Newzbin's journey has been an up and down battle, but there's no doubt that more often than not, this venerable indexing site has been able to pull off the impossible. Back in April of this year, the most popular, and perhaps best, Usenet indexing/search engine site was pulled offline after the original owners were found liable for copyright infringement, and also because of financial turmoil.
There was some expectation that Newzbin would remain online, since the ruling was only specific to NZB files that pointed to Hollywood content. But it's not cheap to run such a large website, and their large debt began to catch up with them. The following justification was linked on the Newzbin website following April's closure.
"Apparently Newzbin has been put into administration yesterday because it couldnâ€™t pay its debts. Word is that they owe the MPA Â£230,000 just in interim costs, and thatâ€™s without a full costs ruling or a decision on damages. Apparently they also owe a software development house over Â£500k. They also stopped taking payments a few weeks back. Fucking ouch."
Then Newzbin was no more. But then something strange happened - the source code mysteriously leaked into the wild. And predictably enough, on June 2nd Newzbin returned under new leadership called Team R Dogs. According to the new administrators (Mr. White, Mr. Black, and others) they were dealing with older code and sorting through it was like trying to understand a new language.
Slowly and surely enough progress was made - such as restoring the credit system and the watch dog feature. Restoring the site to its former glory came one step to reality over the weekend as retention growth has been restored. One of the biggest problems for Newzbin has been retention - it was limited to 270 days. Considering that many news servers have 600+ days, and its competition NZBMatrix is at 850 days, this hampered Newzbin's ability to keep up (compare NZBMatrix to Newzbin in Alexa). Yet this new announcement should go a long way in arresting that trend.
"Mr Black has finished hacking on our system and as a result we currently have gone from 240 days to 370 days retention. Note that site text and documentation still refers to 240 days but be assured we are at 370 days.
"The system is configured so that we will increase retention by one every day: 370 days is only the start. We are stoked that in a year we will be at over 700 days retention! (Note: you will need retention set to 'MAX' in your preferences)"
With restored retention and most of its featured back online, we expect that Newzbin should be able to return to its prominence. Many users never left the site to begin with, so it already has the internal strength to pull itself together. 370 days may not be 600+, but considering most content is reposted within a short period of time anyway, the shortcoming should gradually decline well before a year's time.