Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Continuously Seeded Torrent File Is?

A Vanilla Ice Mix CD
A Simpsons Episode
A Linux Distro
A Matrix Fan Film

Answer: A Matrix Fan Film

The BitTorrent file-sharing protocol has been around for over a decade, but the files shared on the distributed file-sharing network rarely have the kind of enduring longevity the protocol itself does. In order for a file to exist over time on BitTorrent, at least one of the people, somewhere in the world, who has the file must keep their client on and continue seeding the file out to other potential file-sharers.

In that regard there might be a lot of files out there in the torrent cloud, but not many of them persist in their original form over time. There are, however, exceptions and the most notable of those exceptions is a movie torrent that has been chugging long with continual seeding in its original format for more than 12 years.

What type of movie has that kind of longevity? A fan-created ASCII remake of the iconic turn-of-the-millennium Sci-Fi film, The Matrix. Somewhere around 2003, a very dedicated fan took a copy of the film and recoded every single frame of the movie, frame-by-frame, into a green-and-black ASCII art representation of the film. The time and CPU-intensive undertaking was a direct nod to the “matrix code” that makes up the artificial reality of the Matrix the still-plugged-in humans live in.

The longevity of the fan-film is part a testament to the influence The Matrix had (although not downloaded as much as it once was, the film still sees weekly downloads and new seeders) and part how Warner Bros. approaches such creative fan-created works (by largely leaving them alone as long as they are not intended for sale).

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