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.

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Companies: brein, mpaa

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

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34 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

PaulT (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

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 http://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.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

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.

DH's Love Child (profile) says:

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…

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Eugene (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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