The Demonoid BitTorrent tracker is back online,
following a shutdown in November 2007 when the Canadian Recording Industry
the tracker’s server host.
Demonoid’s resurrection is only the latest chapter in a storied, troubled history: attempts
to block Canadian users failed to prevent its takedown in November, and the
site’s BitTorrent tracker reappeared briefly
in Malaysia around January before disappearing once more. Last March, Demonoid’s
tracker popped up again, this time hosted in by Ukraine-based Colocall Ltd.
According to TorrentFreak, the site’s
web interface is hosted
in the United States, and a number of the site’s features returned to
operation earlier Friday afternoon.
News of Demonoid’s return almost immediately followed a
change in management, with owner and administrator “Deimos” handing the reigns
to “Umlauf,” citing
undisclosed “real-life” distractions.
Anecdotal user reports indicate Demonoid.com to be fully
operational, with user accounts and upload ratios preserved at the time the
site went down last November.
Last January, the Pirate Bay offered Demonoid a pair of
servers at its Sweden-based hosting facility. “We tried to contact the guys
behind Demonoid and we’ve set up a tracker for them,” said Pirate Bay
administrator Peter “Brokep” Sunde, “but they haven’t responded … we have two
servers running for them if they want to set it up.” The site did not take up
While only time can tell if Demonoid’s popularity – not to
mention its semi-public nature – will prove to be its undoing yet again, the
site’s future is uncertain as the Ukranian government represents an untested legal
climate for BitTorrent copyright enforcement.
A July report from file-sharing site Slyck.com found
Demonoid to be the second most popular tracker named in cease-and-desist
letters sent to file-sharers – the first being the Pirate Bay – with 12 Demonoid users caught
in the industry’s dragnet out of a random sampling of 100 letters. “Watch
your back, Jack,” reads the report, “chances are the prying eyes of copyright
enforcement aren’t too far behind.”
Update April 14, 2008: In a report dated March 16, TorrentFreak indicated that Demonoid's frontend was hosted in the United States, which was repeated in this article. Traceroute currently reveals, however, that both demonoid.com and www.demonoid.com route through a Kiev, Ukraine based gateway before crossing Colocall's servers, indicating that all aspects of the site are now operated from Ukraine.