We sometimes hear people say that BitTorrent as a technology is only good for infringement. We know that’s not true, but then people will point to examples of how frequently it’s used for infringement. Of course, that’s meaningless when you look at both the larger picture and the nature of trends. When new distribution technologies are introduced, it’s not surprising that they’re used that way because there’s so little legitimate activity on the system. But that changes over time. Remember, when the VCR first came about, nearly all activity on it was described as “infringing” by some, because there was no legitimate content being offered. However, obviously, over time that changed and more and more legitimate content was offered.
Over the years, we’ve certainly seen an increase in content being offered via BitTorrent, but today there’s a big addition: the Internet Archive has enabled over one million torrents of books, music and movies from its collection.
The Internet Archive is now offering over 1,000,000 torrents including our live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons into Community collections (with more to follow).
And while some ignorant organizations may declare that the Internet Archive is a “rogue site,” I think most people recognize that it’s a wonderful repository of all sorts of legal content, much of which is now available using the rather efficient distribution technology BitTorrent.