The largest BitTorrent indexer in the world, Mininova, decided to remove all torrents from the sites, except for those uploaded through its Content Distribution platform. The decision comes after a court decision which forced the site to remove all infringing torrents. In the face of legal consequences and with no practical way of determining which torrents were infringing and which weren't, the site made the move to remove all torrents except those from the verified uploaders.
“Unfortunately the court ruling leaves us no other option than to take our platform offline, except for the Content Distribution service. According to the verdict (Dutch link) we have to prevent uploads of torrents to Mininova that refer to certain titles or to similar-looking titles,” Mininova announced on its blog today.
“We’ve been testing some filtering systems the last couple of months, but we found that it’s neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100% working filter system. Therefore, we decided that the only option is to limit Mininova to Content Distribution torrents from now on. We are still considering an appeal at this moment,” the post also read.
This is a serious blow for BitTorrent users worldwide, but, as is usually the case, this will be only a temporary set back. There isn't exactly a shortage of torrent sites, even large ones, and the Pirate Bay is still up and running for the time being. Others will likely rise up to take its place as well, just like Mininova did when the infamous Supernova torrents site was shut down.
As you'd expect, the number of available torrents is a lot smaller as only the ones uploaded to the site through the Content Distribution service are still up. The service was designed for artists and companies to have an easy way to host and share content with a large number of users. Still, the site may allow users to upload torrents at some point, as Mininova is still contemplating an appeal of the decision that forced the closure. In late August, a Dutch court ordered the site to remove any infringing torrents or face a penalty of 1,000 Euros for every torrent linked with copyrighted material up to a maximum of 5 million Euros. Mininova tested several options, but in the end found that the only feasible solution was to take down all torrents.