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Regarding BitTorrent.

I have a question regarding Frihost's policy about Bittorrent. I am a Computer Science Instructor for a state university. One of the topics in my ever-changing curriculum involves file sharing in general, through use of the Bittorrent protocol. In particular, several linux distros use Bittorrent, to update in a pseudo-rolling release fashion. Some of my research includes improving the (file system independent) common buffer cache. Essentially, an interface between the kernel and the concrete file system, on any Linux system. I don't usually label myself as a developer, but I can claim to be part of the BitTorrent releases which are distributed to beta systems.

That setup, of course, was to establish a completely legitimate use of the Bittorrent protocol. I've always seen potential behind more and more people using Bittorrent to swap things larger than email attachments support, databases of pictures or libraries of codec, and the like. I am well aware of the copyright issues associated with distributing copyrighted material, but I believe that the decision to partake in downloading / distributing such media is a personal decision. I allow my students to make that same decision themselves, but teach them the method as an algorithm or solution to a problem: sharing large amounts of data.

I can assure you that there is nothing inherently harmful about a protocol, despite what it may be capable of. In the guide I've written, I teach people how to configure a BitTorrent client to download, update (by script) operating system files on a separate disk partition. The OS in question is Ubuntu, which is open source (for the most part) and released under the GNU GPL.

If one were to hypothetically write a Torrenting How-To guide, and ask for the frihost's community's feedback - would one be censored by the following rule?

# 13. Content related to hacking, torrents, peer to peer, cracking, serial numbers, violence and terroristic activities.

Or any other forum rules that have been posted in the TOS?

Thank you for your time.

Not by me (I'm an IT lecturer and I can't be rude to a colleague Smile.
Obviously you will be aware of the general concern - the BitTorrent client is widely used to obtain pirated software and obviously we don't want that going on here.
What sort of guide are you looking to write? A complete manual covering the protocol and possible uses would be a major undertaking. Are you planning to aim it just at beginners, just at more advanced users, or both?

Obviously I can't speak for Bondings and he has the ultimate say on decisions like this. Personally I see no problem with writing such a guide - the fact is that, as you say, BitTorrent and other P2P systems have perfectly legal uses outside pirating software/music. In fact I'd be quite interested in getting a quick lesson on the protocol - I've not really looked at any P2P protocols and I really should. That means you have one potential tester who is also familiar with preparing manuals and teaching materials at all levels from junior to postgraduate.

I'll draw Bonding's attention to this and see if he is happy for you to go ahead...
The bittorrent protocol is a very revolutionary product enabling file sharing on a very optimal level.
I believe it came off napster, and servu ftp softwares about a decade or so ago.

BUT, bittorrents are not all that safe - usually there are people out there who spread viruses through torrent files and name them as something popular like the latest software or a movie as such, but they contain malware, spyware and viruses, which can infect your pc or systems and the network.

No doubt that more than many people use torrents, and the guides are probably there on wikipedia or event he torrent sites, like utorrent, or even, so there really isnt a need to make a specific guide, as there are many torrent clients out there and covering the use of each would be an arduous task, with every update having to have to document the changelog for it as well.

I think just a brief outline of torrents is useful with a popular torrent client, and a link to its how-to page would be sufficient for your students.
If you talk about the torrenting system, torrenting clients, protocol and similar things then that is ok.

Please, however, don't place any links to the torrents themselves or to torrent tracker websites that mainly focus on less legal torrents.
Thank you, Bikerman! Let me be a bit more specific with what I'd like to write.

The document would essentially be a how-to guide for choosing and correctly configuring a BitTorrent client. In my class, I don't delve too deeply into how the actual protocol works (although its something integrated with Linux). Rather, this would be a guide aimed at intermediate users who are familiar enough with computers and the internet to use filehosting services such as Rapidshare or Megaupload. The guide would essentially break down networking basics and teach people how to optimize their network and computers for bandwidth intensive operations (i.e. hosting a personal server, or utilizing a BitTorrent client). It would then detail how to choose and tweak a BitTorrent client to work best within their system.

Originally this started out as a guide to answer the many questions such as "how to start torrenting" or "what can I do if I want to send a bunch of files from one place to another, without relying on a paid service". More often than not, these questions are asked by startup companies that lack capital.

As for your second question, I'm writing for a general audience, but I intend to provide enough optional information such that true IT diehards like yourself would find it useful, at least in terms of optimization.

Thank you for your interest, Bikerman. When I finish writing it, I'd appreciate your feedback and input on the final result.


Thank you for taking the time. No links will be placed to any torrent sites, trackers, and no examples will be used save for downloading say... an GNU GPL release of Ubuntu. My focus is primarily on system and efficiency.

@Menino: Your concerns are valid, but the very nature of torrenting prevents misuse. While artificial seeds and/or cloned trackers can sometimes be used to fake legitimacy, proper Bittorrent clients do not run programs / install registry items without user conformation. I'll include a provision for a strong freeware antivirus program, regardless.

Excellent. I'll get right on with it. Thanks, all.
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