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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 ZeroPaid.com 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, ZeroPaid’s 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 e-mail and source code 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 legal threats 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, Suprnova, Mininova and others.


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Proxy anyone?
By HrilL on 10/1/2007 12:07:26 AM , Rating: 3
All I got to say is this does pretty much nothing. Any avid user knows how to use a proxy and there are 1000s of free ones to use all over the world. Might cut back on the bone heads but it really doesn't do much. It also causes people to go underground.




RE: Proxy anyone?
By neezee on 10/1/2007 12:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
thats what im doing, hopefully the trackers work?


RE: Proxy anyone?
By TomCorelis on 10/1/2007 4:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention, both Tor and I2P may give you the option of getting around any kind of geographic site blocks...


RE: Proxy anyone?
By P4blo on 10/1/2007 5:17:54 AM , Rating: 2
From what I've read I dont think these proxies could cope with potentially 1/3 of all the worlds internet traffic landing on them. A few people might get away with it.

Wiki quote:

"Bandwidth hogging
It is considered impolite to transfer massive amounts of data across the Tor network – the onion routers are run by volunteers using their own bandwidth at their own cost"

BitTorrent would surely create enormous amounts of bandwidth usage. IRC and web browsing is a different story... Are there any proxies which regard themselves Torrent friendly?


RE: Proxy anyone?
By glomag on 10/1/2007 10:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have to proxy all of the data you are transferring (the 1/3 of internet trafic) you only have to proxy your tracker communications. These only require a few kb/s up and down so they can easily be sent through TOR or the countless other web proxies.


RE: Proxy anyone?
By euclidean on 10/1/2007 10:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
Or just stick with the better, private torrent sites that don't block based on geographic regions...


RE: Proxy anyone?
By InsaneGain on 10/1/2007 1:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Demonoid is a members site and it uses some kind of IP verification. If I log onto Demonoid and download a torrent file and e-mail that torrent file to someone else who is not a member, I don't think that person can use that torrent file to connect to the tracker. So I am wondering if a proxy service like Tor could get around the Canada ban.


RE: Proxy anyone?
By HrilL on 10/1/2007 8:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
Demonoid's torrents are found on many sites that just use the tracker. Like mininova.org So I believe you can email them. Demonoid doesn't seem to use passkeys like most other private trackers do.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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