The Internet Archive offers 1m+ public domain works via BitTorrent

By Lee Kaelin on

The Internet Archive has partnered with BitTorrent to distribute its vast collection of movies, books, live music concerts, radio shows and other free public domain works. Whilst the old HTTP download format will remain, those using torrents will benefit from BitTorrent's faster speeds.

Instead of having one central download location, BitTorrent transfers small pieces of files to and from peers. Along with support from peers, the Internet Archive will seed torrents from two central servers. The shift will vastly improve fault tolerance and reduce server bandwidth consumption, saving the organization money.

"Thank you to BitTorrent and its community for evolving such a useful technology to distribute public materials quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively," Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle said, adding that that the move provided a great opportunity for both parties.

The decision is welcomed by the torrent industry, which is generally associated with piracy. Sites like the Pirate Bay and the recently-shuttered Demonoid have done little to help with its reputation, but BitTorrent technology can be and is used for legal purposes.

"Combined with the vast amount of content from the Internet Archive and the size and scope of the BitTorrent community, this is truly a worthy cause and we look forward to continuing to build new content solutions for the digital world," said BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker.

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