Ubuntu Set to Add Torrent Search to Embed Free Culture for Users

The Pirate Bay users can perform torrent searches from Unity desktop.
By @MazumdarTarun on

A new feature will become a part of Ubuntu by default and will allow users of The Pirate Bay to do torrent searches from the Unity desktop. The main idea is to embed Free Culture into the user experience. The creator of the tool informed TorrentFreak that the team is still working on it.

In December 2013, David Callé (software developer) announced that a new torrent add-on was available for the Debian-based Linux OS. Initially, David doubted the addon included in Ubuntu by default as it would invite unlicensed content. However, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth addressed his concerns.

"The tool is super-useful and it's perfectly justified to make it available by default. We use torrents for distributing Ubuntu itself. So please don't hold back!" wrote Mark Shuttleworth.

David Callé talked about his torrent experience and why created this tool for Ubuntu.

"I use torrents to seed ISO images for Linux distributions, Ubuntu of course, but Linux Mint and Fedora as well," said David.

"The main motivation behind the torrents scope was to embed Free Culture into the user experience, in the search engine of the OS. In that spirit, I am also pushing for the Jamendo scope (CC licensed music service) to become one of the default music sources," continued David.

David mentioned that he was worried about Ubuntu's image when he feared the inclusion of torrent addon in Ubuntu by default.

"I still have reservations: the current prototype uses a TPB [The Pirate Bay] backend and is in a very early state in terms of filtering what is presented to the user and how it does it. Since Ubuntu is used in a lot of schools and public administrations, my condition for it to be available by default is to have license filtering, to promote works using an open license and public domain content. The main currencies for Open Source projects are time and interest; seeing people (most notably, the Ubuntu founder) willing to help and support it has made me more confident in reaching that goal."

The term filtering may cause some issues, but David cleared that any kind of filtering will be switchable.

He mentioned that sharing and openness are the essence of Linux. The efficiency of Linux is why all Linux distributions use torrents to disseminate the images.

The torrent scope will attempt some filtering in order to promote public domain and open license content, but ISPs in many countries are already attempting to block sites like The Pirate Bay. How will Ubuntu tackle this issue?

"The Dash is a prominent part of the Ubuntu desktop and is even more 'front and center' in the phone/tablet version. It's a metasearch engine that aggregates many sources (about 70, such as DeviantART, SoundCloud, Amazon, etc.) and the torrents scope is planned to be one of these," explained David.

He also explained that the current prototype uses The Pirate Bay results as it was easy to install an adult filter on top it. However, he said that it is subject to change. 

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