Slyck Interviews TVUnderground

eDonkey2000 has been through quite a lot.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The network has survived the demise of its official client, the Razorback raids, fake servers, file pollution, and now more recently, the loss of a number of major servers including the Big BanG and Donkey Servers. While there have been several blows to the network, it’s continued to thrive as one of the largest P2P networks in existence today.

While some think the loss of servers have done significant damage to the network, others suggest that they have experienced no loss in performance – mainly thanks to the Kademlia network and the remaining servers that remain online. The actions against the major eDonkey2000 servers sparked an effort to pick up where the now defunct servers left off. One such force in the effort is TVUnderground headed by sLAUGHTER and CheGuevara. Slyck caught up with these administrators to discuss this new effort.

Slyck.com: What is TVUnderground and how does it relate to the ED2K servers?

sLAUGHTER: TVU is one of the best TV eD2K link sites still online and indexing links. Our database is built on a spidered version on “The-RealWorld.de” that was ripped and put into action by SirCotare under the name “The-FreeWorld.6x.to” when the GVU took TRW off line. Well shortly after the GVU got SirCotare too, and that’s when me and Che took over. What we see today is way different from what we started with. I know this answer is a little bloated but it’s always good to recognize the people that came before us and really laid the foundation for what we have today.

Really we relate to the network as a whole….anyone with a search function and enough time can find everything we index. All we do is provide a map to files already hashed within the network.

Slyck.com: When the major servers were taken offline, in your minds, what did this mean to the ED2K network with what servers were remaining?

sLAUGHTER: Surprisingly very little. All the new users and weak of heart might of gotten scared, but all the veterans know the end is going to take a lot more than closing a few servers and sites. It’s all about strength of will…if we as a collective continue to fight the end will never come.

Slyck.com: Some eMule users say that switching to KAD is best for eMule users. Do you think that the servers that eMule uses are a thing of the past now? Why or why not? Also, when the major ED2K servers went offline, some people wrote the entire network off as being ‘dead’, do you think the major servers going offline damaged the network in any way? When RazorBack 2.0 was taken offline last year, it also almost seemed like it caused many users to re-evaluate the idea of simply using one server on the network and spread the user load to a handful of users. With the raids on these other servers, is there a way to view the removal of a few large servers from the network as possibly healthy for the network? Also, some media outlets are wondering if this is a game of ‘whack-a-mole’ or if this really fatally damaged the network. What do you think of those perceptions?

sLAUGHTER: I would have to say that KAD is indeed the future, but to completely write off the servers as old skool is bad for everyone. Plus search currently works way better with servers and most people get their links from searches. Not to mention the more (legit) servers there are the harder it is to shutdown the network. I see no reason for servers to cease to exist….if anything that’s the mentality that groups like MediaDefender are trying to push….causing us (P2Pers) to doubt our methods and save them work. 😛 And as I’ve said before in numerous places….filesharing will never stop, it has become a reality, and until the studios stop trying to control new and better technologies rather then embrace them, we will always exist in some form.

CheGuevara: As sLAUGHTER said KAD is the future, but for that future to come, KAD itself has be improved. KAD still can not fully exist without servers, because you have too bootstrap of a client, to get a list of which you have to connect to a server. Though this is partially overcome by sites which provide you with nodes.dat, just like server lists. KAD is also much slower then servers when it comes to searches. Basically KAD still has a way to go. Another thing is people have to actually start using it. Statistics from one of our eDonkey Servers: out of 41118 users only 15023 have KAD turned on. This is much better then when DonkeyServer just went down, people are starting to use it more.

Slyck.com: When you first started up the servers, what did you expect and what actually happened when the servers started up?

sLAUGHTER: That’s a tough one. To be honest I had no idea how it would play out…..but so far it seems to be going fairly well.

Slyck.com: Should we expect more “clean” servers in the future in the ED2K network in the wake of what happened?

sLAUGHTER: I sincerely hope so, I know if our donations are consistent enough you can expect more from us for certain. It is important to not let the copy cops have it easy, no matter what acronym they may use.

CheGuevara: Agreed with sLAUGHTER again, I’d also like to get other major eDonkey admin sites to think about supporting putting up good servers finally as opposed to porn sites and usenet sites, for who its just means of advertising.

Slyck.com: Were there things you did to ensure that the new servers up right now won’t simply be taken offline in the same fashion as the Big BanG/Razorback/eDonkey Servers?

CheGuevara: Our servers are located in Netherlands and Canda, which are still safe P2P locations, though when it comes to Netherlands this is slowly changing. But we are constantly monitoring legal situations (thanks to Slyck thats easy :)) around the world, so we are ready to relocate at any sign of a change.

Slyck.com: BREIN seems to be saying that the only thing the ED2K servers were meant for is copyright infringement. Do you think this is really the case? If not, to what degree are you aware of that the ED2K servers are used for non-copyright infringing activities?

sLAUGHTER: I’m sure they are…but I, like many other users use P2P to find things on an international level, we are not limited to borders or distribution areas. BREIN, their ilk and the masters seem to ignore the fact that sites like ours are a much truer source to find viewing habits and potential markets. Some days I’m sure I know more about how their shows are really rating then the studios do. Ok, here’s a lesson to all media companies out there: “Give us what we want or we’re gonna take it from you…..just ask anyone.”

CheGuevara: I’d like to give a different answer to this. To be honest, these days I don’t use eMule to download illegal material pretty much at all. But you can be surprised the rare stuff you can find in aMule. My father has been using it to download books to help him with writing his PhD, really old books, beginning of the 20th century, sometimes older. The things you can find on eDonkey, if you know what you are looking for, are truly amazing.

Slyck.com: White listing of servers is a popular method of connecting to “clean” servers. Which ones would you recommend? Also, there are those who say that simply using PeerGuardian will stop you from connecting to fake servers, what do you think of this style of connecting to the ED2K network?

sLAUGHTER: Sure IP filters and such are useful, but living solely by someone else’s list is never a good way to live your life. Plus as soon as any ipfilter is released our friends at MediaDefender know that their servers got blacklisted and they change their IPs it’s like a cat and mouse game. The best advice I can give is for people is to stay informed and take the time to do a little research, with a little effort it’s easy to know what to avoid.

Che Guevara: PeerGuardian used to be a great peace of software, with a great blocklist. But these days it just blocks too much, in my opinion. And trying to get anything of the list is hell, just look at the forum posts at bluetack forums. The staff is just way too paranoid… But yeah, relying on a blocklist to provide you with good servers is not smart. Basically it’s the best to just get a serverlist from gruk.org, delete all the pink servers and servers that are in US or Germany (if there are any) and just keep on using that.

Slyck.com: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

sLAUGHTER: Just that TVU is only able to do this because we have generous users. So a HUGE THANKS to our users and everyone else that has helped TVU evolve to what it is. And of course a big thanks to Drew and Slyck for helping us get the word out about our newest project. Anyone looking for more information please visit http://ed2k.tvu.org.ru/

Che Guevara: What he said 😉

Slyck would like to thank sLAUGHTER and Che Guevera for taking the time to answer Slyck’s questions.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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