There is a lot of human culture that gets lost as history marches onward. Some of that history is extremely important for the continued advancement of our species. There are thousands of books, photos and films that have been discarded, but there’s one warrior who fights to keep it alive.
The Internet Archive, a wonderful place to find everything from the public domain, has collected its material and published it on BitTorrent. That’s over one million files including “live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books” and some stuff from the community.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Internet Archive, all of this content is completely free and within the public domain. There is some content that companies protect long after its copyright has faded through extension laws (see Mickey Mouse), but the majority of old film and radio is now completely free through the public domain.
The Internet allows us to preserve these old recordings and writings in a way that was never possible before. While the physical media on which these films and books were originally recorded slowly decays, the Internet makes sure that they stay around for as long as the Internet is around.
The move to BitTorrent is especially important because the Internet Archive now relies on its users to help spread the content that’s available. On top of the new servers that the Internet Archive will be using to share this content, other users will also be contributing to the seeding of said content. It will be the definitive way to gain access to everything that the Internet has to offer.
You can start looking through the all the knowledge contained in the torrents here. Some of the old propaganda films from World War II are simply hilarious. You should definitely check them out.