Alas, Mininova

I guess that’s pretty much the end for them as now they’re just an official content distributor. The great Supernova heir is now dead… I guess Pirate Bay is amazingly still around though.

— Alan

But they won’t be around much longer. If TPB closes it’s down to the more underground sites with limited membership like Demonoid. With every torrent site closing down, the kids scream “They’ll never stop the movement!” but ‘they’ are dealing some serious blows to it.

It’s not just about torrent sites, the weakness is trackers. Most torrents run via the TPB tracker and every time that shuts down torrent traffic goes down significantly. Sites like Isohunt can index torrents, but if all trackers are private then you’re left to DHT.

You can’t eradicate people’s desire to get stuff for free, but you can make the barrier to entry high enough for the majority.

First there was Napster, then there was Kazaa, then RapidShare and eDonkey and DirectConnect and BitTorrent and …

They’re not gonna beat them.

They might finally be ready with workable alternatives now though. There are a lot of legal ways to get free TV online now as well as services like Spotify for free legal music. If there is enough of a gap between torrents and whatever system crops up next then lots of former casual pirates may just switch themselves over permenantly to a legal free service and not bother to learn a new illegal one.

Could happen.

You can’t stop the signal, Mal.

isohunt still up, newserver always works.

Isn’t there technology to replace these central trackers (.torrent files) with decentralized tracking (magnet links)?

Content providers are still presenting too many barriers for a completely legal experience. They want to milk the entire “show on TV - DVD - season DVD box” chain (with optional added blu-ray stage), which breaks down horribly if a show isn’t bought for my market, or if it is deemed to niche to warrant a DVD release. For instance, I’m still waiting for Cheers, seasons 5-11 (and Scrubs, season 3 onwards). Legal free TV is only provided for a limited time, while services like Hulu are region-locked, and buying digital downloads is centered around the most high profile stuff that has already had a DVD release.

So next to the torrent oasis, legal digital distribution is close to a desert. Still.

I’d love to own all of Night Court. Season One sold so poorly that it took them 4 years to put season two out, another year for season three… don’t they realize that the reason people are hesitant to buy is because they don’t want to get any unless there is a release schedule for the whole thing?

Since you can’t stop people from doing anything, we might as well stop trying, right? Why bother with a police force? There will still be theft and murder. Why bother passing laws at all, really, since people will just break them.

Am I right? Right?

What is this in reference to?

Cliffski, you logged in with your wrong alt account.

Yes. Trackers aren’t actually required these days.

Also mininova was brought down because they basically didn’t act properly and were indefensible. They actively moderated uploads for malware and kiddy porn, but didn’t remove pirated media or software. They kowtowed to DMCA takedown requests but allowed identically hashed files to be uploaded immediately after being removed. They separated files by set category, including categories that were obviously for illegal material like “microsoft enterprise”.

The moral to the story isn’t that these kinds of sites are going away so much that they have to be managed differently. They need to use user-managed moderation (like slashdot/digg), user-managed tagging (like flickr), ban uploads by MD5 hash after being removed for DMCA takedown requests, and most likely not host a tracker at all. Either use one like or just offer magnet links, which are defensible as all they are really is a hash with a bit of metadata.

the problems with content not being available immediately in all markets will eventually be solved. A lot of older films and TV are hamstrung by contracts that were written before the net existed. That means a lot of legal bullshit tracking down everyone involved (or their descendents) to ensure permission to distribute in markets that until now did not exist.

Anyone shooting a movie now should have a pretty cast iron simple plan for simulatneous global release on all formats. Over time, that will be the norm.
Nobody wants to leave money on the table.

You would think so, but the major media conglomerates have shown amazingly little flexibility over the past decade or so. They’re getting better, but they’re still resisting like crazy. Which is like trying to fight the tide.

TPB has gone over to all magnet links so they’re no longer a tracker in the old sense. The site still works fine and I doubt anyone using it will notice a difference, but in a legal sense it puts them further away from the actual copyright violations.

As long as you’re American, sure. Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, Netflix Streaming on XBL: none of these are available in Canada (nor, I imagine, the rest of the world).

What? Spotify is not available in America.


What countries is Spotify available in? Spotify is currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain. We hope to launch in more countries in the future.

We have several good free streaming TV options in the UK with 4oD and the BBC iPlayer streaming covering pretty much all TV thats worth watching on demand and the increasing number of digital channels repeating endlessly everything else. Also, we have spotify for music as previously mentioned.

Our TV networks also seem to have got a little snappier at picking up US imports as well, with things like True Blood and particularly Flash Forward all arriving over here much faster than such things would have in the past. If these kind of trends continue then free ad funded streaming services like Spotify, Hulu, iPlayer, 4oD, netFlix, LoveFilm and the like should start to gain a global reach in the next five to ten years. Torrents will have a lot less to offer when you can get even larger quantities of streaming music and TV for free legally. Anecdotally things like the iPlayer and Spotify in the UK have seemed to result in large drop off in torrent use in the people I know.

Why won’t the ABC let me stream the new John Safran series?