Stanford University Now Distributes Course Materials On BitTorrent

Posted Oct 19, 2008

BitTorrent is now being used by Stanford University for distributing course materials.  The courses that are being distributed revolve around Computer Engineering.  Stanford distributes videos, syllabi, exams, homework, etc. on the BitTorrent protocol.  Stanford also places lectures on YouTube, iTunes, and Vyew.

The course lectures that are being distributed include:
– Programming Methodology
– Programming Abstractions
– Programming Paradigms
– Introduction to Robotics
– Natural Language Processing
– Machine Learning
– The Fourier Transform and its Applications
– Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems
– Convex Optimization I and
– Convex Optimization II

So far about 200,000 people have visited the Stanford Engineering Everywhere.  People have come from Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, and the U.K.  All of the course materials are published and distributed under the Creative Commons license.  Stanford uses Vuze’s DHT tracker and that means those who use BitTorrent clients without DHT support will not be able to download the materials.

Stanford punishes those that are caught using the BitTorrent protocol for copyright infringement.  The cost is $100 fine for the first time, $500 for the second time, and $1,000 for the third time.