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Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Ars technica takes a look at a torrent search scope for the Ubuntu Dash. "Torrent search would be added to Ubuntu's Dash, a central tool that lets users search files and applications on their desktop as well as online sources like Amazon or Wikipedia. The search tool prototype uses the Pirate Bay as a data source. It may be modified to filter out pirated content, but users can change the filters to suit their desires. It's also possible that a future version could use a different data source. Developer David Callé discussed the possibility of getting the torrents scope enabled by default in the next version of Ubuntu last month on Google+ and got a vote of support from Shuttleworth."
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Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 7, 2014 22:54 UTC (Tue) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266) [Link]

Ugh, another default-enabled network-based search scope?

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 8, 2014 3:31 UTC (Wed) by salimma (subscriber, #34460) [Link]

If they restrict the default torrent listings to those known to be safe (Linux distros normally offer official torrents) this might fly. If they actually link to TPB, way to flush their chance of corporate acceptance down the drain...

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 8, 2014 4:06 UTC (Wed) by proski (subscriber, #104) [Link]

Corporations normally have their own filters. Also, they can preinstall software with different defaults.

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 8, 2014 4:20 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

The problem isn't the lack of technical workarounds though. This is about brand reputation. Torrents themselves have been perceived to be problematic although the technology by itself doesn't do anything wrong. There has been some recent news of ISP's specifically blocking the Fedora download pages and things like that and PirateBay is in the forefront of such controversies usually. Any association is risky and one must proceed carefully. Filtering content to only show what is clearly licensed to be redistributable by default will certainly help but it is not clear what real advantages it brings over just using the browser.

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 8, 2014 4:23 UTC (Wed) by thisisme (subscriber, #83315) [Link]

> but it is not clear what real advantages it brings over just using the browser.

Isn't that true of all the online-search dash scopes?

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 8, 2014 4:28 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

The Amazon deal was commercial and I assume Canonical is getting paid for it and so pissing off EFF and losing a few privacy conscious users might be part of that bargain to move towards profitability (not that I agree with that) but I don't see even that kind of tradeoff here. It seems to be a rather large risk to take IMO.

Guilt by association and all that

Posted Jan 8, 2014 12:19 UTC (Wed) by oldtomas (guest, #72579) [Link]

Technically, of course, you are right:

> Any association is risky and one must proceed carefully.

The end result, though, is horrifying: a society moving in parallel to the push of "guilt amplifiers" remote-controlled by some interest groups. Uploading videos is illegal? You better not assist anyone downloading a video, lest you be associated. Sharing videos via BitTorrent is illegal? You better not share anything via BitTorrent, lest... Part of the Pirate Bay's pointed-to content are illegaly made-available media? You better let your porn filter block TorrentFreak as well, lest...

In this context, I'm actually *thrilled* when someone dares to step forward. Ubuntu's earning some points lost in my personal regard with that.

Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system (ars technica)

Posted Jan 9, 2014 11:48 UTC (Thu) by njwhite (guest, #51848) [Link]

The article got an update:
(UPDATE: After publication, Canonical told Ars that it supports adding torrent search to Ubuntu, but won't use Pirate Bay as a back end. "The notion of including search results for torrents is fair and reasonable, as this is a perfectly legal and legitimate technology," Canonical said. "The way scopes work is that we provide a set of online sources the scope searches (in much the same way the videos scope searches a set of digital video providers). We plan on featuring sources that provide legal torrents such as linuxtracker.org, and while everyone has their own idea of whether the Piratebay is a good or bad thing, we don't currently plan on featuring that as a source within the torrents scope.")


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