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ShareConnector to Return December 14
December 5, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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After any bout with the entertainment industry's powerful legal arm, most P2P developers unfortunate enough to fall under their wrath settle and are rarely heard from again. This has been the case for LokiTorrents, BearShare, MetaMachine, and the list goes on. There appears to be a rare exception - ShareConnector - who is poised to make a comeback on December 14, 2006; exactly two years after they were forced offline.

ShareConnector was a casualty of a mass eDonkey2000 indexing extinction that followed the downfall of the legendary ShareReactor. Once ShareReactor fell, several smaller sites like ShareConnector were quick to fill the power vacuum. Although most indexing sites benefited from ShareReactor, ShareConnector took in the lion's share of refugees. Based in the Netherlands, it was considered relatively safe from the other hostile regions of the globe.

For a while it appeared ShareConnector would soon become the standard in eDonkey2000 indexing. It’s growing userbase provided just about anything the eDoneky2000 faithful could want. However BREIN, the Dutch copyright authority, was slowly building a case against the indexer. In August of 2004, the honeymoon was coming to an end fast and ShareConnector's days were numbered.

Tim Kuik, managing director of BREIN, informed Slyck.com that ShareConnector was issued a cease and desist order earlier this year. The order demanded the cessation of all alleged copyright infringement.

"The creators of this site did indeed get an injunction from us", says Tim Kuik, managing director of Brein. "We also already spoke to someone from ShareConnector."

Although issued the order, ShareConnector remained defiant. Believing that simply indexing files existing on an external network did not equate to copyright infringement, the site remained online.

Yet on December 14, 2004, a raid was conducted against the eDonkey2000 indexing sites ShareConnector and Releases4U. At the behest of Brein, the FIOD-ECD (Dutch tax and economic crimes police) seized four ShareConnector and Releases4U servers. In addition, one person was arrested.

"Our patience was up, after which we went to the authorities", says Tim Kuik, director of Brein. According to him this is the first in a series of moves against "services that play an essential role in the exchange of illegal files."

The administrator of ShareConnector went on the public relations offensive, reasserting the legality of hash links. The method these sites index content is a hotly contested legal issue. Because there is no actual copyrighted material on eDonkey2000 or BitTorrent indexing servers, administrators of these sites feel the legal arm of the entertainment industry is simply trying to bully their way into forcing compliance. Instead, indexing sites, like a card catalog in a library, only direct the user to his or her desired content.

“If eDonkey links were illegal by law, we would never have started a site like ShareConnector," the administrator and owner of ShareConnector told Slyck.com. "Even there's nothing illegal about it they still cowardly managed to confiscate our servers and property. They are even accusing us of false charges, which conclude there are illegal copies of movies on our servers. That's why we'll fight for our rights against injustice to the bitter end!”

Almost two years later, the legal issue of ShareConnector or hash linking has yet to be resolved in the Netherlands. The closest either side got to any type of closure was in June of 2006, when ShareConnector’s day in court finally arrived. However the court found the quality of evidence against ShareConnector questionable, and delayed the trial until early 2007.

"The trial ended not how I expected and hoped to go," the owner of ShareConnector told Slyck.com. "Because of this the whole issue about eDonkey links and the role of ShareConnector wasn't the subject of discussion, instead only the fact that the investigation wasn't right and the possible collaboration between BREIN and justice was in question."

It appears the ShareConnector leadership isn’t looking to wait that long. To mark the two year anniversary of their forced departure, ShareConnector has announced a return date of December 14, 2006.

“As promised, we are proud to announce that after 2 years of ShareConnector being offline, we are to re-open it again as of the 14th December 2006,” a ShareConnector press release read. “We think this date is highly appropriate, for it is 2 years to that day since it's been offline.”

“Most of the ShareConnector admins, moderators and authenticators, including the owner of ShareConnector, will be there to welcome you all back. We were unable to recover the complete forums database, so there will be posts missing. Both the main page and forums layout will however look just like ShareConnector should. There will be plenty to look forward to in the forums and on the main page.

“It's been a long journey fighting through thick and thin, at long last we are triumphant in making our way home. As dedicated as we are, it never came to our minds to give up and let the community down, ever!”

It’s a rare event that a once disposed file-sharing site returns with most of its hierarchy intact. ShareConnector appears to be a rare exception in many things; whether this attribute extends to its longevity remains to be seen.


This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
eDonkey2000 :: ed2k Indexing Sites
eDonkey2000 :: ed2k Community

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