TorrentSpy say goodbye
"BitTorrent tracker TorrentSpy has closed its doors leaving only a goodbye message on the homepage."
TorrentSpy voluntarily closes its doors.
BitTorrent tracker TorrentSpy has voluntarily closed its doors. After pumping a fortune into legal defence costs from numerous court battles with copyright holders, TorrentSpy has decided to shut down its service.
Last December TorrentSpy lost a major court case against the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) where they were found guilty of destroying evidence making a fair trial an impossibility. That move cost them $30,000 in fines.
TorrentSpy founder Justin Bunnell has stated that the loss of the court battle with the MPAA didn't have any bearing on the company's decision to close its service.
The following message is now all that's left when you visit the homepage:
Friends of TorrentSpy,
We have decided on our own, not due to any court order or agreement, to bring the Torrentspy.com search engine to an end and thus we permanently closed down worldwide on March 24, 2008.
The legal climate in the USA for copyright, privacy of search requests, and links to torrent files in search results is simply too hostile. We spent the last two years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, defending the rights of our users and ourselves.
It was a wild ride,
The TorrentSpy Team
There is also a footnote that reads:
"Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order [...] and the like." - Justice William O. Douglas
The site's operators had previously tried to satisfy the US courts by applying a filter against copyrighted files. When that failed to appease the courts they even started blocking American IP addresses to try and avoid more legal action being taken against them. However, this move caused the sites popularity among filesharers to fall and TorrentSpy lost its place as the most popular tracker to The Pirate Bay.
MPAA Anti-Piracy Director John Malcolm took issue with TorrentSpy’s “characterization” of its closure saying that:
“its voluntary decision conveniently ignores the fact that after two years of intense litigation by the major Hollywood studios, a federal court found TorrentSpy liable for copyright infringement.”
What do you think about this? Is it a big win for the MPAA or will it just be a case of as one tracker falls another will take its place?
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