If there's one thing to take away from the Demonoid disaster, it's that the pro-copyright groups have learned their lesson, and fast. No, the lesson isn't that taking down a site will only lead to people moving to the next one and will have no effect on piracy, the lesson they learned, much like with SOPA, is that too much publicity and transparency is a bad thing.Take MegaUpload. The MPAA and the RIAA must have been giddy with excitement when the site was taken down and its employees arrested and they wanted to tell the world about it. Within hours the raid and arrests had been heavily publicized.
They probably believed it would serve as a harsh lesson to sites like MegaUpload. They also probably believed that they had the perfect victim to demonize, the flamboyant, arrogant, eccentric, annoyingly and exceedingly rich Kim Dotcom, the easiest target ever.
It wasn't to be, Dotcom's public image went from crass millionaire who takes photos with expensive cars, expensive jets and even more expensive models, to freedom of speech supporter and martyr in the misguided war waged by the big, bad media corporations.
It couldn't have gone any worse for the MPAA and RIAA if this had been a Hollywood script.
So, six months later, lesson learned, the pro-copyright groups took a much more low-key approach to taking down Demonoid. First, the site was brought to its knees by a DDoS attack.
DDoS attacks are quite common in the shady world of file sharing, Demonoid had been targeted before, so no one batted an eye and few people suspected that this was anything more than a temporary problem. Never mind that DDoS attacks are illegal in most civilized countries.
Then, while the site was down, hackers got access to it and got a hold of any information they wanted. Of course, hacking too is illegal in most civilized and uncivilized countries.
Only then did the police raid the hosting company where all of the Demonoid data was being kept. All of this happened within the span of a few days, a most striking coincidence.
Even after the raid took place, no one would confirm that it happened. Several days later, IFPI, an international recording industry group, finally took credit for it and confirmed that the site had been targeted by the Interpol. Even then, IFPI only issued a press release on its site and otherwise remained quiet.
It worked too, outside of a few sites and blogs which cover the file-sharing, copyright infringement space regularly, notably TorrentFreak as always, few reported on the raid and arrests, not even in the tech press.
Even now, there are little details about who was behind the site, what happened to them and so on. That's the exact opposite of MegaUpload and probably just like copyright-dependent industries wanted it.