

    by millette (56354) <`ofni.ettellim' `ta' `nibor'> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:56AM (#40915897) Homepage Journal

    I had trouble getting to the hotlist, I was finally able to reach the page and Coral too. Here are the 2 cached pages:
    http://bt1.archive.org.nyud.net/hotlist.php [nyud.net]
    http://bt2.archive.org.nyud.net/hotlist.php [nyud.net]

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:22AM (#40917233)

    ...5... 4... 3... 2...

    I kid. I've used IA a lot. Their movie archive is awesome, I've discovered some real gems on there, and even managed to make a living making and selling compilations (yes, you can actually do that legally with the material on there, and a lot of other people do!)

  • I only have so many terabytes and megabits per second, which of these torrents should I help preserve? Anything? I mean they're pretty well-preserved already I think, and totally legit so it's not like anyone's trying to get rid of them...

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