Soon The Pirate Bay will stop linking to .torrent files. Instead, the world’s largest BitTorrent site will only list so-called magnet links. One of the advantages of the switch is that The Pirate Bay will be much more portable, and easier to copy. A new torrent listing all titles and magnet links on The Pirate Bay proves this point, as the public can download a copy that fits easily on a small USB stick – or even a few dozen floppies.
Last month The Pirate Bay announced that it will stop hosting torrents in the very near future.
This change is expected to go into effect before the end of the month. From then on, Pirate Bay users can only download files through magnet links.
The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak that one of the advantages of the transition to a “magnet site” is that it requires relatively little bandwidth to host a proxy site. This is needed, because The Pirate Bay is currently blocked in several countries, and more are bound to follow in the months to come.
Without torrents, the Pirate Bay also becomes extremely portable which makes it possible for people to download a personal backup. As we said before, such a copy would easily fit on a thumb drive. Pirate Bay user “allisfine” was intrigued by this idea and decided to find out how small a copy of the torrents site would be.
“I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy,” he told TorrentFreak.
Using this script, “allisfine” managed to copy the title, id, file size, seeds, leechers and magnet links of 1,643,194 torrents. Comments were not copied to keep the files as small as possible, and the end result is a full copy of all magnet links on The Pirate Bay in a 90 megabytes file, 164 megabytes unzipped.
There is some confusion as to whether the 1,643,194 torrents are indeed a full copy of the site, as The Pirate Bay itself lists 4,199,832 torrents in the footer link on its site. However, the latter stats apply to the number of torrents that are available on several public trackers, The Pirate Bay itself only hosts a fraction of those.
With the release of the copy everyone can now download a personal backup of The Pirate Bay in a few minutes. Although searching the copy isn’t as convenient as using The Pirate Bay itself, there is little doubt that someone else will soon come up with another script that solves this problem.
Recent history has shown that when a site is threatened with shutdown, or censored, the Internet is very quick to come up with a workaround. And with thousands of backups of The Pirate Bay floating around, it will be very hard at this point to get rid of the famous torrent site.
What’s perhaps even more striking is that the greatest arch rival of a billion dollar entertainment industry is nothing more than 164 megabytes of text. Something to think about.
I don't think the government entities targeting filesharing sites realized how adaptable the internet is. With this file spreading around the internet and backups in private hands, there's no longer a single target for governments to sue. If anything, these SOPA/PIPA/ACTA attempts are driving internet users to innovate into methods that are even more difficult to track and regulate.