The Pirate Bay’s Oldest Torrent is Now 20 Years Old

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While the majority of The Pirate Bay's users download recent content, some older torrents still manage to survive. An episode of the Swedish TV series "High Chaparral" celebrated its twentieth anniversary recently. Other older torrents, including a copy of the documentary "Revolution OS", also remain active after two decades.

pirate bay logoWhen The Pirate Bay first came online, in the second half of 2003, the ‘internet’ looked nothing like it does today.

A Harvard student had yet to start writing the first lines of code on a new idea, called “TheFacebook”. YouTube wasn’t around yet either, and the same was true for the smartphones that dominate people’s lives today.

At the time, all popular entertainment was consumed offline. People interested in watching a movie could use the Internet to buy a DVD at one of the early webshops, or sign up with Netflix, which shipped discs through the mail. However, on-demand access was simply not a thing. At least, not legally.

Things were changing though. Napster had made it clear that the Internet had the potential to offer music to the masses, albeit illegally. And with BitTorrent technology, The Pirate Bay expanded this ‘free library’ to various other media types, including TV shows and movies.

Pirate Bay’s Oldest Torrent

Today, more than two decades have passed and most of the files shared on The Pirate Bay in the early years are no longer available. BitTorrent requires at least one person to share a full file copy, which is hard to keep up for decades.

Surprisingly, however, several torrents have managed to stand the test of time and remain available today. A few days ago the site’s longest surviving torrent turned 20 years old.

While a few candidates have shown up over the years, we believe that an episode of “High Chaparral” has the honor of being the oldest Pirate Bay torrent that’s still active today. The file was originally uploaded on March 25, 2004, and several people continue to share it today.


The screenshot above only lists one seeder but according to information passed on by, there are four seeders with a full copy. This is quite a remarkable achievement, especially since people complained about a lack of seeders shortly after it was uploaded.

Cult Status

Over the years, the “High Chaparral” torrent achieved cult status among a small group of people who likely keep sharing it, simply because it’s the oldest surviving torrent. This became evident in the Pirate Bay comment section several years ago, when TPB still had comments.

“Well, i guess since this is a part of TPB history i’ll add it to my Raspberry Pi torrent server to seed forever,” zak0403 wrote.

torrent comments

Revolution OS & The Fanimatrix

Record or not, other old torrents on The Pirate Bay also continue to thrive. On March 31, 2004, someone uploaded a pirated copy of the documentary “Revolution OS” to the site which is alive and kicking today.

“Revolution OS” covers the history of Linux, GNU, and the free software movement, which was a good fit for the early Pirate Bay crowd. Eleven years ago, we spoke to director J.T.S. Moore, who wasn’t pleased that people were pirating the documentary but was nevertheless glad to see it hadn’t lost its appeal.

Fast-forward to the present day and Revolution OS still has plenty of interest, with more than 30 people actively seeding the torrent.

While these torrents are quite old, they’re not the oldest active torrents available on the Internet. That honor goes to “The Fanimatrix”, which was created in September 2003 and, after being previously resurrected, continues to be available today with more than 100 people seeding.

Ten years ago, we were surprised to see that any of the mentioned torrents were still active. By now, however, we wouldn’t be shocked to see these torrents survive for decades. Whether The Pirate Bay will still be around then is another question.


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