Torrent Sites Blacklist North American Users
September 30, 2007 4:15 PM
Citing increased pressure from piracy enforcers, operators call it quits
Within the last week, two popular BitTorrent sites began blocking users located in North America: Isohunt.com’s trackers now block users in the United States; and Demonoid.com blocks users located in Canada.
Starting last week, Canada-based Isohunt posted a notice on its front page, stating that it has disabled access from users in the U.S. to the BitTorrent trackers at Torrentbox.com and Podtropolis.com, which are operated by Isohunt. Isohunt elaborates, “This is due to the U.S.'s hostility towards P2P technologies, and we feel with our current lawsuit brought by the MPAA, we can no longer ensure your security and privacy in the U.S.” Isohunt, which only indexes the torrents posted at other trackers like The Pirate Bay or TorrentBox, then asked U.S.-based users to add and use other, unrestricted trackers in its search results.
Shortly afterwards, Demonoid.com – also based in Canada – went offline, and many speculated that the site had either been taken down by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), or suffered major server failures.
With rumors flying, P2P news site
received an e-mail of indeterminate source which confirmed the server troubles, and that the site was indeed undergoing a rebuild. However, because the e-mail could not be verified, and Demonoid’s operator “Deimos” never officially commented on Demonoid’s status,
e-mail was not
posted until today
Regardless, Demonoid’s tracker was up by September 29, 2007. The website followed, resuming operations on September 30. Unfortunately, the return has a catch: due to interference from the CRIA, Canadian users are now blocked from Demonoid’s website and its trackers.
Instead users are now redirected to a web page with the following message: “We received a letter from a lawyer representing the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and we need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this. If you reside in Canada, [this] is the reason you are being redirected to this message. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry for any inconvenience.”
With the rising popularity of BitTorrent, piracy enforcers are giving the protocol increasing amounts of attention. Recent
leaked from MediaDefender indicate that the firm seems to devote the most attention to BitTorrent, which, according to a
widely-quoted 2004 study
, accounts for at least a third of all internet traffic.
While sites like Demonoid and Isohunt appear to have caved in to these pressures, others choose a defiant path and turn pressure into mockery: The Pirate Bay’s
page posts dozens of takedown notices and their humorous replies, and MiiVi.org advertises itself as a “tribute to the fall of MediaDefender,” hosting an open tracker sponsored in part by The Pirate Bay,
, Mininova and others.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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