It had nothing at all todo with privacy, points of attack, or anything like that.
Rememeber, most of the bittorrent legal threats aren't because you downloaded but becuase you shared - because your client also uploaded parts of the content to others as well - that's distribution.
For me there are several benefits with using a service like this over downloading the file directly:
* I can start a download, close my laptop and go to a different location or bring it to lecture or what not, and the download continues.
* If my laptop is in for service I can download and stream a show on my iPad.
* It is just extremely fast. Downloading a torrent to put.io and then streaming it is in my experience much faster than downloading the torrent directly to my computer.
[edit: fixed formatting]
Why this is not something commonly used, outside of specific commercial clients and to aid CDN networks, is a complete mystery to me.
Find appropriate torrent, it already exists on the server, start streaming immediately. With enough users it would be like a shady version of Netflix. At least until the MPAA catches on and floods them with DMCA requests.
FWIW Rapidshare is about $6/month.
In IP, courts are a weapon.
Other types of legal software - I was given the option of using bittorrent when I downloaded humble indie bundle games, blizzard uses BT for world of warcraft patches, some large scientific datasets, large password dictionaries / rainbow tables and a produced for BT TV series are a few of the examples I've seen. But of course it's hard to consider much of this 'substantial' as compared to the traffic volume of pirated content.
There are other examples of services like this though, so who knows.
 http://theslip.nin.com/ (completely free)
 http://ghosts.nin.com/ (order includes a "free" option, but only paid one offers lossless and pro through BitTorrent)
The NIN BitTorrent system includes a token that will allow you to start the download "once" (in fact it seems you can start the download many times during a limited time span, then any started download will be allowed to complete even past that cut-off, but the tracker will refuse new fresh downloads).
The system is strict enough to prevent blatant copy-pasting and email the download link, yet resilient enough to not get in your way.
BT is a data transport medium with perfectly valid use cases. It can very helpfully reduce swarm costs on various intense digital products releases. It's basically bandwidth parallelization and DHT helps to palliate possible tracker downtimes/overloading. It's a shame official release channels don't use it more.
World of Warcraft
There quite obviously ARE legal issues to do with owning guns and knives, not just the misuse of them. For example in England you can't even carry a knife around with you legally, with just a few exceptions.
The terms prohibit using the service for any illegal purposes including copyright infringement. They then waive any liability for damages but also state that doing this is prohibited in some jurisdictions so this might not apply. Then finally under Indemnification they state that a user agrees to be monetarily responsible for any liabilities, claims, and expenses, including attorneys fees, that arise from misuse of the service.
The dmca page states that they will comply with requests but asks for them to be snail mailed to Hong Kong.
I wonder if there are any jurisdiction issues with them being located in Hong Kong. Maybe this was a carefully chosen location for legal reasons; does anybody know anything about this? My other initial thought after reading this is that they're going to have a hard time tracking down the users responsible for submitting torrents in some cases. I can submit a torrent for a movie while at a coffee shop using a fake email address, post the link online somewhere, and then go home and watch it. Then the only crime that I've provably committed is downloading copyrighted material which is less of an offense then uploading. If the site were to get sued for uploading while downloading the torrent then they have nobody to pass that blame on to.
P.S. I posted a direct link(didnt care to bring traffic to lifehacker) yesterday, but it never got any traction
But seriously, a comparison:
* This service appears to do a full download, unpackaging, and will even transcode. If you download binaries from Usenet, you've got to deal with sometimes incomplete NZBs, hunt down the PAR2 files that are never included in the download, ...
* There is a free offering here. Decent binary Usenet service costs money.
* Subjective: I always have a hard time finding good solid NZBs on Usenet -- this isn't bad because I can leech much faster, but it's still annoying to get a passworded download.
>The only advantage I can think of is when ISPs block access to Newsgroups
This isn't really a huge worry for most -- you don't use your ISPs news server, because the retention is terrible. If you are using Usenet for binaries, you are paying for a high-retention service.
In the end I'd personally still prefer Usenet, because the average seedbox -- and let's be honest, that's all this is -- gets very slow, unreliable, and eventually dies under the weight of DMCA hits.
I think their DMCA policy seems interesting, as it seems to ask copyright holder to mail notice of infringement to their address in Hong Kong: