BitTorrent distributes more than 100 million legal and promotional downloads

Think all BitTorrent downloads are illegal? Think again: BitTorrent Inc. announced Monday that it has distributed more than 100 million copies of its BitTorrent content bundles ever since the introduction of the promotional format a little over a year ago. Bundles are essentially officially sanctioned torrents which tend to come with a call to action – users have to provide their email address to get access to some of the content. Some of BitTorrent’s most notable content partners included De La Soul, Moby and Tim Ferriss.

Ubuntu to add torrent search to Unity desktop

Ubuntu will add a new default scope set for Unity to allow users to conduct BitTorrent searches directly from the desktop, according to TorrentFreak. The feature, developed by Ubuntu software developer David Callé on Google+, is designed to “embed free culture” directly into desktop UI — and Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth called it “super-useful.” Ubuntu Linux’ status as an open-source OS makes it a natural home for torrent searching, but embedding that capability into the Unity GUI does dip into murky legal territory. However, it is a practical and important tool for many, despite ISPs’ complaints about it, and it will likely make many open-source advocates very happy.

Turns out piracy isn’t dead, after all

P2P piracy may be less in the spotlight than it used to be, but people are still trading a whole lot of files: Data published by Torrentfreak shows that the Pirate Bay saw file uploads surge by 50 percent in 2012, despite various legal attacks against the site that forced it to change domains multiple times, and resulted in it being blocked in a number of European countries. In November of 2013 alone, 74,195 torrents were uploaded to the site. Two years ago, that number was at just 38,319. Those torrents are shared by around 19 million people at a time, according to Torrentfreak.

Iron Sky distributor threatens file sharers with lawsuits

Crowdsourcing, crowd-financing and… file sharing lawsuits? The science fiction comedy Iron Sky has gotten lots of help from its fans, and its filmmakers have in the past relied on BitTorrent to distribute their works. Now, a German distributor is threatening to sue file sharers.

Fox could lose up to a third of web viewers to piracy

Fox wants viewers of its TV shows to authenticate or subscribe to Hulu Plus in order to access full episodes of favorite shows online the day after they air on TV, but a significant number of viewers might simply just pirate them.

James Cromwell film will debut on BitTorrent

File sharers can download a spy thriller with a cast including Six Feet Under actor James Cromwell this Friday, thanks to a collaboration between the film makers and P2P distribution platform VODO. The site is asking for donations to bring the movie to theaters.