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PirateBay, MiniNova Refute TargetPoint Rumors
July 10, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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Last week, reports recirculated that Empornium.us has been purchased by the online advertising company TargetPoint. While numerous articles purport that TargetPoint has purchased Empornium, evidence of this is virtually non-existent. Caught up in the rumor mill is ThePirateBay and MiniNova, two large BitTorrent indexing/tracking sites accused of selling a percentage of their ownership to TargetPoint.

On July 6, fans of the BitTorrent tracker/indexing site Empornium were greeted with a disturbing forum message. According to the forum post, Empornium was purchased by the Israeli advertising firm TargetPoint.

“A company, TargetPoint, has taken control of the site. They are charging new members to join, and it is thought by the general populace of the forum that they may, eventually, charge current members to retain their membership as well.”

The claim has erupted into a whirlwind of controversy that engulfed ThePirateBay.org and MiniNova.org. Reports circulated that TargetPoint also has a significant financial claim (37% ownership) of ThePirateBay.org and a “special relationship” with MiniNova.org. These reports were propagated by TorrentFreak and MegaNova articles.

It appears the allegations of TargetPoint’s interest in MegaNova, ThePirateBay, and MiniNova stem from a media broker named Daniel Oded. A representative of Random Media, Mr. Oded’s job is to mediate and help negotiate online sales. Mr. Oded is reported to be an employee of TargetPoint; however this is not the case. Mr. Oded provided free-lance assistance to TargetPoint approximately one year ago, for tenure of three months.

Mr. Oded flatly refuted the claim that he is in any way the new owner of Empornium. Additionally, he states his involvement has been exemplified to an inaccurate degree.

“I negotiated the deal between the owners of Empornium and the new owners, but I do not own the site.” Daniel Oded told Slyck.com.

Mr. Oded told Slyck.com that his mere negotiation of the sale has been interpreted as his own personal ownership. The identity of the new co-owners of Empornium is confidential, and Mr. Oded was not permitted to reveal this information to Slyck.com. Mr. Oded noted however, some members of the original ownership are still onboard. He emphasized the site was never intended to become a pay site; however financial difficulties stemming from escalating server costs and maintenance forced the change. The site will be free when registration is open, however when registration is closed a "donation" will be required to participate.

It should be noted that Daniel Oded's refutation is in response to ex-Empornium administrator and moderator's contention that he is indeed the new owner - a contention that is gathering steam in the ex-Empornium ranks.

Whoever the new owners are, TargetPoint also unilaterally denies any financial or ownership interest in not only Empornium, but any of the BitTorrent sites named in the controversy. TargetPoint was likely named as an owner because Daniel Oded at one point last year worked with the company as a freelancer for a period of three months.

“TargetPoint is an advertising network,” Ofer Eshed, the development manager of TargetPoint told Slyck.com. “We advertise with various sites most of them belong to the entertainment industry. TargetPoint does not own any commercial sites. For that matter, we do not own any of the following sites: Empornium.us, Puretna.com, ImageFap.com, ThePirateBay.org and MiniNova.org.”

TargetPoint also confirmed that Mr. Oded provided free-lance assistance approximately one year ago.

ThePirateBay, in its typical jockeying manner, found humor in the situation.

“Well, that was just funny as hell to read,” PirateBay representative “brokep” told Slyck.com in reference to the MegaNova blog.

“TargetPoint does not own any part at all of ThePirateBay,” Brokep continued. “ThePirateBay is owned by three individuals and that's it. We used to work with TargetPoint before, currently we do not. We might in the future again, I don't know. That's all when it comes to our relationship with TargetPoint.”

MiniNova.org’s administrator also was perplexed by the situation.

“I read the blog post, but I can only say this is the biggest bunch of lies I've ever seen in a single blog post. Mininova is not owned by TargetPoint, and we do not "steal" from Meganova in any way.”

Whoever is buying Empornium, it’s not TargetPoint, and they don't appear to have any ownership claim to ThePirateBay, MiniNova, or anyone else for that matter. Misinformation has its way of truly stirring the Internet, in ways that elevates personal rhetoric into the vernacular.


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

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