I usually read brokep’s blog, Copyriot and TorrentFreak. They’re usually very interesting, and recently there have been a lot of talk about how we need to diversify the torrent tracker community, by which i mean we can’t solely rely on The Pirate Bay for all our open torrent-tracking. There are some major sites out there but they all have the same problem, if somehow they should go down, we loose something really huge.

But no one has really provided a solution. They keep telling people to start their own trackers and set up their own sites. But even I who is fairly technically involved am not really sure of how I would go about doing this. What is required to set up a tracker? What software do you need? Do you absolutely need a web server and a website as well?

These things are to difficult for even talented people, not that I or anyone else couldn’t do it, it’s just too much work. Then we have the problem of centralization. We all want one place to go to when we’re looking for stuff to download. The huge indexes and amount of searchable torrents is of course directly related to the sites popularity. If I start a tracker today, and say I even get a thousand people to use it (which I probably wouldn’t), it still wouldn’t have even a fraction of the amount of searchable material that I’d want.

To fix this problem, there are a lot of indexing services or “meta-search engines”. Like Torrentz and such. But these don’t really fix the problem. They just search a specific amount of sites and the sites in question are still very large.

If you’ve used Direct Connect you see a lot of similarities with the problems that arose with that. I never really liked DC because to find something, you had to join multiple hubs and search around to try find what you were looking for. Frankly, it was a hassle. Decentralization seems to always impact convenience.

My solution

I propose a one-click solution. Get a site out there that provides downloads of a torrent-server application that is just a simple installation like any other application. In setup to get to say how many torrents you want to host and the amount of bandwidth you want to spend (optional). And the site does the rest.

The persons computer will host all the data and all the torrents, it will be the tracker. The tracker application will report to the mother-site with what torrents is hosted on the tracker. Hence the site will just be a meta-search engine able to search all running trackers.

With this system, the site itself is not hosting torrents, just linking to other computers hosting torrents, that couldn’t possibly be illegal could it? And the computers hosting the torrents are individually not hosting so many torrents that it would be legally or economically viable to hunt them and shut them down.

Of course major sites such as TPB and others could be added to the search index, but in an ideal world, this wouldn’t be necessary.

I don’t think people are afraid to start a tracker and host some torrents. I think people are lazy and scared of a decentralized torrent environment where you would have to go to 5 different sites to find what you’re looking for.

Could my system work? Where do i turn to get more knowledge in the area? I.E. are there systems like this out there already? Exactly what is a tracker application and what does it take to run it and such. Is it a good idea?