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back to article BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action

Dutch anti-piracy body BREIN says it will ask a judge to halt all activities of Dutch BitTorrent-tracker Mininova, which draws over 30 million unique visitors and five billion downloads a month. The site started in January 2005 as a successor to Suprnova.org, which went offline in 2004 due to legal issues. Mininova was already …

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Screw anti-piracy

While I do not condone stealing works from people who put a lot of time and effort into their projects, I'm sick to death with these threats.

With music, it does finally seem like we've reached the end of an impasse, now being able to buy unrestricted mp3s at nearly-reasonable prices.

But it's films and TV shows that bug me - I have an open wallet for the first service that allows me to pay a small fee (maybe £1 per episode of a TV show or £2-3 for a movie) for unrestricted Divx's, to use as I wish. That £3 could go directly to the producers, with no costs related to DVD production, distribution, physical shops and shelves etc.

With TV shows like, for example, House and 24 (I guess I'm talking US shows), it is unacceptable - when there is a viable distribution network - that I have to wait 3 months - 10 months to watch these shows. If i want to enjoy fan-banter on imdb, as part of this global community, I want to watch it as soon as it's feasibly possible (i.e. as soon as it's been broadcast in America) and to that extent I have no issues using torrents to watch my TV. If I really like the show I will buy it on DVD, but unwillingly because all I'll do is bin the DVD and keep watching the Divx's, which take up no space in my house, can be streamed to any laptop/TV, or can be converted to portable media.

When I see community sites like B**M**V, a private-tracker ran by a small core of 20 cappers, providing instant access to shows, a site that is a community, it disgusts me that the networks cannot rig up a similar venture - these types of sites are putting the networks/Hollywood to utter shame. It would take a whole day's work to provide a legal paid site which would function in the same way. From my end, I'd happily pay 50p per episode of House (equal to £14 or a DVD of a season, again without the distribution costs), if it was unrestricted and advert-free. That must provide more money to networks than what advertisers would pay for my attention. ("WOW BUY DAZ!! IT CLEANS CLOTHES 10 PER CENT BETTER THAN LAST YEAR WHEN WE SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT OUR PRODUCT THE YEAR BEFORE!!!).

Again with music, we're slowly getting there, but as far as I'm concerned with video, I won't play ball until the networks pull their fingers out and stop being scared of this newfangled internet thingy, because they can't see that there's, ahem, "nothing for them to fear but fear itself".

Sites like Mininova - I really appreciate the role they play at the minute. I can't condone software infringement, or child-porn etc. but with videos, they've got my full support.

---

Oh well, time will heal all, because in five years we all know from what pipe most of our content will be squeezed from. Hopefully the dinosaurs will be killed off in that time.

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Alert

Illegal?

WTF !

Well I never...

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Paris Hilton

167 downloads per visitor!

So 30m unique visitors generating 5bn downloads? Uhm, that's just about 167 downloads per unique visitor.

Yeah, right. The average mininova visitor downloads 167 torrents.

Someone must be doing some creative accounting here. 167 *hits* (i.e.: all pages, css files, images, etc.) maybe, but certainly not 167 torrents downloaded.

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Anonymous Coward

Until they make libraries illegal...

I'm going to download whatever song fancies me at the moment. Seems like they're trying to pick off these torrent networks one by one.

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Stop

Errata

> Video makes up 60 per cent of the downloads on Mininova and only 19 per cent is music.

Wrong. Torrent files pointing to video content might make up whatever percentage of the file downloads. The video files are NOT downloaded from Mininova. The site only indexes the file trackers, which are hosted by other peers.

I don't know anything about the legality of indexing illegal files, or more accurate indexing files pointing to illegal content, but there is a big difference with hosting the illegal content.

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:) sweet...

Just been informed that demonoid is back up!!!!!

delighted!

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Coat

When are the ASSes foing to learn

You cant fight piracy! there is no lost revenue due to piracy because the people who are downloading this stuff wouldnt have otherwise gone out and bought it! if they cant get it free they'll do without it...

mines the one with the built in utorrent client and demonoid search plug in...

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"BREIN estimates the site earns thousands of euros per month by selling ad space."

Probably, but how much is their bandwidth costs for 30 million visitors and "Billions" of .torrent file downloads?

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Pirate

BREIN just made my list

I didn't have a Dutch one yet.

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Anonymous Coward

The solution

Someone with the knowhow set up a .torrent distributed P2P app. Limewire for .torrent files.

Build in some auto-distribution of .torrent's so there's no way to figure out who requested what.

If the corps want to force the issue, let them.

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Alert

Will it make any difference?

The worst happens and it goes down, another will take it's place. There are so many little private torrent trackers now, a lot running SSL trackers, catering for niche tastes in music, movies, games, etc. "Torrent" is a perfect name for this technology, it's massive and getting bigger all the time. Obligatory Star Wars quote: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

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Paris Hilton

I see dumb people

Yes I download, but I also buy DVD's.

The problem with TV, Movies and music is that 75-90% of released material is rubbish. The rest is actually worth paying for..

Movies/TV get hyped all the time, you then pay overpriced cinemas/DVD's to see it, to find out it was completely rubbish! (or in the case of here in the UK with TV, wait 6-10months for a US show) A waste of money.

What torrents do for me is allow me to view the content without paying for it, if its good I'll buy the DVD, if its not its trashed!

Paris, cause like most things she sucks too...

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Linux

*sigh*

It seems odd that these people trying to put legal action on bit torrent sites cant grasp that torrent files are a more organised way to search for content, so take down a torrent tracking site and you can then argue that google points to illegal content...

Critical mass is not far off i think, as i have recently had another round of very non-technical friends getting to that point when their first ipod dies and takes all their DRM itunes with it. "But i paid for those tracks, what do you mean they are gone..."

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Paris Hilton

...and the horse they rode in on

@Anon. Cow. #2 - amen to that, brother. I am fed up with having to wait months for a decent US TV series to be broadcast in the UK, <rant> especially when ITV pulls an episode of Pushing Daisies because they can't fit it in before the footy starts </rant>. I don't download movies but sure as hell will continue downloading decent overseas telly until the networks can sort themselves out.

How these agencies think they are going to put an end to the many-headed uberhydra that is P2P is beyond me; cut off one Mininova and two more will spring up in its place. The old business model for media distribution is dead and buried twenty feet down in a steel coffin, guys - you'll have to wake up and realise that at some point...

(Paris, for her enthusiastic contribution to the new distribution model.)

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Pirate

@Bas Scheffers

Hey! Stop mathing the numbers! You are making it sound like BREIN picked them out of their arse.

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Stop

@Until they make libraries illegal...

You seem to be confused here.

Libraries don't lend CDs for free, and they also pay a royalty on all books & CDs loaned, the money for this comes from council taxes.

As soon as Mininova et al pay royalties to artists you can use that argument

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@Alan

But dont the Dutch already pay a flat rate to cover things like this? And thats the reason why P2P is do popular there already?

I mean, it has been widely discussed on this site before, hasnt it?

So if that was the case, Mininova would indeed be like a massive library - wouldnt it?

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Coat

Thank God for Torrents

Since torrents have been available, I admit to having downloaded movies on several occasion and this has led me to but the DVDs at a later stage. The strange thing is though that I NEVER bought movies before Torrents were available. Although I do wait until I find the DVDs hit the bargain shelf.

What I do not understand though is why the film companies are willing to pay 60 Million Dollars to an actor for making a damned film. Obviously it's the punter that has to eventually pay this sum. Why don't they just pay the actors 6 Million dollars and then sell the DVDs for a tenth of the price. It would be a Win/Win situation for everyone.

I refuse to pay 50 Euros for a piece of plastic that cost 50 cents, I would buy a helluva lot more if they cost 5 Euros.

Mines the one with cheapskate on the back.

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Anonymous Coward

@Until they make libraries illegal...

Libraries have special licensing and exist for an important public benefit.

Steal all you want, but don't try to pretend you're on some kind of ethical crusade.

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@Alan

A library may have to pay for royalties for the books/cd's/dvd's they HAVE (via the purchase costs, some of which gets reimbursed when they sell the books/etc when they need more space), but they don't pay a cent for a DATABASE of books/cd's/dvd's which allows them to order things up for people.

And there be the difference between a Library and somewhere like Mininova. One has the physical item, another just tells you where to get it. How can you compare someone with a database of music/games/videos with someone who has the actual music/games/videos and why should those with a database have to pay royalties despite not having the items physically?

Of course, the AC you replied to may mean his own "library" of stuff on his PC, which would mean he would keep downloading until they made having a collection of music/etc on your PC illegal and that is a different matter altogether...

(Looks for "shakes head" icon as it's amazing how some people cannot grasp the concept of how a torrent site doesn't host any software/music/videos but merely provides links. Like Google does, no matter how illegal the content at the end of the link is)

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Linux

We have to stop piracy???

All this piracy has to stop as it is used to fund Terrorist organisations around the world like the "Axis of Evil".

All these legal fights will only do one thing. Torrents will still reign supreme but you will need to have access to old BB and News sites to access the torrents.

The only thing the war on drugs has done is raised the tax you pay and made it more accessible to people. In 20 years the same will be stated of the war on Torrents and file sharing.

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A smart business..

A smart business would realise the business potential of offering a service like this. There's enormous demand, and if a similar on-demand style service could be set-up with up-to-date content and a reasonable fee charged i'm sure the company would make a packet out of it.

iTunes Store is a nice start, but as others said, delays and too high a price per show (making it more expensive than buying the DVD!) are holding it back. Greater variety would be good too.

Here's hoping sites like mininova stop being made the victim for businesses failure to adapt!

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Happy

WOW - Mininova is cool

Never heard of Mininova before. Thanks to the MPAA for pointing it out to me. I'm going to tell all my friends about it. Downloading some torrents right now!

I remember a while back, some dumb judge in the god ol' US of A told me about wikileaks as well, another great site.

I really like these silly organisations going to court and telling me about all these great sites they want to shut down that I've never heard of before. Best thing is, the silly organisations will fail 9/10 times (or maybe more). All they do is promote. You gotta love a little positive feedback.

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@ Loads of people

If 75-90% of TV/Film/Music is rubbish, stop downloading it, by your own arguments, it is rubbish, therefore not worth watching/listening to. This is regardless of weather or not you do this legally because you will just make the content providers think that this is the sort of product that you want and nothing will get better.

If you want films/TV/Music to be of higher quality, _buy_ the higher quality product, don't go near the pish.

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I'm sorry?

"such as DVD a so crippled with illegal DRM that render them completly useless"

You can almost hear the emoscript0rkiddymouthfrothing from here.

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@Chris Walker

So true. They're not "completely useless". They're perfectly good for the task they're designed to do- to be played on a DVD player and show moving pictures. If it's completely useless you've got a damaged DVD/DVD player or just forgotten to turn it on. When they become truely DRM-crippled you'll be able to take the producers to task for it not being Suitable For Purpose, and if you ever find one like that I wish you luck!

They ARE, however, really REALLY annoying if you want to watch it on your PDA on the train or put them on a Laptop to watch later without compromising your portability. Aside from that I've not had a problem- I've streamed them across a home network and to myself at work over the 'net. All you need is a little technical skill or Google and you shouldn't find any significant problems.

DVD ripping apps are also out there- again I've not had too much of a problem ripping one to play on my PDA/Lappy.

The only reason I'd torrent is getting hold of stuff I've already paid (license fee, sky subscription, etc) for but missed on scheduled TV. Or seeing if new shows are worth watching (if they're any good I'll get them on DVD), or getting hold of expensive programs I'll use once then discard.

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Torrents?

Why do people still use torrents?

Newsgroups FTW!

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Pirate

1 down 2 more to replace it... Life goes on. (how deep are the Ass's Pockets)

Oh that reminds me its House tonight! can't wait after last weeks cliffhanger!

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Paris Hilton

@ Fraser

The thing is, when a new Film is made that:

A) Sounds good

B) Trailers look awsome

C) Eventually Suck when you watch the whole file to find out the trailers were ALL the best bits.

Its hard to say what sucks untill you watch it, especially for a new TV show as it takes a few episodes to find out. ...I dont have a crystal ball...

Now look at FireFly, a great show, that didn't pull in alot of US viewers, the show gets canned, but people, around the world, fought back and a movie got made and I have to say is one of the best sci-fi shows I've seen, I downloaded it, watch it, ended up buying the boxset and the movie! Without Torrents, I woulnd never have seen it, never have bought it! So torrents is good for that.

The thing is, there are too many fat cats in the movie/music industry that want to get more money by turning out shit, having huge promo's and adverts that they need to claim back buy overpriced CD's/DVD's.

The one group of people I do feel sorry for are REAL music artists, they only get money when a sale is made and they get a very poor cut. Actors get paid no matter how well the movie does or doesn't...Justice???

Paris, cause she is smarter than the MPAA

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Stop

FAO: People who say torrents are innocent...

I agree with all the stuff about how music/video is over priced and how the respective companies should get their finger out... however, if you think that a torrent is innocent as it doesn't host the files, but just point you towards them, remember that when the local burglar (I'll know it's him because of the stripey jumper and swag bag) come up to me asking about houses, and I point out your house to him and say "He's just bought a new TV/DVD/Stereo/whatever, and the house is empty between 9am and 4pm, and the backdoor looks like it would be easy to open and no-one can see the back door from the road anyway so you can't be seen entering". Then when you meet me in the street after your house has been ransacked and I tell you all about my conversation with Mr stripey Jumper, are you going to just stand there and say, "Hey, no worries, it wasn't your fault, you didn't do it!".??

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Paris Hilton

Bahhh.....

So another "Goody Goody MPIAA" type of internet sheriffs has decided that a torrent site is bad... well heads ups.. and take heed

I have downloaded films that have taken upwards of 6 months to appear here in the UK... eg - Futurama - Benders Big Score and The Beast as the low lifes that distribute the film see rich not make it available for UK distribution... until ages after US release... and then they have cheap to say that £1 = $1... if we are lucky so a disc that if I did not have a friend send it to would have cost me double what it cost from the US...

When the hell are the film distribution cartels/makers/gunslingers gonna sit up a realise that the days of ripping the public off with crippled discs audio and video are gone and all we want is a good product at the right price....

(Rant Off)

btw look out for google and yahoo and the devil's search engines next on the list... just search for the torrents and they will come

Paris - she knows how to distribute a good film to the masses ;)

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cheeeeekens and eegs

----

If 75-90% of TV/Film/Music is rubbish, stop downloading it, by your own arguments, it is rubbish, therefore not worth watching/listening to.

----

How do you know it's rubbish if you've not downloaded it to watch in the first place?

I've no objections to renting films via filmflex (on cable); pay a couple of quid to download the movie to your tv for 24 hours - fine by me. If it's any cop, buy the DVD otherwise what have you lost? Couple of quid for a couple of hours entertainment (unless the film's REALLY bad)...

I _would_ object to paying £2 - £3 to rent "Anaconda" mind... thankfully "Carnasaur 2" isn't even on there.

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Pirate

@ joe Blogs

Mr Stripy jumper can have a copy of my stuff any time he wants...

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Happy

I am no thief

I am a lovible rouge :)

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Anonymous Coward

@download as "sample" idea

"How do you know it's rubbish if you've not downloaded it to watch in the first place?"

Exactly, I have downloaded several movies that I was unsure about. Most of them I have then said "well thank god I didn't pay for that" the rest I have later gone and bought the DVD.

Ditto TV eps. I pay the same flat rate for my TV even if I never watch it, so what difference does it make if I actually watch it via torrent, iplayer or actually on the TV? Either way I have payed towards the costs, just the format is different.

If I had £1M I probably would spend a huge portion on DVDs and get every one I ever wanted, then get a BD player and get a stack of BD films too. Guess what - I don't. Until I get more money or DVD gets cheaper I will continue to fill in the gap with the odd torrent.

Slightly off topic:

Who falls for some of those bluray discs? Simpsons Movie DVD: £8, Simpsons Movie BD: £25. WTF??? ITS A CARTOON! I'M SURE IT LOOKS NO BETTER ON BD! Its like a tax on stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

@Joe Blogs

Actually your analogy would be better if you had a web site where you kept that type of information on as many houses as you could, and made it easy for people to.

@AC 12:33 -- Can I have a copy of your credit / debit card details, house and car keys and if you could send your girlfriend round when you are not *ahem* using her I would be most grateful.

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@ those Angels Joe, Lee I agree with the AC

Google + Google Earth would probably be about as good as a guided tour. Also people are finding out about Mininova from this Reg article... guess you better stop comming here eh? I think it's my ISP's fault... the bits came from their router.

you can certainly have a copy of my car keys and debit card details, since we're talking digital, you'll need them to use a COPY of my car, a COPY of my money etc. And if I could press Ctrl+V to get a *ahem* two for 1 later this evening I would.

It's funny how the world didn't collapse when the internet became available. Apparently Tom Cruise can still get paid ungodly sums of money to make crap movies still. I don't steal movies btw, I have Netflix and don't think it's worth my time watch more than 4-6 hours worth of TV a week anyways. Listening to ya'll is about 13.2% more entertaining than Top Gear most of the time.

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House MD

God, that series finale was the best thing I've ever seen on TV. In 20 years I have never been so moved by TV.

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Oh noes

Piracy is the same as stealing...

Fact (maybe), Windows is the most pirated bit of software on the planet. Creator was the third richest man on the planet and is still filthy rich, with not just a company building but a darned company village.

Piracy of music killing the music industry, but apparently still allowing those musicians (+ parasites) to live in huge fancy houses next to all the film & TV stars whose shows are also being pirated.

Break into my house and steal my TV, stereo, car etc means I have to go without until my poorly paying job allows me to rebuy the stuff - six months to a year.

Break into a media stars house and they'll have to stay at their beach house until their publicist restocks their house - one to three days. If you're a politician, just go to John Lewis for free restock - say it's for your second home, you won't have to prove it.

Yea, my hearts bleeding.

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Google next ?

Goto any search engine and you can search for a item name +torrent and it will bring you a list of sites with said torrent. Mininova is simply a more specialized search engine, but all that is downloaded are torrent files and they are actually hosted on other sites. The content is on people's computers

As for music, given up on the commercial stuff and getting free music from www.jamendo.com, MPAA free music, no drm either and under a creative commons licence that lets you give it to friends, burn to CD to listen in the car and the ability to donate money directly to the artist :)

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JB
Paris Hilton

Google torent site

Google is the worst torrent site all in these cases, if i search for a torrent in google it gives me not just the torrent, but loads of differnt places to get that torrent, quick through them in jail

Paris 'because she is a torrent lover'

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Jobs Horns

Antipiracy r0fl

These antiprivacy organisations RIA etc. are not better than criminals, this is what they try to do for the living, so pathetic. I bet this organisation builds up from dumb loosers, who failed in life, but they have to do something for living. Still better than eating from the dumpster and sleeping on the streets.

Everything is about money, and until these dumb tossers can make their living from closing torrent sites they will push it hard, just like spammers.

There are spammers who do spam for living, so whats wrong with that? Let's make whatever court crap order about 500.000 EURO, how can normal ppl expect that any private person has this amount to pay it back? They can't they just simply going to jail the person and look for the next vic, to ruin his life.

This is where the humanity goes, with the growing number of population, everyone needs to keep a job, but there are not as much jobs as much people. Some restriction, mass genocide would make the world better, but just don't believe me and suffer, fucking idiots.

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