After a short introduction we quickly passed through the history of file sharing pointing out some of the major events that led us to where we are today. Last week in the third episode of the series we talked about file sharing downloads and their legal status and today we'll move on and talk about the major torrents sites that will give you access to 100% free and legal content.
In some cases various companies tried to give a commercial- and legal-friendly face to torrent downloads and I think most of them only managed to make some of those using their products go away and Azureus Vuze is the first example I can think of. Don't get me wrong I think they did it well it's only that... most users of such programs don't like companies jumping from one boat to another and trying to be what they aren't. Anyway I should stop my rambling here and move on to serious things so...
1. LegalTorrents is the first site that jumps up when you're looking for "legal torrents" in Google but the content could be a big disappointment to most people used to... ehem less legal torrent trackers. ;) For example there are only 8 game torrents 18 podcasts 3 graphic novels but plenty of netlabel music downloads apart from other categories like pictures or audio books.
This is surely a site worth checking out but most Internet users will probably finish downloading all the interesting content currently available in less than 3 days. Unfortunately updates aren't too frequent so... LegalTorrents is that "hit and run" kind of torrent site.
2. PublicDomainTorrents is a site with a design that would have been nice over a decade ago (and then some years more) and if you can handle the ads that take most of the screen space... you may find some interesting freely available movies.
The little big problem is that the legal status of some torrents is hazy even to those who uploaded them so if you really want to stay on the 100% legal side you should also spare some time for research on what you intend to download...
3. Legit Torrents makes me realize why I usually get things right after missing at least twice - while a lot of torrents are various Linux distros there are also a lot of freeware games and programs available for download and seeing that this site has "12235 registered users with 15704.47 TB of traffic" makes me hope there's a future for legal torrents sites after all.
To give you a better view of the matter let me say that about a year ago there were less than 7000 users and about 1600 torrents on Legit Torrents. While users got up seriously now there are only 1985 torrents available but at least there's a change. Surely worth checking out and keep an eye on in the future!
4. The etree.org Community Bittorrent Tracker is the last on today's list but it's a real treasure for those crazy about music. Why? Here you can find a really impressive amount of music from trade friendly artists (The Grateful Dead and Primus included!) and a serious part of it all is encoded using losless formats like FLAC. Awesome absolutely awesome!
I know I may have missed some great torrents site that provides 100% legal content but that's why you're reading this - to learn from it and also to bring your contribution to this article so don't be shy and drop a comment below if you have something to say all right? Thanks in advance! ;)