BTJunkie "Voluntarily" Shuts Down

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BTJunkie "Voluntarily" Shuts Down

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BitTorrent search engine BTJunkie has "voluntarily" shut itself down in order to avoid potential legal action by U.S. authorities.

The U.S. government dropped the hammer on file sharing site Megaupload last month, forcing the site offline amidst accusations of various sorts of copyright violations that added up to more than $500 million in lost revenues for someone. Among the charges facing employees of the site are "racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."

That's some pretty serious stuff, and although none of the charges have been proven in a court of law, the mere threat of a heavy-handed application of "justice" - Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is currently languishing in prison awaiting extradition to the United States, having been denied bail by a New Zealand judge - was enough to convince the founder of BTJunkie to get ahead of the curve by getting out of the game.

"This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we've decided to voluntarily shut down," says a farewell message on the site. "We've been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it's time to move on. It's been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!"

The site has never faced direct legal action but was reported to the U.S. Trade Representative last year and both the RIAA and the MPAA listed it as a "rogue" site responsible for mass copyright violations. Google also censors "btjunkie" as a search term because of its deep connections to piracy.

Despite the closure, the founder of BTJunkie told TorrentFreak that he hoped other torrent sites would be able to carry on, saying, "The war is far from over."

Permalink

Andy Chalk:
Google also censors "btjunkie" as a search term because of its deep connections to piracy.

*scratches head* I could always get about 2,650,000 results - the top ten leading directly to the site?

For those of us not in the know and don't torrent, what is BTJunkie?

So it's time for people who run these types of sites to put their money where their mouth is. Are they freedom fighters trying free information for the masses, or are they criminals making money from others work. History teaches us that real freedom fighters and revolutionaries who want to change things, don't give up the fight just due to the treat of arrest or some prison time. Just saying.....

The Gentleman:
For those of us not in the know and don't torrent, what is BTJunkie?

Same thing as The Pirate Bay. A torrent, someone correct me if I'm wrong, is a file upload by one person. Another person downloads that file allows them to be a seeder. As more people download the download from multiple seeders at a time allowing for faster downloads. People downloading the file I believe are called lechers and end up slowing down the download. However the lechers become seeders when they finish the download. Seeders also don't have to keep seeding. They can seed for how long they want and they cancel their seeding so no one downloads the file from them.

ph0b0s123:
So it's time for people who run these types of sites to put their money where their mouth is. Are they freedom fighters trying free information for the masses, or are they criminals making money from others work. History teaches us that real freedom fighters and revolutionaries who want to change things, don't give up the fight just due to the treat of arrest or some prison time. Just saying.....

No, thats a little harsh, those "freedom fighters" who give up the fight have a name; Cowards.

And history is very good at making those disappear ;)

ph0b0s123:
So it's time for people who run these types of sites to put their money where their mouth is. Are they freedom fighters trying free information for the masses, or are they criminals making money from others work. History teaches us that real freedom fighters and revolutionaries who want to change things, don't give up the fight just due to the treat of arrest or some prison time. Just saying.....

I hardly think they were/are heroes, even if that doesn't mean they didn't believe what they do is right, and that freedom over the internet isn't important. It doesn't matter, because they showed that they can take down a site, so resisting doesn't change the fact that you are going to be put out of business (and in jail, if they want to). What would be the point to keep the site open if you fear that? I think that accusing a hosting site of copyright infringement is ridiculous, but they did it, so it means that the current legislation should be changed to NOT allow this. It didn't happen with a new law, it happened under the current ones, so they can't do anything to stop that, and I can understand people that would decide to back off.

ph0b0s123:
So it's time for people who run these pirate sites to put their money where there mouth is. Are they freedom fighters trying free information for the masses, or are they criminals making money from others work. History teaches us that real freedom fighters and revolutionaries who want to change things, don't give up the fight just due to the treat of arrest or some prison time. Just saying.....

500 million is small change in financial terms these days what about the guys who are responsible for racking up billions in public debt? Why cant the government crack some of their skulls?

The Gentleman:
For those of us not in the know and don't torrent, what is BTJunkie?

Just another torrent search engine.

I guess the MegaUpload takedown had the intended effect - scare other sites of debatable legal status into voluntarily shutting down.

mdqp:

ph0b0s123:
So it's time for people who run these types of sites to put their money where their mouth is. Are they freedom fighters trying free information for the masses, or are they criminals making money from others work. History teaches us that real freedom fighters and revolutionaries who want to change things, don't give up the fight just due to the treat of arrest or some prison time. Just saying.....

I hardly think they were/are heroes, even if that doesn't mean they didn't believe what they do is right, and that freedom over the internet isn't important. It doesn't matter, because they showed that they can take down a site, so resisting doesn't change the fact that you are going to be put out of business (and in jail, if they want to). What would be the point to keep the site open if you fear that? I think that accusing a hosting site of copyright infringement is ridiculous, but they did it, so it means that the current legislation should be changed to NOT allow this. It didn't happen with a new law, it happened under the current ones, so they can't do anything to stop that, and I can understand people that would decide to back off.

Again freedom fighters, which is the rhetoric you get from these sites, even in the goodbye message above, have historically kept going even if the law was against them. If 'freedom fighters' backed off just because the laws was against them then the US would site be a British colony and Nelson Mandela would have never been in prison.

My comment is really just picking a bit at the dumb rhetoric these sites use. As we have seen they have been folding when the going gets a bit tough.

Well, whoever says of himself that he was a freedom fighter because of keeping a hosting site, is obviously delusional or a liar. But I seriously think that this isn't really a good thing... For one thing, I actually kept a few files on Megaupload, for personal use, and now I can't access them anymore (they were backups, but still...). Also, there are many things that aren't available all over the world, and this is undermining severely the possibility to share knowledge otherwise impossible to get in several countries.

Deep down they know they're in the wrong, both morally and, if it came down to it, legally. Which is why they bugged out. Maybe they even have stuff going on behind the scenes like Megaupload did that they're worried about the government finding out about.

It's up to the internet to firmly stake out the differences between a site like Youtube or Twitter and it's objectives and something like Megaupload or BTJunkie or Pirate Bay and their objectives.

Otherwise if we continue to defend the sites who want to encourage piracy it'll only encourage the higher ups that the internet really is the criminal, unlawful haven that corporations tried throwing millions of dollars at to make them believe.

I'm all for going against the greedy copyright-buttholes, but anyone who doesn't see this as 'aite cool guys. Uhh...we're gonna take whatever money we got and run. Thx, cya!!' is deluding themselves >_>

PS: to all the 'freedom fighters' out there, here's a word that's going to scare you. Precedent D:

Awexsome:

Otherwise if we continue to defend the sites who want to encourage piracy it'll only encourage the higher ups that the internet really is the criminal, unlawful haven that corporations tried throwing millions of dollars at to make them believe.

And if we leave them to die then the corporations can make sure that the internet is a safe haven for them to make money off exactly the same things we're doing at the moment.

Just as they've done with public music broadcasting.

$5000 to have someone sing you "Happy Birthday" in a film you know? Payable direct to Time Warner.

Have a nice day, Citizen.

Score one for corporate america I guess.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Awexsome:

Otherwise if we continue to defend the sites who want to encourage piracy it'll only encourage the higher ups that the internet really is the criminal, unlawful haven that corporations tried throwing millions of dollars at to make them believe.

And if we leave them to die then the corporations can make sure that the internet is a safe haven for them to make money off exactly the same things we're doing at the moment.

Just as they've done with public music broadcasting.

$5000 to have someone sing you "Happy Birthday" in a film you know? Payable direct to Time Warner.

Have a nice day, Citizen.

What part of "differences between a site like Youtube or Twitter and it's objectives and something like Megaupload or BTJunkie or Pirate Bay and their objectives." didn't you get?

SOPA got turned down if you recall. There is a middle ground between pirates getting all they want and corporations getting all they want. Letting sites like this stay up would be leaning towards the former.

Awexsome:
What part of "differences between a site like Youtube or Twitter and it's objectives and something like Megaupload or BTJunkie or Pirate Bay and their objectives." didn't you get?

The part where you condemn torrent sites because they "encourage piracy" but champion YouTube/Twitter despite hashtags like #HowToPleaseABrownParent and rampant piracy on YouTube.

SOPA got turned down if you recall.

And ACTA got through. Not to mention Megaupload and Virgin's music service being shut down. And Pandora being pushed to one side. And Spotify selling playlists. And Apple claiming patents on P2P music.

There is a middle ground between pirates getting all they want and corporations getting all they want. Letting sites like this stay up would be leaning towards the former.

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

But I'm guessing you've done some research on this: What exactly are YouTube and BTJunkie's differing objectives, and what part do you specifically criticize?

I wonder what the media companies profits are like right now.

Surely with all these torrenting sites going down, they're skyrocketing, no?

Irridium:
I wonder what the media companies profits are like right now.

Surely with all these torrenting sites going down, they're skyrocketing, no?

Haha. You have the best sense of humor, I LOVE IT!

I'm with you, they have to be rolling the dough now that all these sites that are responsible for their lost profits are going down. I can't wait to see how this saves the videogame industry.

Though, I have to say, I would gladly punch those guys at...TorrentFreak, I think... for reporting the those numbers every year like they do. They only reinforce the idea that companies have lost all these sales via piracy.

I saw this last night...

...I cried a little

At least they went peacefully of their own design, and they didn't give the blasted government the satisfaction of shutting them down... bastards...

I still maintain that if every pirate stopped both pirating AND purchasing any form of content, just leaving those who never pirate to continue, we'd see quite a few companies go to the wall in just a few months.

There's levels of piracy, and I for one don't like being labelled a criminal, tho lawfully I am, because I have shrinkwrapped dvds, unopened on my shelf, because I prefer the convenience of torrented files over the discs I own.

Morally, I've done nothing wrong, and I'm supporting those who created the content, legally, I owe EMI or whoever a million bucks.

Dammit, the one junkie we don't want sent to rehab.

Well...damn. I did not see that coming. Good on them, getting out ahead of the pain, but still. They were what, the fifth most used torrent site? Well, crap. Two down, I suppose. The more people start flocking to the other sites, the easier it'll be to target them. I guess we should be a bit careful of it.

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

But I'm guessing you've done some research on this: What exactly are YouTube and BTJunkie's differing objectives, and what part do you specifically criticize?

Does BTJunkie remove a copyright-infringing torrent from their listings if its legal owner files a complaint? Because if they don't, well, there's a big difference right there.

There's also the fact that corporations use YouTube as a legitimate method of advertising and many companies even stream their stuff for free on there anyways, making money off ads that play before the videos start. A few companies have made use of torrent technology for their own legitimate ends, but they're almost always done internally (ie. World of Warcraft patcher) and not through torrent search engines. And with legitimate, paid methods of digital distribution rapidly becoming available for all forms of media (iTunes, Netflix, Steam, and many more), how long can torrent trackers really maintain their legal grey area?

When you provide a service, you have a responsibility to at least ATTEMPT to police it, ensure that your clients are following the rules and not breaking the law. In some cases it's nearly impossible, yes, but attempts are still made. YouTube deletes videos and bans accounts daily. Blizzard and Valve ban cheaters and hackers. Forums like this one have moderators that scan for offending content.

The internet has been around for over two decades now, and so far attempts to police it have been hampered at every turn. Lawmakers are stymied because the internet is a land without borders; it's impossible to police something where they have no jurisdiction, and that's why we get things like SOPA and ACTA. They're desperate attempts to levy some form of control over a beast that's been running wild for far too long. I'm not saying those bills are correct or that they should be passed the way they are now (god forbid), but something does need to be done.

So what do we do? Do we hope and pray that all the millions and millions of people using the internet will wake up one day and understand that theft is wrong? All the people who justify piracy to themselves are enough evidence that that will never happen. Or do we recognize that freedom of information and freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to steal.

People are free to hate and despise corporations and the government, but if you hate a company, you should refuse to use their products. When you download something with the justification, "I'd never have bought it anyways," it's called having your cake and eating it too. And the world doesn't work that way. Or at least it shouldn't. Right now it does, and that's the problem.

The Gentleman:
For those of us not in the know and don't torrent, what is BTJunkie?

Same as Pirate Bay, different name. And for the ones that are a bit more clean than some of us, it's a torrent search page. As for how does a torrent file works, well, Google is your friend.

OT: Well, I can't say I'm glad it got shut, but I'm also a bit indifferent on the matter.

I respect them for their decision to go down on their own terms. Still won't mean a damn thing, though. Pirates just go somewhere else. They always find somewhere new to go.

Robomega:

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

But I'm guessing you've done some research on this: What exactly are YouTube and BTJunkie's differing objectives, and what part do you specifically criticize?

Does BTJunkie remove a copyright-infringing torrent from their listings if its legal owner files a complaint? Because if they don't, well, there's a big difference right there.

Well I have to ask, did that save megaupload? Considering megaupload also blocked copywritten content upon request. Did the action against megaupload ever consider that the primary usage of megavideo had not been legitimately relevant for streaming/downloading use of copywritten material for at least the last year and a half to two years specifically because the mega staff was blocking the content of shows just as fast as they could, literally in many cases less than 24 hours after being posted for the most notable instances?

Isnt that the exact same defense that people justifying youtube give? What is the difference? Youtube is popular enough that corporations accept it not because they have control over their content (actually youtube increases illegal downloads of copywritten material because anyone with a simple youtube fvl file ripper and a file conversion program can get unlimited free music files via youtube, that the copywrite holders PUT on youtube) but because they think they can make money from it. Thats what this comes down to. Not that file sharing is wrong, or copywrite infringement is wrong because these people dont think it is or else they would not willingly host their own copywritten content on it. Its because someone else was profiting from it and they werent. That is all.

Oh joy, another service taken down.

On a related note, does anyone know if the US is going to give people the money back that they paid for the megaupload pro service?

The_root_of_all_evil:

Awexsome:
What part of "differences between a site like Youtube or Twitter and it's objectives and something like Megaupload or BTJunkie or Pirate Bay and their objectives." didn't you get?

And ACTA got through.

Exactly. See? Good things can come when fighting piracy. Oh? You think an international treaty (not a law. Fun fact.) made to attempt to encourage the more problematic countries like China is bad while doing NOTHING to further crack down in most countries? Ok.

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

Y'know constantly spewing strawmans and extremes isn't exactly the best option to make you seem reasonable. Little protip there.

viranimus:

Robomega:

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

But I'm guessing you've done some research on this: What exactly are YouTube and BTJunkie's differing objectives, and what part do you specifically criticize?

Does BTJunkie remove a copyright-infringing torrent from their listings if its legal owner files a complaint? Because if they don't, well, there's a big difference right there.

Well I have to ask, did that save megaupload? Considering megaupload also blocked copywritten content upon request. Did the action against megaupload ever consider that the primary usage of megavideo had not been legitimately relevant for streaming/downloading use of copywritten material for at least the last year and a half to two years specifically because the mega staff was blocking the content of shows just as fast as they could, literally in many cases less than 24 hours after being posted for the most notable instances?

Did you even read the indictment? Because that's the exact opposite of what they did. Here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/78786408/Mega-Indictment

They sure as hell weren't blocking shows as fast as they could. They were ignoring orders of takedown, and even still paying their members for uploading popular pirated content while being fully aware that it was illegaly uploaded.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Andy Chalk:
Google also censors "btjunkie" as a search term because of its deep connections to piracy.

*scratches head* I could always get about 2,650,000 results - the top ten leading directly to the site?

Google only censors AutoComplete and Instant results...the sites are still indexed.

Awexsome:

viranimus:

Robomega:

Does BTJunkie remove a copyright-infringing torrent from their listings if its legal owner files a complaint? Because if they don't, well, there's a big difference right there.

Well I have to ask, did that save megaupload? Considering megaupload also blocked copywritten content upon request. Did the action against megaupload ever consider that the primary usage of megavideo had not been legitimately relevant for streaming/downloading use of copywritten material for at least the last year and a half to two years specifically because the mega staff was blocking the content of shows just as fast as they could, literally in many cases less than 24 hours after being posted for the most notable instances?

Did you even read the indictment? Because that's the exact opposite of what they did. Here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/78786408/Mega-Indictment

They sure as hell weren't blocking shows as fast as they could. They were ignoring orders of takedown, and even still paying their members for uploading popular pirated content while being fully aware that it was illegaly uploaded.

And do I trust what a government agency tells me is true? Or do I belive what people who deal in that scene would show you as well as what anyone was free to verify at any given time on their own.

The scene had long since moved to other lockers like putlocker, VideoBB, VideoZer and others, because megavideo was trashing links to content too quickly, when it comes to streamed content, and for direct downloads thats not how torrent sites like TPB and mininova even work.

In short do you believe what your told, or what you could have seen with your own eyes had you ever looked?

Yes, I had read the indictment the day it came out. Because I was vested in a megaupload account, and lost my migration files right in the middle of reformatting my main PC and now things like my scanned art proofs, work documents, tons of personal recorded tracks I use for my own recordings, minecraft save file, and about 50gb worth of stuff I hosted on megaupload that was password protected and not accessible to the general public is essentially being held hostage in what amounts to a terroristic activity. So yes I do have a vested interest in this, and I would like my access to my 100% completely legal files back. So too would thousands of others. Yet these people cannot because the US has in effect selectively imposed its legal will by enforcing one set of its laws while completely ignoring another set not on its own people, but citizens around the world.

But this is WHY this sort of thing happens. When people form supportive opinions not based on fact, but based on supposition, heresy, fabrications and propaganda without ever knowing or even looking at the actual facts you have people supporting this sort of thing. And now... because we see the US forcing its legal will without even following its own laws on the internet like it has dominion over it, we see the results like this of companies bowing out of the game because they know that they lack the power to fight against it. Its also why you see the illegal organizations who were legitimately doing wrong in all this and had no shame about it, moving their registry off US controlled DNS and now will work to create a new work around that will stay one step ahead. In essence, all this did was punish legitimate customers, while making those who were perpetrating the crimes dig in deeper and thus harder to combat.

One more site down...

So, there's like.... over 9,000 sites to go, right?

Robomega:

How about the consumers? Do they get what they want? Or is this purely between the EVIL EVIL PIRATES and the EVIL EVIL CORPORATIONS?

Or do we have to blindly accept that either artists have no money, or artists have some money after it's been taxed to the hilt?

But I'm guessing you've done some research on this: What exactly are YouTube and BTJunkie's differing objectives, and what part do you specifically criticize?

Does BTJunkie remove a copyright-infringing torrent from their listings if its legal owner files a complaint? Because if they don't, well, there's a big difference right there.

There's also the fact that corporations use YouTube as a legitimate method of advertising and many companies even stream their stuff for free on there anyways, making money off ads that play before the videos start. A few companies have made use of torrent technology for their own legitimate ends, but they're almost always done internally (ie. World of Warcraft patcher) and not through torrent search engines. And with legitimate, paid methods of digital distribution rapidly becoming available for all forms of media (iTunes, Netflix, Steam, and many more), how long can torrent trackers really maintain their legal grey area?

When you provide a service, you have a responsibility to at least ATTEMPT to police it, ensure that your clients are following the rules and not breaking the law. In some cases it's nearly impossible, yes, but attempts are still made. YouTube deletes videos and bans accounts daily. Blizzard and Valve ban cheaters and hackers. Forums like this one have moderators that scan for offending content.

The internet has been around for over two decades now, and so far attempts to police it have been hampered at every turn. Lawmakers are stymied because the internet is a land without borders; it's impossible to police something where they have no jurisdiction, and that's why we get things like SOPA and ACTA. They're desperate attempts to levy some form of control over a beast that's been running wild for far too long. I'm not saying those bills are correct or that they should be passed the way they are now (god forbid), but something does need to be done.

So what do we do? Do we hope and pray that all the millions and millions of people using the internet will wake up one day and understand that theft is wrong? All the people who justify piracy to themselves are enough evidence that that will never happen. Or do we recognize that freedom of information and freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to steal.

People are free to hate and despise corporations and the government, but if you hate a company, you should refuse to use their products. When you download something with the justification, "I'd never have bought it anyways," it's called having your cake and eating it too. And the world doesn't work that way. Or at least it shouldn't. Right now it does, and that's the problem.

There is a great deal of evidence that MegaUpload policed its site MORE than YouTube does.

In the eyes of ACTA, there is zero difference between Pirate Bay, MegaUpload, Twitter, or YouTube.

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