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Mininova Removes All Copyright-Infringing Torrents 352

Pabugs writes with news that popular torrent site Mininova has abandoned their attempts at filtering and simply deleted all torrents other than the legal ones they facilitate through their Content Distribution service. According to their blog post, they were left "no other option than to take [their] platform offline" after a court ruling from August. "The judge ruled that Mininova is not directly responsible for any copyright infringements, but ordered it to remove all torrents linking to copyrighted material within three months, or face a penalty of up to 5 million euros."
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Mininova Removes All Copyright-Infringing Torrents

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  • Debate! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:24PM (#30237632)
    There is obviously an issue with regards to copyright in our society. Millions and more are sharing all the time. This points the finger at the issue being systemic. We need to educate people to enable a wider debate. That is the only thing that will lead to fair change. Piracy is not the answer. There is a place for copyright that is not todays distorted parameters. Boycotting in the mean time is the answer, however, unless boycotting is whipped into shape it is also not the answer. Debate! Educate your friends and family it is a small start but it is the only way.
    • Re:Debate! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:32PM (#30237706)

      The whole thing smells more and more like the old P&P RPG Paranoia. Everyone hates secret societies, everyone hates mutants, yet everyone is a mutant in a secret society.

      I worked for our version of the RIAA for a while (I didn't mean to, they were part of the bundle of companies I had to support). My moment of "wtf" came when one of their lawyers approached me and asked if I knew anything about flashing a Nintendo DS for their kids so they can play copies.

      My answer was "since you're suing people who know aynthing about flashing Nintendos or even do it, my answer has to be no". This is when he offered money...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by headkase ( 533448 )
        That shows a lack of principle. We are all fallible, I'm petty and arrogant all the time - especially here ;) - but if we want to improve our lot as a whole education is the only answer. It may be too late for us cynical and jaded adults but perhaps we can try an experiment with our children. Teach them to be responsible citizens. Start with restoring an actual functioning public domain. Then teach copyright obligations in civics classes to primary school students. It will never be easy as we all want
        • The problem is "morals". And I don't mean antiquated decency laws or waggling index finger sermons, I mean examples and principles. When you see people who are allegedly moral models, from politicians to economic leaders to celebrities, be selfish, arrogant idiots who have nothing but their own agendas in their mind, people start to wonder why they should be different. It's not like they weren't in the past, but at the very least they kept the facade up that they don't. Politicians tried to appear honest an

          • Because to fix it you have to start somewhere. I've decided to start with me.
          • Morals have always been for the common people and not for the powerful.

            It's just easier to catch the president of france breaking copyright law while pushing Draconian copyright laws these days.

            I think the combination of computers, cameras, and suppression of computer and camera evidence against the powerful (re: england) will put the nail in the coffin and we will indeed end up with an endless future of a boot on the face of humanity.

        • Not necessarily (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:05PM (#30238420) Journal

          > But, collectively, we have to have room for compromise or we will all get nothing.

          I can think of a lot of futures where this is not true.

          For example, the future where copyright law is unchanged, infringement is rampant and unenforceable, and the content industry merely has to scale down because of lowered profits.

          Or the future where the content industry pushes copyright law so out of whack that no one infringes, but their profits are just as lowered because many people are so afraid of the possible penalties they totally avoid buying their products and instead go for the safe indie products which have CC/alternative licensing and/or viewing the content only in ephemeral ways (like on television or a movie screen).

          BTW, when I finished school I was a model "responsible citizen" in that I would never have thought to break any laws. Now that I am an adult, I see that the simplistic "law == morality" equivalence is far from being correct. So you might have a big problem in your plans, there, eh?

          • Its a balance between where you choose to go and where you end up. They may be functionally equivalent but I prefer the former.
      • Re:Debate! (Score:5, Informative)

        by masmullin ( 1479239 ) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:12PM (#30238046)
        That was sort of dumb of you. The answer to ANY request an RIAA person has for you is "no"... not some big shpeel about "how you sue people who know stuff". Just say No and be done with it.

        Q:Could you help me flash my NintendoDS?

        Q:Could you find me the latest cd on thepiratebay?

        Q:Could you grab me a coke?

        Q:Could you call 911 since I am about to go into cardiac arrest?

        Q:Could you stop aliens from kidnapping my children?

        Q:Could you give me the time of day?

        See, its easy.
        • Re:Debate! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:29PM (#30238170)

          +1. If more people learned the power of saying "no" the world would be a better place.

          Q: Want to work a 60 hour week for 30 hour pay?
          A: No

          Q: Want to let us look after your money so we can leverage it and then give you a tiny fraction of the profit?
          A: No

          Q: Want to borrow some of that money to buy an overpriced house?
          A: No

          The only reason "no" is not a viable answer to any of these and many similar questions is because there are far too many suckers who are willing to say "yes."

        • Re:Debate! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:37PM (#30238224)

          Q:Could you call 911 since I am about to go into cardiac arrest?

          Depending on where you live, that answer may technically be illegal. Plenty of countries and a few states (oh and Quebec too) have a "Duty to rescue" law which, in a nutshell, states that you must attempt to assist an individual in peril provided that it doesn't also put your life at risk. At the very least, you would be expected to call for help.

          It's all semantics though. I can't imagine any decent human being simply standing there and watching while another human has a heart attack, no matter who they work for.

          • Re:Debate! (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:49PM (#30238304)

            Let's see.

            Imagine that other human being destroyed your life and put you in prison for five years.

            How about, your children were sexually abused while in child protective services and one committed suicide.

            Of course, if the law requires that I go get help, I'd have



            I've done the non-vengeance thing and I've done the vengeance thing and let me tell you, vengeance was damn sweet and I have no regrets. It's the only thing that made me smile now and then for a couple years while I recovered back to human.

          • Re:Debate! (Score:5, Funny)

            by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:54PM (#30238348)

            I thought that duty to rescue only applies to fellow humans and not RIAA lawyers?

          • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:38PM (#30239482) Homepage Journal
            I can't imagine any decent human being simply standing there and watching while another human has a heart attack, no matter who they work for.

            You called that one, I sure couldn't just stand there and watch. I mean, how often do you get a chance to kick a RIAA person WHILE they are having a heart attack?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 )

          Unfortunately, when you're working for them, such a denial of service could be seen as a refusal to work. Which not only could cost you your job but also seem a bit suspicious. And ya know, this time and age suspicion is all you have to raise to be a criminal.

      • [A record label lawyer] approached me and asked if I knew anything about flashing a Nintendo DS for their kids so they can play copies.

        By "copies", do you include homebrew games that implement the same rules as a non-free commercial game? Would Lockjaw [pineight.com], for instance, be considered a "copy" of Tetris DS?

        ObTopic: I've seen torrents of just homebrew. I imagine they'd go away too because Nintendo would object to including them in "Content Distribution" on patent grounds.

        • The problem is that, homebrew or not, altering the DS alone is already considered illegal in some countries. Yes, altering something that you legally bought and should by any means own, i.e. altering your property, is illegal. So even if he asked for homebrew my answer would have had to be "no". But he directly and bluntly asked for a way to play what they labeled pirated copies.

    • Re:Debate! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Krneki ( 1192201 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:39PM (#30237762)
      The Pandora box was open a long time ago and since then the piracy has become more and more mainstream. Since the dawn of the net it has never, ever had a setback longer then a week, hell will freeze over before the piracy will see a decline.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        The Pandora box was open a long time ago

        The box of Pandora [openpandora.org] isn't even packed, let alone shipped or opened.

    • by srussia ( 884021 )

      There is obviously an issue with regards to copyright in our society. Millions and more are sharing all the time. This points the finger at the issue being systemic. We need to educate people to enable a wider debate. That is the only thing that will lead to fair change. Piracy is not the answer.

      You're not giving people enough credit. Sharing is the answer, and the're doing it. Copyright is going the way of "droit de seigneur" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_de_seigneur). Come to think of it, "copyright" in French is "droit d'auteur". Kinda makes the analogy a lot clearer.

      • See this: Thread [slashdot.org] for all the nasty, posturing details. Truth can be established and boycotting is the only answer but that requires organization.
    • Re:Debate! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ivoras ( 455934 ) <ivoras @ f er.hr> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:08PM (#30237996) Homepage

      There is obviously an issue with regards to copyright in our society. Millions and more are sharing all the time. This points the finger at the issue being systemic.

      I'd rather look at the cause of this "issue" - i.e. *why* does it exist. And I'll offer an answer - because it is harder and harder to get rich quickly while staying legal. The fact that I download movies all the time didn't influence my moviegoing one bit - I still go out to the movies every week or two because of the experience and the company of friends - both of which suck over DIVX. My problem is that there usually isn't anything good out there to see. Some nights, we don't remember what we watched around 5 minutes after leaving the cinema! I doubt the problem is with a lack of quality writers or actors or directors - I think most of it comes from producers and other financiers trying to cram in special effects, political correctness and crowd-pleasing stories (especially endings) to try to maximize the profits, like art can be expressed by equations. I don't feel one bit bad about downloading "2012" but I watched Inglorious Basterds and Watchmen twice (just a recent example) and I have a hefty collection of (legal, bought) DVDs of good films and TV shows. My point is that that a significant part of the piracy issue (not all of it!) is the direct result of the fall in quality and resorting to formulaic "this script equals this much $$$" thinking on the part of producers.

      I'm sure the same thing goes for music.

      One other large thing is convenience - sometimes people just don't feel like going to the movies and it's easier to download the film right now and watch it than waiting months for it to come on DVDs, etc. It is human nature - the baby wants what it wants. There are surely more problems, but I have a feeling these two combined are the cause of over 50% of the piracy issues. Heck, solve the distribution issue (make it cheap and easy and at the same time worldwide as the cinema releases) and I'd bet that 40% of all piracy would simply disappear over night.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by headkase ( 533448 )
        You have hit the nail right on the head. Industry in the form of the RIAA and MPAA is not meeting the needs of their customers. I want to download all my movies with none of that idiotic DRM, I want a public domain so that others can pick up the ball and continue where the current holder doesn't, I want many more things as well. But RIAA and MPAA members only want one thing: money. How they get it is control and they are playing a maximization game. What they fail to realize is that there are other age
    • Re:Debate! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Znork ( 31774 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:47PM (#30238288)

      There is a place for copyright

      I used to think that, but I don't any more. Any monopolies handed out by the government and whose cost is borne by the public and the distributed economy will be treated as of interest for the receiving stakeholders only, and thus will permanently expand as the paying parties will not be represented in discussions around the issue. See the claims about IP jobs 'lost' to piracy, yet where are the discussions about jobs among plumbers, pizzamakers or other branches of the economy when copyright shifts money and resources from one part of the economy to the other? Are those branches represented when it's arbitrarily decided that they should be deprived of resources in favour of media industries? Copyright creates no resources, it merely redistributes them.

      So no, there is no place for copyright. Any honest industry or creators support scheme requires that it be managed within the normal budget of governments and, like any other redistribution scheme, have its benefits weighed against its costs, and accounted for to the public. No other government scheme has anywhere close to as bad efficiency of copyright; if any other program had less than 5% of funding going to the actual intended beneficiaries there'd be an uproar.

      That's not to say there can't be reasonable schemes for encouraging creativity; the easiest would simply be mandatory licensing which dispenses of any contracts no matter what outlet or reproduction, and simply requires a percentage (50-75%, for example) of any revenue derived from the copying to be paid to the creators (via a public agency, such as the IRS, not through private entities like in radio, and modulated by policy). Then it would also be easy to manage reasonable cost/benefit levels (should there be a ceiling on payouts and the rest spread along the long tail to encourage more production, for example, how many years of payout is the optimum to keep creative material flowing, etc).

      Boycotting is not enough, the corrosive effect of corruption on politics is too strong, and politically it's only used to claim that anyone boycotting is pirating anyway. But it's certainly a right thing to do; paying for anything from the RIAA/MPAA corps means supporting the type of corruption going on as ACTA and other back-room deals, which I find utterly unacceptable by now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by headkase ( 533448 )
        I tend to agree, but, I'm willing to make a deal. Give me a fair term before public domain takes effect and in return I will accept a limited term of copyright. Not todays term which is effectively forever when compared to an individuals life-span.
        • Tip of the iceberg (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mathinker ( 909784 )

          You've made a good start, but forgotten all the rest of the bad things of copyright law.

          • Ridiculous statutory damages.
          • Fair use is relatively useless because its boundaries are only prescribed by the courts, not by copyright law itself. The law itself should clearly define a "safe" area for fair use of various types of works (but not limit fair use to that definition, only).
          • It is impossible to check if what you think is an original creation is actually just a derived work, since there are no registration req
    • I liked this comment from TFA:
      Here is an idea, since these great websites are taken away from us one by one and our freedom along with it.

      Maybe we need a more "legal" approach to file sharing.

      I propose to have a site that would have deals with distributors to have their tvshow/movies/music etc. in torrent form on the site. In exchange for a percentage of the money made by ads. And also the idea that if someone really likes a product they will probably buy it. I think there is alot of people who

    • educate them with what? What information do you want me to tell them? Seriously.
      • If you don't have something to contribute you can always criticize where you know opinions are wrong! And I'm not being snide, that is an essential thing to do: how else are we to improve our arguments?
  • by purpledinoz ( 573045 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:24PM (#30237634)
    Mininova replaced Suprnova, and Mininova will be replaced by another site. It's like playing whack-a-mole, except there are 1000 moles and 1 hammer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't know, quality of (public) torrent sites has been on the decline for a while. Now with demonoid still down, mininova dead and the piratebay in limbo what will replace them ? This feels like after Napster when the last of the replacements like audiogalaxy were running out of steam.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by antdude ( 79039 )

      Now that TPB and Miniova are no longer cool. What good public sites are left these days?

    • The internet is actually a smaller place than most people think. When it comes to any given field, no matter how large, there are really only a few dozen major sites to consider. Sometimes less.

      How many large torrent trackers are there really? Twenty, Thirty? I doubt it's over a hundred. Depends on your definition of large perhaps, but I'll make mine; A tracker which hosts TV, Movies, Music, Games and Software, and which has a large number of seeders and leechers (>10000). How many of these site are there? I estimate that there are about a dozen who really count.

      Throw out as many platitudes as you like, but the RIAA et al are putting the bittorrent genie back in the bottle. Technology has not kept pace with legal manoeuvres and one by one the top sites are being shut down. With them goes the hundreds of thousands of technically inexperienced seeds and leechers need to keep torrents healthy. Trackers need critical mass for torrents to be useful, but this mass makes them an easy target for legal action.

      This is still whack a mole, but the ratio of moles to hammers is, at most, 10:1. The decline of bittorrent began with the Pirate Bay but it will not stop there. Without major changes to how it is centralised, bittorrent will go the way of napster before it and you'll be back to getting your stuff on irc again.

      The Net has changed. The Chinese government has proven that the internet and its users can be brought to heel on a massive scale. Netizens in general, and in particular the geeks whose obligation was to defend the network, have shown though lack of innovation that they are not going to defend users freedoms, anonymity or rights online. We'd all rather give our data to webhosts, ISPs, and Google; trusting them not to betray us. Technology has given power back to the big players, and not delivered on its promise to ordinary people.

      • by nstlgc ( 945418 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:23PM (#30238556)
        You must be looking at another Internet than I am sir.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You're a glass half empty kind of guy, right? Here's another take on the exact same circle of ideas:

        The internet is actually a smaller place than most people think.

        The top of the iceberg is always small, as popularity in social networks resembles a power law. The network itself is for all practical purposes unlimited. Like the iceberg, if you chop off the top, it rises slightly and you have a new top (which is again small).

        Throw out as many platitudes as you like, but the RIAA et al are putting the

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Mininova replaced Suprnova, and Mininova will be replaced by another site. It's like playing whack-a-mole, except there are 1000 moles and 1 hammer.

      Next up: Moderatelysizednova.

  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:26PM (#30237654)

    Most of the success from the CDN service relied on the fact that millions of users visiting Mininova for general torrents would also be exposed to the CDN torrents. With Mininova's general torrent index deep-sixed, traffic will plummet to a tiny fraction of what it was before, and activity on CDN torrents will drop correspondingly.

    While this means that users of the CDN won't get any extra exposure, it's still a useful service for pure distribution (they handle the tracking and seeding). Unfortunately, with no revenue stream, mininova won't be able to support that for long.

  • So Mininova is gone. The King is dead. Long live the King!
    The media industries have been playing Whack-A-Mole with the internet since Napster and nothing has changed.
    As long as they don't get any ISP level laws passed, let them have their minor victories.

    • Yes, Whack-A-Mole is fun. But as a user, where is the next mole?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by infolation ( 840436 )
        Demonoid, when it returns from the ashes.
      • by Nursie ( 632944 )


        Also there are places like isohunt, but they're not a tracker. There are other P2P techs in the pipeline, such as oneswarm, but in order to truly darken p2p traffic we need faster connections and to put up with slower, multi-hop transfers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:27PM (#30237664)

    It's always annoying to have loads of stolen software music and films come up when I am searching for a torrent.
    Having mininova get rid of all the illigal stuff will make it much easier and more pleasant to use. Legitimate stuff gets buried as there is so much more stolen stuff.

    I hope other torrent sites follow suit, even just for the ease of use reasons.

  • by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:27PM (#30237672) Journal

    The judge ruled that Mininova is not directly responsible for any copyright infringements

    After seeing the Google/Italy article, it's nice to see that sanity holds elsewhere.

  • by Chris Tucker ( 302549 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:34PM (#30237730) Homepage

    Mininova included far too many torrents on private trackers. Sort of defeating the purpose of BitTorrent, actually.

    No great loss, all things considered.

  • Apparently a mininova does collapse into a black hole...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So mininova turns into www.legaltorrents.com. What they could do though it just de-reference the links, but keep the torrent names in the list. That way people could simply do a websearch on them. That way the only way to take them down would be to outlaw web searches :)

  • by DJCouchyCouch ( 622482 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:07PM (#30237990)

    Mininova is gone!

    If only there'd be some kind of alternative! I guess I'll just have to rely on sumotorrent, btjunkie, eztv, fenopy, isohunt, seedpeer, torrentz, torrentbox, torrentdownloads.net, torrent portal, torrentreactor.net, torrentreactor.to, alivetorrents, demonoid, boxtorrent, animelab, animesuki, kickasstorrents, torrentplaza, movietorrents, torrentomega, flixflux, overget, superfundo and all the other sites I can easily find on google by doing a simple search.

    I hope I'll be able to survive!

  • > Mininova Removes All Copyright-Infringing Torrents

    Mininova Removes All Torrents ...Here, fixed that for ya

  • I'm curious... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by naasking ( 94116 ) <naasking@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:23PM (#30238138) Homepage

    ...how can Mininova not be liable for any copyright infringing links, but still be ordered to remove the links? If they're not liable for that content, then they shouldn't have to remove anything.

  • and as usual... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:24PM (#30238140) Homepage Journal

    And as happens so often, a judge basically says "Well, technically what you're doing isn't illegal, but I still don't like what you're doing, and people are breathing down my neck to do something about you, so stoppit or we're going to bring the legal system down on you anyway. We may not be able to make it stick, but we certainly can make your life hell in the attempt." Surrender your rights and we'll leave you alone - persist and we'll make you regret it. Wonderful legal system we have here.

    Judges that make rulings like that need to either be re-educated, or removed. Their job isn't to make the law, but to judge whether or not you've broken a law. (except in trial by jury, and then they don't even get that) Whether or not they like what you're doing, or whether or not they think what you did should be illegal isn't supposed to have anything to do with it. If they're more interested in writing the law, they need to give up their bench and run for senator.

    Senators make laws and place restrictions on police and judges. Citizens break laws. Police arrest citizens that appear to have broken laws. Juries (/judges) interpret law and decide if citizens have broken a law. Judges insure a fair trial. Problem here is everyone wants a piece of everyone else's action. Oh if it only weren't for that pesky "separation of powers" thing...

  • Not all bad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by orkysoft ( 93727 )

    Now, I didn't really know Mininova before this. I had heard of it, but that's about it.

    I did visit the site just now, and I saw lots of items about music that I'd never heard of.

    Maybe it can become a good site to find new music from non-RIAA signed artists, who generally don't have much of a marketing/distribution platform? RIAA, meet foot, gun.

  • Alas, poor MiniNova, I knew him well...

    Oh well, that's life in the big city. *shrug*

  • ...and bittorrent users remove all bookmarks to mininova. NEXT!
  • Quoted from the TorrentFreak website..

    Mininova was founded in early 2005 by five Dutch students, just a month after Suprnova closed its doors. The site started out as a hobby project created by tech-savvy teenagers, but in the years that followed the site’s founders managed to turn it into a successful business that generated millions of dollars in revenue.

    This is what got them into trouble, besides, "Aiding and Abetting", (spare me the jurisdictional nonsense please) since even companies that don't seriously object to their software ending up on torrent sites start looking at the bottom line and looking at all the money someone else is making from their product and they are not getting a cut of it.

    Greed on all of the parties sides is the problem. If the torrent sites, pointers, indices's, maps, sources, call them what y

  • Freenet is where the next generation of filesharing will happen. It's working very well at the moment, Speeds are pretty good and there is a lot of content. Files of 1GB can be easily downloaded in a day, just queue them up. And of course there is a lot of chat on the forums, just like Usenet used to be.

    It is a lot more user friendly than it used to be, although the Slashdot crowd are the kind of people who will be the early adopters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FlyingGuy ( 989135 )

      It will work, for a while.

      Then it will suffer that same fate as usenet did with massive amounts of spam and drive the coasts of keeping it up and running until it collapses under it's own weight, much like usenet did.

      Distributed systems work well when they are controlled or at least carefully health monitored.

      Bandwidth isn't free and never will be and so someone or some group of people must bear the costs and at some point it will be like usenet and become prohibitively expensive because you are not just mo

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