Frequently Asked Questions
What is ClearBits?
ClearBits provides hosting and distribution for open licensed media.
We distribute high quality, open-licensed (Creative Commons) digital media, datasets, and artwork for Content Creators. We host creative content in its entirety, ensure fast, reliable downloads, and enable users to directly sponsor Content Creators and their work.
We distribute content with permission from the rights holders and use the open standard, peer-to-peer file sharing technology called Bittorrent. We have been in operation since 2003; previous to 2010, the site was called LegalTorrents.
We charge Content Creators for hosting and distribution, and have voluntary Supporting Memberships for indivuduals who want to directly support Open Content publishing and participate in publishing, editing, and reviewing content on ClearBits.
How do I download content from ClearBits?
ClearBits distributes content with BitTorrent files (.torrent files), which are indicated by a blue arrow on the site. By clicking on the arrow, you can download content using a java applet from Bitlet.org. This applet downloads the content to your computer.Click "Allow" when the applet asks you to donwload: You can also download the .torrent files from ClearBits or from Content Creator sites, and you can use any BitTorrent client software to download ClearBits content.
What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is both a technology and a company. The technology enables fast and efficient downloads of digital content by spreading the work of distribution among multiple users. You can download content from ClearBits with a separate BitTorrent client, either using our RSS feeds, or directly from the website.
We recommend you use one of the following BitTorrent clients:
What about licenses?
All of the content we distribute is licensed so that it is legal to share online, with Creative Commons or other share-friendly licenses.
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers free licenses to Content Creators. More details are online at http://www.creativecommons.org. Creative Commons licenses are used to relax some of the prohibitions from copyright, and specifically allow people to share content with each other. Additional rights and prohibitions regarding modification and commercial application for the use of the content are also applied, depending on the details of the license. We are open to considering other licenses for content as well, as long as they meet the purpose of ClearBits: hosting and distributing open licensed content and supporting Content Creators.
How does ClearBits decide what content to feature?
ClearBits provides hosting and dedicated high-speed seeds for the members of our community. Anyone with open-licensed content can use the ClearBits distribution service, and provide links to the torrent files or provide the torrent files from their own website.
Content we feature on the homepage is:
- Professional quality,
- Broadly appealing, and
- Community member promoted
How do I share my content?
To upload content to ClearBits, you need to be a Content Creator. Sign up with a free user account, and purchase a Content Creator annual membership here.
Upload instructions are provided when you are assigned your Content Creator profile. If you have significant quanitities of digital media or data that is open-licensed (e.g. Creative Commons or other share-friendly license) that you would like us to host and distribute, please contact us for more details. and API upload access.
Community members can also self publish using BitTorrent by hosting their own content with the help of our community. We maintain dedicated tracking service as described in the member benefits page. We also provide technical support to members and instruction on creating and using BitTorrent technology to self publish.
Artistic creation has traditionally primarily been funded by wealthy individuals or large corporations. Today, with the advent of digital distribution, filesharing, and an interconnected world, anyone can support the creation of digital artistic content directly.
As a sponsor, you make it possible for artists to create and make their work available. You sustain their current work and provide the support they need to produce new ideas and concepts.
Sponsorship is voluntary and made at your sole discretion. ClearBits passes 85% of sponsorship funds from users to Content Creators, and 100% from subscribing (paying) community members.
On each content page there is a sponsor button. You can enter the amount you would like to contribute to each Content Creator. Once the total is $10 or greater, you can complete the transaction.
Support the art you love. Empower Content Creators to create great works and make them available to the public.
Membership plans are available for $20(US) per year. Becoming a member directly supports a community for artists and Content Creators, and a place for creativity to flourish. All of our content is available to you without payment, and our only revenue comes from member support. Our goal is to provide the lowest cost service possible for unlimited distribution of open licensed
Members are encouraged to self-publish using the member trackers.
You can read a complete description of membership plans and benefits here.