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Suprnova.org - One Year Later
December 19, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Marking the one year anniversary of Suprnova.org's closure, Snarf-it.org has returned. After escaping the Netherlands due to the copyright enforcement pressures of Brein, Snarf-it.org has released a new version of its indexing site. Not to be outdone however, Suprnova.org's Sloncek, the former administrator of the massive indexing site, has issued an apparent "tell all" on the events surrounding December 19, 2004.

In late November of 2004, news regarding an effort to decentralize the vulnerable BitTorrent trackers was underway. The effort would become known as eXeem, spearheaded by a name synonymous with BitTorrent - Suprnova.org. The initial excitement surrounding eXeem was impressive. It would marry the decentralized supernode indexing concept with the efficiency of the BitTorrent distribution protocol. With the vulnerabilities of centralized trackers eliminated, it was thought BitTorrent would become invincible.

Unfortunately, eXeem did not live up to this promise. It was soon learned that eXeem would be shipped with Cydoor, a notorious piece of third party software. Although Cydoor had cleaned up its act considerably since its earlier days, the stigmatism associated with the adware product doomed eXeem before it was ever released. Torn apart by negative press, eXeem slowly disintegrated.

Paralleling the introduction of eXeem was the closure of Suprnova.org. For reasons described as personal, on December 19, 2004, Suprnova.org no longer listed torrent files.

"SuprNova.org was more like a hobby that took most of my free time away," Sloncek told Slyck.com. "Now with current situation, there’s too much pressure and I don’t have the time for it."

Twelve days later on December 30, 2004, eXeem was publicly introduced. With the closure of Suprnova.org and the introduction of the adware application eXeem, the combination simply proved too coincidental and Sloncek was publicly labeled many things, perhaps most notably a "sell-out." Many felt he simply gave up on Suprnova.org to make a quick buck with eXeem.

Sloncek remained quiet on the issue for the next year. Even when Suprnova.org was resurrected as a news and information site on September 14, 2005, virtually no mention was given to the events surrounding the demise of Suprnova.org. That is until now.

On the anniversary of Suprnova.org’s demise, Sloncek has finally articulated the events surrounding that day. According to Sloncek, in November of 2004, his ISP informed him the Suprnova.org server had been raided by the police. As news began to spread internationally, Sloncek decided to take Suprnova.org offline in December. A month later, the police then proceeded to raid his home, confiscating documents and two computers. Remarkably, Sloncek states that despite the massive effort against him, the prosecution dropped all charges and returned his computers on October 18, 2005.

While it’s refreshing to finally hear Sloncek's side of the story, three major issues remain. Primarily, it strikes many as odd that Sloncek would continue supporting eXeem, touted as “the next Suprnova”, if he was under serious copyright enforcement actions.

“I knew that being a PR for some international company that dealt with P2P will not be a problem, since I’m not the owner and its not in my country,” Sloncek told Slyck.com. “And at that time, the program seemed promising."

Another point of contention is his decision to continue working on a P2P project despite the turmoil. The mere suggestion of P2P is often directly associated with copyright infringement, which would appear to conflict with his legal situation.

“Why work with P2P again? I love P2P and I made sure that being just a PR (not the owner or developer or anything else), will not be considered illegal.”

Lastly, Sloncek cleared one last inconsistency. Although the Suprnova.org servers were raided in November, the site continued to function until December. How is such a feat possible? Directly after the raid, Sloncek purchased several servers in the Netherlands. This kept Suprnova.org operational until that fateful day in December.

Although the loss of Suprnova.org was a blow to the BitTorrent community, it was soon surpassed by the multitude of other indexing sites, most notably ThePirateBay.org.

A year later, answers for the curious are finally available. Running a high traffic BitTorrent site, one that was almost the very definition of BitTorrent, is no light burden. Considering the magnitude of the situation Sloncek faced, he did what was best for him. No on else from the BitTorrent community was going to help him, and he knew that. Whether he is telling the truth is irrelevant. His site gave millions the ability to share information on an unprecedented scale. To want any more from him would be, as Steve Jobs called the music industry, “greedy.”


This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Community

You can read Sloncek’s statement here.

You can discuss this article here - 32 replies

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