The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Something For Nothing…

Posted by BigWords on August 11, 2009

It used to be said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but the days of having to trudge down to the shops for the product you want is long gone. There are ways and means to get your hands on all kinds of things, not limiting the methods of getting material to torrents but I’ll get to those in a while. The straightforward downloads are equally as easy to get your hands on as the torrents, so there is no reason to ignore them.

First off there is the previews and downloadable samples which companies sometimes place on the net. Vertigo (DC Comics’ adult imprint) has .pdf files of some of its’ comics available, just head to the Graphic Novels list and click on titles with #1 after the name. I recommend The Sandman unreservedly, and you should be picking up the collected volumes.

If you are a Marvel fan then Mile High has a badly-outdated page of “previews” on their site.

For books there isn’t a better free resource than the Project Gutenberg collection, which has documents available in a number of formats. With 25,000 completely free e-books it has become an invaluable source for public domain books.

So many people have uTorrent (or a similar program) on their computer now, so there’s no point in trying to pretend that you don’t know anything about it. The question becomes: what can you legally download? I have looked around, and it seems that there is quite a lot out there that is completely, absolutely 100% fine to leech. Just don’t tell anyone that I pointed out where to get all this stuff…

There’s a plentiful supply of public domain films over at Public Domain Torrents, including such ‘classics’ as The Killer Shrews, Reefer Madness and Carnival Of Souls. I didn’t say they were all good, but they’re more entertaining than a certain mega-budget movie released in cinemas recently… Night Of The Living Dead is on the site, and if you don’t have the DVD make sure you have the digital copy. Oh, and buy Dawn Of The Dead while you wait on it finding its way to your hard drive.

The Corporation, a Sundance winner no less, is available to download legally, though I should add that the special edition DVD is well worth the money.

Wired Magazine’s Creative Commons CD (143mb on disk). It’s sixteen tracks (mp3 format) of great music, and costs absolutely zilch. How much better does it get than that?

Jamendo has an amazing number of tracks available for leeching, though not a brilliant selection if your tastes run to more obscure and strange artists.

God Wants You Dead, written by Sean Hastings (founding CEO of Havenco – the company that set up the world’s first public datahaven on the sea-platform nation of Sealand) and Paul Rosenberg (author of the cypherpunk classic A Lodging of Wayfaring Men.)

Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture is also available as a freely downloadable torrent. You should already have a copy of this, and buy a paper copy as well, just to show your support.

Time Management For Anarchists #1 by Jim Munroe and Marc Ngui. The 22 page comic is difficult to describe but worth the bandwidth. Download this, then head over to No Media Kings to learn more about the project.

LegalTorrents also have Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, Beowulf and other classics, but you should have bookmarked Gutenberg a looong time ago for all of your free reading material.

Join in, and leave links with any comments. I’ll put up a page with a list of free stuff when I have a few dozen links together.

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One Response to “Something For Nothing…”

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