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Loki Torrent Interview

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:32 pm

In mid December 2004, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) bagan implementing it world wide campaign against BitTorrent and eDonkey2000 indexing sites. Most of the key sites such as Youceff Torrents, BuckTv, ShareConnector, Phoenix Torrents and SuprNova.org were eliminated. However, one site defied the MPAA and decided to stay and fight. The name of this site is LokiTorrent.com

In order to finance this potentially emence operation, LokiTorrent.com established a donation drive. The results so far have been impressive. In less than one month LokiTorrent was able to raise in excess of $30,000. Many considered LokiTorrent the hero of the BitTorrent community for not folding like a cheap suitcase. However the pedistle LokiTorrent was placed on would soon be rocked.

Early this morning, news began circulating that LokiTorrent.com was up for auction on <a href=http://www.sedo.com/search/details.php4?domain=lokitorrent.com&language=us target="_blank">Sedo.com</a>. Frantic, many individuals began flooding P2P forums expressing concerns that LokiTorrent.com had sold out. Although on the surfact these concerns appeared to have merit, level-headedness won the day as a more reasonable explination took shape. To get to the crux of the situation, Slyck spoke with Lowkee, owner and administrator of LokiTorrent.com.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> What is the total donation amount for Loki Torrent thus far?

<b>Lowkee:</b> $41,000

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Have you acquisitioned a lawyer, and have your legal proceedings begun? If not, when?

<b>Lowkee:</b> Yes, we have the same lawyer as representing Shoutcast in the Grokster case. Expensive as hell, but the best.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Are you looking for an outright victory over the MPAA, or would you consider settling with them if so offered? What are your personal consequences if you lose?

<b>Lowkee:</b> I am mainly looking to keep the site open and keep them out of my wallet. If they win outright I, personally, am looking at being out quite a few hundred thousand dollars (not that it will ever be awarded, as the site has barely made me a buck).

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Sedo.com is advertising the sale of LokiTorrent.com, which you are owner of. What was your motivation for this?

<b>Lowkee:</b> To find out the value of it, plain and simple. I'm not looking to sell the domain name, but since all of this happened, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. In selling the domain name, I wouldn't have to give away the source code and simply move the site to my torrentstop.com address.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> On Sedo.com, the description of your site states "Complete source code of http://www.lokitorrent.com and forums.lokitorrent.com....Completely automated opt-in mailing list (daily mailings). Benefits of this site: Fully automated web resource site. Zero maintenance required.... Extremely loyal user base. Mailing lists are completely opt-in, no forced mailings. All e-emails are confirmation link verified (no bogus addresses). Membership grows by 3,000 registrations DAILY."

By this description, the new owner would also inherit everything related associated with the domain. On your most recent homepage news section you reverse this statement:

"If some guy offers me $75K for the domain name, he's more than welcome to it, and I'll simply move the site to a different domain. Selling the entire site will never happen. I have way too much of myself in this site to sell it for any price (well, 2 million could get me to part with it, lol.. but
let's live in reality)."

Please explain this discrepancy and tell us which one is accurate.

<b>Lowkee:</b> In finding out what a website is worth, all of the site info is needed. If I wanted to know what the domain name was worth, all of that wouldn't be required. Domain names are easy to value, a year of coding isn't quite as simple. If someone offers $20,000 then I'll know it's worth at least that.
If I never get an offer, then I know that releasing my source code to the public might be a worthwhile thing to do. Without posting it for sale, I'll never know.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Prior to listing LokiTorrent.com on Sedo.com, did you consider making this venture very public? If not, why?

<b>Lowkee:</b> I never considered anyone caring that it's listed, honestly, as I never intended on actually telling the site. A bit naive on my part? Possibly. As for making it very public, I wrote every line of code for this site, and I consider it my 1st and (so far) best creation. Parting with it is not something I would do without a court order.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Give us the low down. Is LokiTorrent.com for sale, and will you pull the ad from Sedo.com?

<b>Lowkee:</b> No, I don't plan on pulling the ad for two reasons. One, I love the web stats they provide potential sellers and pulling it won't help me value the site.

<b>Slyck.com:</b> Can you give us any idea how long the lawsuit will last (providing you have already acquired council.) What are the prospects for victory?

<b>Lowkee:</b> The lawsuit will likely last up to a year or more if the MPAA does not withdraw the suit. Prospects of quashing the MPAA suit will be quite good as long as the Grokster ruling is upheld in the Supreme Court.

Slyck would like to thank Lowkee for take the time out of his very busy schedule and participating in this interivew.
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Postby nms04 » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:00 pm

nice interview tom! seems like i'm the first one reading it hehe *yuppie*
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Postby SlyckChuck » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:11 pm

Excellent job Tom. For Lowkee to be as candid as he was is a credit to his site. Being as genuine as he answered the questions gives people including myself more respect to him and shows clearly he is not out for making a buck, but to innovate technology. 8)
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Postby Allied » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:14 pm

Loki's got half a million members yet didn't stop to think that someone may see the for sale sign? :?

If I had a site like that, I'd be interested in the price too. And maybe this has something to do witht he legal proiblems, appraisal of the site could be a factor in the defense and/or prosecution.
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Postby DaBlade » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:23 pm

Tom, we all know the MPAA didn't close SN. The little elephant just wanted more $$$.
Great interview. I noticed no spelling errors. Nice job. :mrgreen:
I support loki, but this smells a little fishy...
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Postby Psycho Ced » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:22 pm

Great interview Tom, As always keeping au up to date. I can respect what the guy is doing. Who cares where he runs his site as long as he puts the donations to proper use unless you really like "LokiTorrent.com".
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Postby takeda » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:30 pm

What if MPAA decides to buy it out? ;)
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Postby Allied » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:33 pm

Theres a thought..
Napster sold out and started selling mp3's. Then itunes showed up.

Maybe in a few years we'll be able to chopose between buying movies on VHS, DVD and download.
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Postby DaBlade » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:40 pm

Allied, I'm pretty sure that's gonna happen. And probably "Delievered by your good next door neighbour, Microsoft Corporation®©™" :x :evil:
I'm not EVER gonna fall for shit like that. I'd rather watch regular TV than pay for P2P.
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Is It A Matter of Price or Loyalty?

Postby Overnet User » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:40 pm

Suppose LokiTorrent.com is forced off of the www, if that is so, then if he actually did sell the site then would other people that have the same domain be allowed to carry on the tradition with the source code? Something doesn't smell right here. He says that he will give all then he says that he will not but just give the domain. Since most of us here in the community seem to be educated, we will all know what happened and won't go to the site or domain anymore and will go to the new "lokitorrent.com" such as the other domain that he specified.

(Lowkee: To find out the value of it, plain and simple. I'm not looking to sell the domain name, but since all of this happened, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. In selling the domain name, I wouldn't have to give away the source code and simply move the site to my torrentstop.com address.

He needs to be clear here because if someone would purchase the site then come to a haven, it would get things going again for the community and maybe save some money as far as legal fees. I don't think that he really needs to sell the site though but just price it for demonstrational purposes. (an admirable thing)
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Postby tm, » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:58 pm

The For-sale ad states:
____________________________________________________________
DESCRIPTION:
Complete working peer-to-peer website. Includes: 680,000 registered *active* (within 6 months) members
...
------------------------------------------------------------

That clearly establishes that the membership list is included in the sale, a point that was noted in the original news post but mention of which was not a major point of discussion in this interview.

What everyone would like cleared up is if the userlist is really in fact part of the sale, as clearly and unambiguously stated in the ad - and if not, why the ad's text will not be changed to reflect this.

Lowkee really needs to take down that ad. It is either a fraud to potential buyers or a betrayal of loyal site members. We are assured that it is the lesser of the two evils. Small comfort.
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Postby eclectica » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:23 pm

wake the fuck up people.
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Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:58 pm

If that shit gets turned over to the wrong people it will be very bad. B,A,D!
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Postby tm, » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:32 pm

If the MPAA were smart, they might want to consider setting up a front company to buy the LokiTorrent site - offer maybe $10,000 or so to buy it, and then once they have the database, look up the IP addresses - which all forums save - of all the major releasers. Then sue all those people who live in the USA, as well as LokiTorrent's owner. Also turn the names over to the FBI for criminal investigation. The 10K or so that they bought the site for would be money well spent, a pittance compared to legal fees.

Of course, this sort of thing will probably not happen. RIAA would have been smart to accept Napster's $1 billion offer, but they don't think that way, it seems.

eclectica wrote:wake the fuck up people.

too busy gulping down the Kool-Aid? :P
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Postby oreoleo » Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:46 pm

tm wrote:If the MPAA were smart, they might want to consider setting up a front company to buy the LokiTorrent site - offer maybe $10,000 or so to buy it, and then once they have the database, look up the IP addresses - which all forums save - of all the major releasers. Then sue all those people who live in the USA, as well as LokiTorrent's owner. Also turn the names over to the FBI for criminal investigation. The 10K or so that they bought the site for would be money well spent, a pittance compared to legal fees.

Of course, this sort of thing will probably not happen. RIAA would have been smart to accept Napster's $1 billion offer, but they don't think that way, it seems.
Did you even read tghe interview, he said he's npt gonna sell his site, just the domain.
eclectica wrote:wake the fuck up people.

too busy gulping down the Kool-Aid? :P
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Postby CompAndJunk » Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:59 pm

I am the administrator of ComputersAndJunk.com, I just happened accross the ad for lokitorrent as I was looking for a new domain, just so happens I was the first one to either see it or relize the severity of it which is why I felt compelled to post it on my site.

I just want to say that I like and use loki and would hate to see it shut down.

I also wouldn't want my email and user details to fall into the wrong hands...

I believe Lowkee when he says that he was only testing the waters, hell if I were him the site would have been sold a long time ago.

What set me on edge was the fact that in the listing he explicitly stated the fact that the userlists, along with the email addresses, were part of the sale. The fact that it could be purchased by the MPAA or RIAA, as bad as that sounds, is not the only story here...

What bothers me, and I never really thought about it until this time, is the fact that my email address, which to this point has been unknown to spammers, could be sold to spammers through the sale of a website. This can happen with ANY site, heck I had to register to post here..

I have always respected that Loki never sent me a single email that wasn't part of the sign up process. That shows that they had some measure of respect for private email, which I use for sites I trust. But what about the person or company that buys it, will they bombard me with ads for Viagra?

I know one thing for sure, I am going to have to set up a few more throwaway email addresses.
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Postby tm, » Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:51 pm

I think I was 'misquoted' above.
oreoleo wrote:Did you even read tghe interview, he said he's npt gonna sell his site, just the domain.

And did you even read the for-sale listing?
When there is a stark contradiction between what someone says and does, then observant people are bound to remain suspicious.

The issue of trust is what's at stake here, since anyone asking for donations certainly needs to be trusted. To be caught secretly putting the entire website (complete with membership list) up for sale while at the same time desperately requesting donations - this is, at an absolute minimum, a very dumb move. Lowkee brought this on himself by not displaying the courtesy to ask members for permission to list the site. The situation could have been explained and persuaded then - now after the bomb's been dropped its too late for anything but damage control.

It is the membership that gives a popular website its primary value, often much more than the webpage coding. And there exists an unwritten covenant between the site owner and the members: members contribute their time and bandwidth to build up the site and forum, and expect in return a reasonable level of openness and commitment from the owner. Although every site owner has every legal right to sell the site out from under its members, the mere hint of this is likely to cause many of the most dedicated members to immediately close their wallets and head for the nearest exit.
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Postby Nick7 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:27 am

Another fishy thing is - when i posted on lokitorrent forum same thing about selling e-mail info aswell... my post miracously disappeared - and that got me wondering even more:
is there an actual lawsuit against loki, or was it all just a way to get quick buck from donations, and when they stopped arriving that fast, time to sell domain, users, e-mails.. everything - just for quick buck, and settle down?

God, I hope I'm wrong.. but this is just way too fishy...

PS: It wouldn't be 1st time someone sold out torrent community.. look at one of 'greatest' persons - Sloncek ....
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Postby Fartacus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:26 am

I agree that the sale of the database at lokitorrent could cause a lot of people a lot of trouble, particularly if this ends up in the MPAAs hands. I have a suggestion for the future which I hope you guys will appreciate and use. Go to http://www.trashmail.net and sign up for a one-time redirection "trash" email address. Basically when u sign up for something, open another window, create a bogus email @trashmail.net (process takes about 2 seconds) and the first email sent to that bogus address will be forwarded to you, after which the temp address is done with. Perfect for activating an account without leaving any personal info, valid email, etc. Hope u like it.
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Postby Anonymous » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:02 am

I don't know this guy. This story is an exact replica of how con men work.

"Hello. My mother is dying. Can you donate for her operation?"

"Oh my. Of course, here is $10"

The next time you hear about the person?

"Mr So and So was arrested in the Bahamas for fraud. He was stopped driving a brand new ferrari on his way back to the 5 star hotel he was staying at. Police have also confiscated numerous artworks from the 1/2 million dollar home that Mr So and So purchased in London"

They just arrested a guy in the last year or so for doing exactly this. He said he had cancer and borrowed money, even from his own family. Then he went traveling and gambling.

Maybe it is because I am poor. If people gave me 41,000 in the bank? I would disappear and go on vacation. 41,0000 is a lot of money. I could live for a year or two, simply of course, but pay all my bills for 2 years with $41,000.
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Postby red duck » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:40 am

Maybe it is because I am poor. If people gave me 41,000 in the bank? I would disappear and go on vacation. 41,0000 is a lot of money. I could live for a year or two, simply of course, but pay all my bills for 2 years with $41,000.


with 20k$/year you ca live a lil better than simply. if you are spending 20k/year than belive meyou are not poor.
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Postby xxxsidxxx » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:55 am

man, some people like to fantasize tooooo much!!!!!!!!

first of all, he is not selling it...ok...

its listed as the WHOLE site, because he wants to see what its worth...nothing more than that...

he is not going to sell it...the mpaa is not going to buy it, the green aliens are not going to split the database and fart on it...george bush is not gong to marry it...and the green baboon up yer butt is not going to get out...

end of story...

oh, nice article :)...
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Postby jquillen » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:17 pm

Maybe I am the victem of a con, maybe not. But I send the guy 10 bucks a month for a good service and every month the site stays up, I get my money's worth.

It is the same as the donations I make to Easytree and other sites which give me a good service.
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Postby Drake » Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:04 pm

If the RIAA or MPAA obtain a list of emails of all the LokiTorrent users it wouldn't really matter. Simply signing up to a torrent site isn't illegal. However, if the LokiTorrent database maintains detailed information about what each user has downloaded and how much they have downloaded/uploaded, that's entirely different.

However, unlike several other Torrent sites that require users to register in order to download torrents, it doesn't appear that LokiTorrent records information about what a user downloads or how much they've downloaded/uploaded. It seems as if the user account's only function is to allow access to the torrents.

If this is the case, then the worst thing that can happen is that lowkee sells the email list to a spammer. They might get bombarded with ads that will promise you a larger penis or free ipods, but they won't have to worry about an anti p2p company going after them.

I'd still like to give lowkee the benefit of the doubt and believe that he wouldn't actually sell the email list and Website.
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Postby jsac » Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:13 am

ive never even been to the site b4, but ive been watchin the news on whats goin down with it... seems rather simple to me. Why would he want to know what the site is worth? simple question, simple answer. I wouldnt advertise my house for sale to know what its worth. :roll: Maybe hes tellin the truth who knows... its pure speculation. but if u cant smell the stink u need to get ur nose looked at fer sure.
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