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UPDATED AS OF 01/08/10: Please check 10 More Sites for Free and Legal Torrents for an updated list of free and legal downloading destinations.
Bittorrent downloads are either illegal or DRM-infected, right? Wrong. There are plenty of websites out there that offer free and legal Torrent downloads to save bandwidth and make file sharers happy at the same time.
Granted, sites like The Pirate Bay are still the major source for Bittorrent traffic. But legitimate platforms offer enough video goodies to clog your tubes for days. Here are 10 great places to get started:
Legaltorrents.com distributed 90 terabytes of Creative Commons-licensed content in the last seven months alone. The site features lots of music downloads, but also has some good video content like the South African TV show Go Open and the Firefly-Documentary Done The Impossible. All the files are centrally seeded, so your downloads will always have a happy ending.
Public Domain Torrents features hundreds of Torrents from out-of-copyright films in numerous formats. Unfortunately there is no central seeding, so you better stick to the recently posted items.
Legit Torrents is a new site that aggregates freely available Torrents, including video, games and Linux distributions.
Bittorrent has taken a beating for its recently launched download store, but the site still offers lots of freely downloadable content as well. Unfortunately the free stuff gets buried under the rentals and sales, which are for some reason deemed more “relevant.”
SXSW.com features music and video downloads to promote the South by Southwest festival. This year’s film trailers aren’t up yet, but there’s 3 gigabytes of MP3 music to get an idea of what’s gonna go down in Austin this March.
Speaking of music: Etree is hosting live recordings of bootleg-friendly artists in the lossless FLAC audio format.
The soon-to-be-relaunched Azureus home base Zudeo offers a mix of music videos, user-generated content, professionally produced movies and short films. Worth a look because of its extensive list of fan films and HD content. All downloads are centrally seeded.
Torrentfreak is known for its up-to-date coverage of the BitTorrent scene, but the site also operates an own tracker and regularly features legal downloads like the official Bittorrent release of the movie The Corporation.
Revision3.com is technically not a Torrent site, but the online video network utilizes BitTorrent like few others. Every episode page features a multitude of Torrent links, and you can subscribe to each show with an RSS-Feed including proper Torrent enclosures.
Finally, no list of legal Torrent platforms would be complete without a Linux ISO site like Linuxtracker.com. Advocates of the free operating system have been using BitTorrent for a long time to spread the latest releases of their preferred distribution. Linuxtracker lists all major flavors of Linux, including video-specific releases like the open source DVR system KnoppMyth and the multimedia production platform 64 Studio.
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