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P2P services under widescale legal attack?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 16 Dec 2004 21:34 User comments (12)

P2P services under widescale legal attack? As you all have read or noticed by now; some of the biggest P2P sites in existence have been shut down. The most targeted sites have been BitTorrent sites and eDonkey2000 linking sites. The power behind the eDonkey2000 network is the eD2K linking resources, which provide links to real files. ShareReactor was long regarded as the best eD2K linking site until it was shut down by Swiss authorities in March 2004. After ShareReactor was closed, ShareConnector became the next favorite eD2K linking site, but on the 14th of December the news circulated that ShareConnector had been shutdown by Dutch authorities. Also shutdown by Dutch authorities was Releases4U, another linking site.
Another major site that had eD2K links as well as being a huge BitTorrent resource was Finreactor. The Administrators of the Finnish site has their computers seized by the National Bureau of Investigation (Keskusrikospoliisi) after it received a request from Finnish copyright associations, including the BSA and Teosto (the Finnish equivalent of RIAA). Read about it here.

ShareReactor, ShareConnector, Releases4u and Finreactor

Each of the above sites had thousands of links to illegal files on the eDonkey2000 network, yet you have to question if legal action is justified. Whether or not an eD2K link is legal or not, is up for debate. In fact, it gets more interesting if you look at the cases of ShareReactor and ShareConnector. ShareReactor was a site that would receive angry "cease and desist" letters from corporations because of the links that were on the site on a regular basis, but in all that time, no serious action was taken until weeks after a pretty large amount of money was donated by the users to the site. Now in the case of ShareConnector, it is also in recent weeks that they started to receive donations from users for the site. Now if you look back again at the ShareReactor case, you will see that an anti-piracy organization, SAFE, had well over-estimated the revenue ShareReactor produced. This is a quote from an interview with Simon Moon, SR owner.

Q. Dela: Back to the Police Station for a moment. They kept you in for about 9 hours? What did they do all the time?

Simon Moon: Asked about SR. Asked me where money came in and where it went to. The whole thing lost pretty fast steam as they saw how big a loss SR produced every month, and how little money in total was flowing at all. SAFE told them something about 15'000 Euros income a month, while they told papers something about 76'000 Euros.

ShareReactor however, made nothing near these figures in revenue, and you will find this out if you read through the interview. So the question is; where did SAFE get these figures? Since these figures were probably a major part of convincing the Swiss authorities to investigate ShareReactor, it's only fair that SAFE would provide the information they had which lead to the 15,000 euro a month claim they made to the authorities and the 76,000 euro claim that appeared in newspapers. Not many details are available yet on the ShareConnector case, but I don't think any of us will be surprised if we hear that the donated money was a huge reason behind the raids and arrests that took place.

On the 16th December, RespectP2P.org had a small announcement stating that the Admins of ShareConnector and Releases4u were released, but no more details were made available just yet. So it seems that one possibility is that the anti-piracy organizations need the sites to generate money to convince authorities to investigate, even though such linking sites have not exactly yet been declared illegal.

Youceff Torrents and Phoenix Torrents

Youceff Torrents was a French BitTorrent site that was raided in the past few days. The Administrator of the site has confirmed that the site will not return. Torrent sites have not yet been declared illegal either, as like eD2K linking sites, they do not offer any pirated files, only torrent files and maybe trackers which are basically like P2P servers, which are also not illegal. One of the most wanted affects of this crackdown is to see sites just closing their doors without having any major legal problems. This unfortunately has already started to happen. Phoenix Torrents have been scared by the current events and have left a message on the mainpage stating that the site has been closed and will not be back.

So it seems that the anti-piracy organizations worldwide along with law enforcement have decided to kill these popular P2P resources by forcing linking sites and servers down. While this will certainly have an effect, it wont completely stop trading by BitTorrent, or cripple the eDonkey2000 network. It seems that these people who like to refer to each other as experts, have a lot more to learn about P2P. BitTorrent first came along in 2001; it's 2004 and now they finally take legal action on sites they say abuse the technology. A lot more than BitTorrent happened in the last three years.

We will keep you updated on new details of the recent actions and any new events as they come.

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12 user comments

117.12.2004 12:52
SoufSide
Inactive

Viva la P2P

217.12.2004 15:52

i honestly believe its the beginning of the end. this is the dog days of downloading. the internet will come to a halt, servers will crash, the sky will turn ashy, clouded over, blotting the sun for hundreds of years. we will march down our streets under the strict eyes of Mpaa, RIAA, KJb, and the gustapo....or, we will wait for annonymous p2p programs and then revel in our mischief, without fear of being sued by BILLIONAIRES!!! not that i download anything, but still..its a matter of principle, the bully flexing muscle at the geeks, demanding our Lunch money <or movie money?>...

319.12.2004 8:26

Anyone know if Suprnova.org has been shut down because of all this? Or anyone know why exactly suprnova has closed down?

419.12.2004 9:29

ohmygod NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! your right..suprnova says its gone for good!!

519.12.2004 10:58

Suprnova = Dead Youceff Torrents = Dead Isohunt = has been sent a cease and desist letter from MPAA Torrentbits = Dead All the good ones have been shut down If anyone knows of a decent replacement for suprova please share I doubt it though

619.12.2004 13:14

torrentreactor.net lokitorrent.com

720.12.2004 0:03

wtf damn them,never the less where theres a way theres a will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

824.12.2004 21:26

torrentspy.com piratebay.org

930.12.2004 20:26

Move to IRCs and pay. Its cheap but you can get a perfect copy of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.


Compaq computer- $1200
Dell computer- $500
monitor- $150
DVD burner- $100
PS2- $300
Xbox- $150
PSTwo- $150
Wirless kit- $50
The pain and frustration I go through with all of this Crap- priceless. Some things in life are free... others suck...

107.1.2005 1:11

TRY THIS you will be amazed http://www.torrentspy.com/profile.asp bigger than youceff and suprnova its a very good site......dont tell anybody who told YOU......

119.1.2005 2:59

I think piratebay.org shut down too... Two days ago the page was still active... But when I try to get there now... I just can't reach it.... I've got some bad luck anytime when I try to reach such a site, They shut down right before my eyes..... Does anybody know a good Bittorent-site???

129.1.2005 8:07

http://elitetorrents.org/ has tons of stuff, but download now because they'll be gone too soon. But I agree, this is probably the beginning of the end (of this type of P2P). There is always IRC and underground FTP servers that open and close at will. I've also found that making friends on the net helps too, and we just mail DVD's back and forth. I'd buy movies and stuff if they made them a reasonable price like $5.00 or so, not $40. It was fun while it lasted.

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