Torrent Sites Blacklist North American Users
September 30, 2007 4:15 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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Legal users again get screwed.....
10/1/2007 4:54:08 AM
The thing that pisses me off the most about going after the P2P sites is that it effects my fully legal use of them. I often download 'backup' copies of CDs or DVDs that I own since it's usually faster than ripping it to my media center pc. I also work a lot of nights so if I happen to forget to set my PC to record a show that's on while at work, I'll download it when I get home. Again, it's legal since I've already paid for the programing. I mostly use private trackers, but for some harder to find stuff Isohunt came in handy.
I'm also waiting on someone to sue because they used a tracker for legitimate business and it got shut down or blocked. There are a lot of independent artists, writers, and developers that use P2P to distribute samples of their work.
RE: Legal users again get screwed.....
10/1/2007 6:21:03 AM
Actually, the use you're describing is illegal. The DMCA prohibits you from ripping your CD's to anything other than a CD-R. Note, that is a -R, not a +R, and certainly not an RW. You can also forget about ripping multiple CD's to a single DVD, or changing the file format to an MP3. Apparently, in the eyes of our illustrious political leaders, it is important enough to specify.
As for anything with video, you can record directly from your received broadcast, but cannot share it or receive it from any other source. You are breaking the law by downloading that Simpson's episode you missed and could have gotten for free OTA. It doesn't matter if you were to even download a copy with your local station's ads still in it.
Doesn't that make sense? Don't you feel served by your government right now? Don't you feel like your interests were taken to heart when they wrote the DMCA? I know laws like this make me proud to be an American.
RE: Legal users again get screwed.....
10/1/2007 11:51:44 AM
I'm pretty sure the DMCA gives pretty broad permission to make and possess backup copies of things you legitimately own. What you *can't* do is break DRM or encryption to do so, unless its for a very specific purpose...
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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