For a lot of Torrent users, Demonoid was a one stop shop for a lot of different kinds of content. It was one of a handful of sites that had such name recognition. Billed by many as a “semi-private” tracker, the site introduced a number of users to the world of private BitTorrent trackers. Now that it has shut down, some users have found themselves asking where to next.
Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes
Trouble for the BitTorrent site started with a mysterious DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack). While the initial reports were of general detail, few predicted what was to come next.
Days later, the reports became more serious as word came that authorities in the Ukraine had shut down the website initially as a gift to appease US authorities.
Some held out hope that the site would eventually return given that, at the time, there were no reports that the administrators were in any danger at the time. Unfortunately, as time wore on, the news kept getting progressively worse as reports surfaced that there was a further raid in Mexico with many operators getting arrested. As if to finally seal the site’s fate, the domain name was eventually put up for sale. It was at that point that many observers began to say that a come-back for the website was very unlikely.
Some began to panic over the fact that servers were taken. With users IP addresses now in the hands of the authorities, there were worries that numerous other people would b next on the copyright police’s cross hairs. Of course, conventional wisdom would indicate that the amount of resources required to go after hundreds of thousands of people would completely overwhelm existing resources to go after the sites themselves. In fact, history tells us that when a tracker that made some efforts to be private is taken down, only administrators and the heaviest uploaders would have anything to really worry about. If you were a casual user, chances are, the data on you would simply be thrown to the wastebin so to speak.
The question then becomes, would this have an impact on file-sharing in general?
The answer would be no.
Sure, numerous users would be displaced and the shut down is very noticeable, but it’s like throwing a rock into an ocean. Water is displaced temporarily, you hear a splash and see ripple effects, but that rock isn’t going to completely drain the ocean. Other general torrent sites already exist and if some are willing, other torrent sites will also probably pop up to fill any gap left by Demonoid if need be.
I would say that the effects on users themselves might, at most, cause some to begin wiping their hard drives. Some might temporarily stop file-sharing while a very select few might take the dramatic step of stopping their file-sharing activities altogether, but a vast majority will probably simply either find other sources of content or simply place more emphasis on their other sources of content.
As for rightsholders, all they’ll score is a few arrests, the ability to publish a few press releases, maybe hold a news conference or two and the take down of a prominent BitTorrent website. Beyond that, the victory is an extremely hollow one because within weeks, they’ll ultimately be no further ahead then they were since before Demonoid was initially taken down. The authorities have, in the grand scheme of things, accomplished nothing with this latest move. That’s not simply a pro-piracy opinion or wishful thinking, that’s just reality.
If the takedown of OiNK didn’t kill piracy, neither will the takedown of Demonoid.