Feeds

Internet Archive serves up 1.4 million BitTorrent downloads

Nearly a petabyte of public domain data

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Internet Archive, a non-profit online library dedicated to the permanent preservation of information in digital form, has made nearly a petabyte of materials available via the controversial BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing protocol.

For the project's launch on Tuesday, founder Brewster Kahle announced that the Internet Archive was hosting more than a million torrents, the small files that point to data accessible by BitTorrent clients. The collection has grown since then, and now comprises nearly 1.5 million torrents.

The majority of those torrents – more than one million – point to digitized books, while the others point to audio and video files.

Although BitTorrent has become a popular method of distributing large file collections, such as Linux distributions, historically it has more often been associated with illicit sharing of copyrighted content. According to the Internet Archive, however, all of the material available in its BitTorrent collection is in the public domain.

"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," John Gilmore, founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in the announcement. "BitTorrent is a great way to get and share large files that are permanently available from libraries like the Internet Archive."

Unlike many BitTorrent sites, such as the Pirate Bay, which only host torrent files but not the actual digital content they point to, the Internet Archive is also hosting all of the original content for which it makes torrents available.

That means BitTorrent is now the fastest way to download files from the Internet Archive, Kahle says, because the distributed nature of the BitTorrent protocol allows clients to download data from two of the Archive's servers at once, housed in two separate data centers.

Kahle says the peer-to-peer protocol should also make downloads more reliable from locations with slower connectivity to the Archive's servers, including outside the United States. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.