If The MPAA Takes Down A Dozen Torrent Sites, And No One Notices, Did They Really Exist?

from the if-a-tree-falls... dept

The Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has a history both of assuming it has much more authority than it really does and in announcing how it has shut down all sorts of "piracy" sites that no one seems to know exist. Lately, it's been teaming up with the MPAA on such things. The latest is the claim that BREIN and the MPAA have been able to shut down a dozen more "torrent sites." Except that no one seems to know what sites these were, and there's no indication that anyone actually used them. As TorrentFreak points out, when sites people actually use get taken down, people start emailing to tell them about it -- but no such emails came in with these shutdowns. Kind of makes you wonder just what BREIN and the MPAA are actually doing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 11:54am

    So now, they're setting up false sites just to shut them down?

    Where do I sign up for this?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Didn't you just run a post the other day about cargo cults? They exist in the torrent world as well, people attempting to create popular torrent sites by mimicking the surface, but not actually getting anything important.

    MPAA is smart - take down tons of little fish, and use that as proof that larger ones should be shut down too.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    Oh I am sure they are real sites, but knowing the MPAA it is probably sites filled with their promotional material only they were giving away before they "realized" there was no "value" in "free"

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Me too

    I just took down www.gafagahaga.com. You wouldn't believe the piracy that happens on that site. Millions of torrents were crossing threw it every hour. The music industry alone was losing several million dollars a minute from it. Look how many jobs we just saved. (Insert more rhetoric here)

    /sarc

     

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  5.  
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    Prashanth (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Similar to FBI

    If the FBI stops a terrorist plot and no one notices (or people take it the wrong way, as in the plot concocted by the FBI to make a guy spout terrorist propaganda in a mosque that actually made the members freak out and report the guy to the FBI), is it really a terrorist plot?

     

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  6.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Setting up Precident

    Simple, Take down a ton of sites no one cares about, then go after the "big dogs" with "1000's of cases" where the judge approved sites being shut down

     

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  7.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    "MPAA is smart"

    If only.

    "take down tons of little fish, and use that as proof that larger ones should be shut down too"

    OK, explain this to me, please. If they take down the small sites - i.e. those with little to no traffic - then the rate of "piracy" doesn't go down as a result. If shutting down numerous torrent sites has no effect, how does that prove that bigger sites should get the same treatment?

    I'm quite concerned about this kind of binary thinking, actually. I mentioned this in a post a little while ago about CD sales actually rising in the UK during 2009. The rises "just happened" to coincide with the 1 year anniversary of the UK launches of Spotify and Amazon's MP3 store, as well as 7digital's finalisation of right to all 4 major labels. Consumers got more choice and an excellent and innovative service in Spotify, was it really a surprise that sales went up? However, a lot of critics just seemed to assume it was something directly related to overbearing attempts to crack down on "piracy".

    It's extremely concerning to me that such consumer-friendly actions are ignored in favour of more draconian legal controls and invasions of civil rights and privacies.

     

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  8.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    MPAA is smart - take down tons of little fish, and use that as proof that larger ones should be shut down too.

    And this is proof that the larger ones should be shut down why? I'm a relatively intelligent person and I can't see the logic in that statement.

     

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  9.  
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    jsl4980 (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Legal Basis?

    What legal basis are these organizations using to have sites shut down? I'm wondering how a group of wealthy citizens are allowed to play police officers...

     

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  10.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    I cant resist

    If a tree falls in the woods....

     

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  11.  
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    J.J. (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    My bet is that they're just trying to build a solid legal precedence by going after the dead / disused sites.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re:

    if there is a lull in torrent traffic and a rise in sale associated with this time period, even if it is small (due to the traffic that might have existed on the site), it can statistically say that if the major torrent sites were shut down the amount of torrent traffic would proportionately decrease as well. However they don't, or at the very least they are hoping those with the authority won't, realize that the people who are downloading it from TPB will in turn likely find another source if TPB is shut down.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since when did the MPAA actually are about real statistics? None of the other laws they've lobbied for care about reality.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re:

    It's called setting the precedents. You make taking a torrent site down almost a formality, with plenty of legal backing, lots of judgements, plenty of voluntary takedowns. You pile all of that up, and when it comes time to take down a slightly bigger site, you have all of this to back you up. Take down the slightly larger site, and use that against the next one up the ladder.

    You get enough of them, the takedowns become almost automatic.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    True, but maybe they've theorized that if false statistics result in X then maybe real statistics will result in x^2. Remember, they may only have half a brain, but they DO have half a brain

     

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  16.  
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    Grammar Slammer Bammer, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    AAAAUUGHHHH

    One legal precedent.
    Two legal precedents.
    The principle of legal precedence.

    Now stop writing "a legal precedence"!

     

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  17.  
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    anothermike, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It would have no effect. The Pirate Bay is a user-generated index of torrent files. They don't seed any torrents nor host any content beyond the index. If they are shut down, people will use a different way to find torrents.

     

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  18.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    Not that I fully disagree but...

    Some sites have been DCed.

    aXXo is big on torrenting a lot of movies for years. Having his site taken down is kinda big...

     

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  19.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Re: I cant resist

    If a tree falls in the woods....
    .... Will a beAAr crap on it?

     

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  20.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "OK, explain this to me, please. If they take down the small sites - i.e. those with little to no traffic - then the rate of "piracy" doesn't go down as a result. If shutting down numerous torrent sites has no effect, how does that prove that bigger sites should get the same treatment?"

    Its a perception thing. They can say this has been going on for a long time in other nations, we just need these rules in the nation of www.thisCountry.com to stop piracy. Its like the 301 report. Its a lead up to a strategic thrust.

    The things it promotes are COICA and ACTA. Pure and simple its advertising aimed at the politicians and justification for what they are doing. It allows them to throw out statistics to say they are right, and ignore the fact that they are suffering from competition and poor business apptitude.

     

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  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "You get enough of them, the takedowns become almost automatic."

    Agreed. Read up threaded, or down flat.

    Personally I think the move is brilliant. If you are trying to cause a backlash.

    We have a society that is getting more and more connected. 2 billion of us. All talking, all finding what interests us, all finding what we want to rebell against. The governments of the world are going the other way. As much as they pay "open government" lip service, they are going down the route of less talking, less openness, more control from above led by the all mighty dollar.

    I see this as a step towards copyright reform. People will get hurt along the way. But change is coming.

     

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  22.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The things it promotes are COICA and ACTA. Pure and simple its advertising aimed at the politicians and justification for what they are doing.

    I can see this backfiring on them though. If they have been so successful in shutting down hundreds of (albeit insignificant) sites without these laws, why are they necessary? They're already successfully shutting them down.

    Of course their rebuttal is that the process takes too long, but hey, so does carrying out a death penalty...

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    all raping and pillaging all the content you can get your grubby hands on. Literally, it's a feast of gold goose, everyone is snacking with no consideration for how to do things tomorrow.

    You would have a point if people stopped watching Hollywood movies, stopped buying (completely) label music, and stopped watching network TV. But deep down, that is exactly the content everyone wants. When there is no longer a way to pay for it, it will no longer be there.

    RIP golden geese.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    It can't be! These aren't significant sites! That must be a lie! /sarc

     

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  25.  
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    Eugene (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, their rebuttal will be "We're doing aaaaall this work, and yet piracy isn't going down! Clearly, we need these tougher (not-laws)!" :v

     

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  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    aXXo is big on torrenting a lot of movies for years. Having his site taken down is kinda big...


    Note that the site was just asked to move to a different server, and is doing that. Not really a takedown...

     

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  27.  
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    Eugene (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't treat the economy like it's a fragile little flower that needs cared for. Content can and will survive monetary disinterest. And I would hardly dare to argue that the current environment reflects *True* monetary disinterest anyway.

    Just watch. The second global entertainment income drops a *TICK*, you'll see an upsurge in investment from consumers. People will only care as much as they have to. Trying to force it is both pointless and unnecessary. The system rights itself.

     

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  28.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    "just asked to move to a different server"

    I was going to point out DRG's predicament, but I suppose you do have a point. That said, you do have to give kudos to their web host for treating them like the paying customers the are/were by discussing the issue with their admins.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    When leaseweb is giving you the boot, you know you are in trouble.

    More than anything, this shows that there are fewer and fewer hosts that are willing to take the risk. Leaseweb knows that hosts have gotten into trouble for this sort of thing before, and are declining to put themselves in that position. If enough hosts take the same stand, the pirate bay bunker may be the only place left for these guys. Easier to play whack a mole when the moles only have one hole to come out of.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re:

    I respect you but you are wrong here.

    The industry is preparing the terrain for the grand assault latter.

    It doesn't matter if those sites have traffic or not, what does matter is the case law that they are building in stealth mode to go after the big names, laws abused today didn't start big they morphed into what they are today, copyright didn't last half a century it became that after a while.

    Those little takedowns enforce the notion that it is legitimate to do so. Case in point look at the seizure of the domain names, it was not done to big names that could fight back it was done to the little guys who had no way of defending themselves and stabilished a disputed for now legitimacy to the whole process.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re:

    Think of it as planting the seed for future growth in scope.

    You start doing things little by little to understand what can be done and when you are prepared you go after the big prize.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    Hmmm...not really people can create their own anonymous encrypted web forums today, will someone outlaw IM apps?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    RIP Golden Geese.

    Indeed. But the Golden geese in this case is not culture. It's manufactured crap.

     

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  34.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Not that I fully disagree but...

    You know the adage about being cornered?

    Sounds like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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