Why No One Can Stop Torrents

Can Linux show us the bright side of P2P?

More often than not, the media and society in general casts torrent tracking and P2P sharing in a negative light--well, at least the big media companies do. Whether it's the EU trying to take down the Pirate Bay or the RIAA and MPAA bringing everybody under the sun to court, file-sharing is constantly given a bad rap.

Despite its bad rap, P2P has a number of positive qualities, many of which are brought out thanks to Linux. A sea of operating systems based on the open source kernel are online, available for download or are sent to consumers via CD in the mail. However, thanks to P2P, many Linux users can grab the OS of their choice via torrents. How? Meet Linuxtracker. Founded back in 2005 by Mark Angeli, the tracker listing site is free, open source, and a hot destination for Linux distros.

With the motto "we track tux so you don't have to", Linuxtracker has recently celebrated a major milestone. Over the last 12 months, Linuxtracker has distributed over 180 Terabytes worth of Linux-based OS. Starting with Slx, and now covering a myriad of different distros, the site sees better than average seed/leech ratios, and does not require users to register.

“I was getting into the BitTorrent ‘movement’ downloading the shows I missed at night while at work," Angeli said to TorrentFreak. "At this time I was also trying out new Linux distributions on a fairly regular basis and while I had decent download speeds, I wanted to find a better way to download and share Linux. Some of the bigger distributions were beginning to use BitTorrent as a means of distribution, but the smaller ones were having a hard time. I wanted to make it easy for them."

Sure, download a free OS by means of torrents is a far stretch from illegally downloading movies and music, but what's most important here is focus. Any number of arguments can be made about downloading copyrighted material, for and against. However, attacking the technology behind P2P is not the answer.

In other P2P news, a Brazilian anti-piracy groups website was taken hostage by hackers earlier this week. The move was retaliation for the site going after a popular tracker site called Legendas.TV. Hackers invaded the website belonging to the Antipirataria Association Cinema and Música (APCM), and inserted links that led to torrents listed on mininova. On the site, the message "Live for Downloads" was left for all to see. While the Legendas.TV site is already back up, APCM's website is still down for "maintenance."

Devin Connors currently works as a community manager for Rocket League at Psyonix Studios, but he was previously a senior editor at Tom's Guide, writing about gaming, phones, and pretty much every other tech category. His work has also appeared in publications including Shacknews, GameZone, The Escapist, Machinima, and more.