The Pirate Bay recently switched from hosted torrent files to magnet links. This change greatly reduced the size of the site, making it possible for the site to fit on a free USB key:
“I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy,” he told TorrentFreak.
Using this script, “allisfine” managed to copy the title, id, file size, seeds, leechers and magnet links of 1,643,194 torrents. Comments were not copied to keep the files as small as possible, and the end result is a full copy of all magnet links on The Pirate Bay in a 90 megabytes file, 164 megabytes unzipped.
The magic of BitTorrent was that it distributed files across a network of computers, rather than a single server. This redundancy made sharing faster, more robust, and helped creating a feeling of anonymity (BT is easy to track, but there are so many sources it’s easy to get lost in the crowd).
An easily downloadable Pirate Bay is the beginning of the next step, distributing the website itself. Within a year, I bet there will be a version of the Pirate Bay that uses a BitTorrent like hosting mechanism, where there’s not a single server but thousands of distributed hosts. As I understand it, such a system, without a URL, would have been immune to SOPA as it was written.