The Internet Archive's mission is to preserve the internet, to provide "universal access to all knowledge". Now that also includes torrents, because it's simply a better way of distributing large amounts of information. Well over a million torrents are being seeded by the Archive, including a whole bunch of free movies, with loads being added every hour.
The Archive is planning to turn the distributed cloud of torrents into a massive server. That's pretty much what BitTorrent is anyway; one huge, distributed storage system with multiple redundancies. The IA stores all sorts of things, including movies and other media files, archived websites, and, theoretically, almost everything the internet has to offer, so it could prove to be a one-stop-torrent-shop.
With The Pirate Bay under fire, and Demonoid taken offline and gift-wrapped for the US, the Internet Archive better be careful. We could see it turned into the biggest illegal torrent tracker of all, which would no doubt fit with its noble mission of storing all information, but put it right in the crosshairs of big media. Not that you'll be able to download anything over BT from the Archive anyway, what with all that traffic shaping the ISPs put our less-than-free broadband connections through. [TorrentFreak]
Image credit: Yosemite James from flickr