That is the great thing about usenet. There is no such thing as a leech. It is specifically designed to work best with lots of downloaders and only a few uploaders. In fact, if there are too many uploaders, then, invariably, the signal to noise ratio plummets. I am not sure what the optimal downloaders/uploaders ratio is, but if I had to guess I would say 1000:1.
The only downside is that you need a for pay usenet server to get the most out of usenet. [or you spend many hours hunting down openservers, and using a usenet client that can download from multiple servers simultaneously. ]
Hrmm... insert links to for pay usenet servers (eg giganews, supernews, etc), finding open newsservers(eg www.newzbot.com), and good binary newsreaders here(eg. my favourite, newsbin pro which there are not enough superlatives in the english language to describe. Only downside is it is really, really annoying nagware until you find a crack/serial to bypass that.)
I shouldn't be so lazy, and should have integrated this into the wiki, and put in links, but I am VERY lazy so I leave that for someone else to do. But I think the above is a good start.
I think the point here is that on usenet the signal to noise ratio is high. In fact it often is too high to get any reliable information. So I think we should consider such entities like Trolls and Leeches as Bad Things. -- C-Keen
It should be noted that my comments above refer to the alt.binaries.* heirachy. The comment about leeching and signal to noise ratio probably doesn't apply to discussion groups. I wouldn't know though, as I mainly use usenet for downloading binaries.
I think this story has some merit for describing one aspect of this topic, so I'll leave it on this page instead of /Talk. ->
I was once called a leech by the moderator of an OpenNap server. He claimed that since I was attempting to download and I did not already have people downloading from me, that I was a leech. He was extremely rude about it. I tried again and again to get through to him, but unlike me, he wasn't online 24/7. When I attempted to explain that there is no relationship between people actually (currently) downloading from me, and my being a leech, I said that maybe I could upload fast enough to keep my queue empty; maybe I wasn't on so many networks that I had a clogged queue; maybe fate has it that people aren't looking for what I have; maybe the fact that I myself block leechers (people who share 0 files) would have something to do with my queue being clean. I asked if he even bothered to try downloading from me. ->
As you can tell, leeching has become such a rampant problem that even a person in a position of power, who has some experience behind them, can block people with out-of-hand prejudice. Even in cases when letting a leech download all they want is "free" and doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of others (when perhaps there are no other people currently attempting to download), the prejudiced will block them. ->