It’s like a never-ending war. The government and ISPs are going after people who download illegal torrents, and people who are resorting to VPNs to avoid detection. Most torrent sites are shut down within months of launch but new ones keep popping up in the wild. Torrenting copyright material without permission is illegal, but most people do it anyway, well aware of the risks. Why not download torrents that are legal?
Legal Torrenting Sites
You might not know, but there exist many torrent sites that are legal, and allow you to download content without having to worry about copyright infringement, penalties or jail time. There are movies, games, and other media content are available in the free domain, but on most torrent sites, it is difficult to search for them. How do you know what you are downloading is illegal?
To counter this problem, I created a list of 15 useful torrenting sites that are legal, and only hosts files that allow you to download copyright free and open source legal content in the public domain.
1. SXSW Torrent
SXSW or South of Southwest is a great music and film festival that is organized in Texas, Austin, every year. SXSW Torrent is a great place to find a legal collection of more than 83 GB of music comprising over 10,000 songs featured in SXSW. Artists are now using SoundCloud instead but you can still find old gems here.
Linux is probably one of the best OS in the world, and it is free. There are so many distros that it can be overwhelming to keep track of things. Linux Tracker tracks everything that is available in the Linux world and offers latest updates on them.
Vuze has been operating in the legal torrent business for the past 15 years, opening its doors in 2003. You will find music, movies, NASA documentaries, Linux distros, games, and even TED Talks here. Vuze also offers a torrent client which is popular for its minimalist and clean UI and its ability to bridge the gap between clearnet and I2P.
4. Game Updates
Who doesn’t likes playing games, but it can be difficult to keep up with all the patches and updates that come your way. Game Updates is a large repository of legal game patches and updates that you can torrent anytime you want. There is a forum where gamers can be found actively discussing new updates.
You will find more than 25 TB of academic and research data on this free and legal torrenting site. The site is run by the researchers, for the researchers. Since time is of the essence and data sets can be huge, they have made downloading torrents really fast. You can also upload your own datasets if you want. Some of the top universities are part of this initiative.
Are you looking for WW1 and WW2 documentaries? Looking for old movies released in the early half of the 19th century? You can find a number of movies and documentaries, some of them are real gems, that were released between 1913 and 1968. The site is constantly added with new movies too.
Also Read: How to Download Torrents on Android
If you are a fan of indie content then Vodo is the place to be. Vodo features indie content that you can download legally via torrents. Right now, it has a collection of about 250 movies. You can donate funds to your favorite artists, however, that is an optional feature.
Missed a concert? Chances are it is available on Etree. A legal torrent site that is focussed on featuring torrents of recorded live concerts. Recordings are of music artists who allow their fans to record and share them freely and legally. So there are no copyright infringement issues.
Another torrent-based file sharing site for musicians, Panda allows indie musicians to share their work with the masses for free. All the work is published under the creative commons license. The site is easy to use and you can search via genres.
10. TAS Videos
As a gamer, you would like to improve your skills, maybe clear that level, understand how to kill the boss? While discussing it on the forums is okay, TAS Videos offers videos, by the gamers and for the gamers, that will actually show you how to do just that. The gaming torrent site is great for newbies and intermediates who are stuck on various levels.
While there are other sites for music lovers which allow artists and fans to distribute and download torrents, Jamendo also allows them to follow and interact with one another. There is also a section where you can find stock music for commercial use. Read the terms before using though.
12. Internet Archive
Welcome to the granddaddy of all torrent sites. You can browse through and download more than 750,000 movies, over 3.5 million eBooks, and 2 million music and audio files. Phew. Other items include artwork, images, and live music. The community is huge and several of these downloadable torrents have been reviewed by peer members for the benefit of others.
13. Legit Torrents
Legit Torrents features a bit of everything like movies, music, ebooks, software, and games. While there is a category that also features Linux distros, I have already mentioned a better source for that above. It is still a good place to hunt for something you can’t find elsewhere.
14. BitTorrent Now
As the name suggests, BitTorrent Now is owned and operated by BitTorrent itself. They have partnered with a number of artists and content creators to help them distribute their work and gain some traction and recognition. You will find some of the biggest names in the industry featured here.
Apart from legal video and audio torrents, Miro also hosts podcasts in different categories like gaming and shows like TED Talks and New Yorker Out Loud. An open source and non-profit torrent site.
Wrapping Up: Legal Torrenting Sites
There are torrent sites that were built for specific purposes like academia, indie music, documentaries, and movies; and then there are torrent sites that host pretty much everything. No matter what you are looking for, there is a torrent for that.
Always download legal content that is available in the free domain because every time you download something illegally, it is costing the maker/creator/producer profit that they could have made otherwise. Producing amazing content costs time, money, and resources and we should respect that fact.