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Rough Week for the BitTorrent Community - SceneTorrents Closes
November 29, 2009
Thomas Mennecke
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Every few years, the file-sharing community goes under a series of significant changes that truly alters the landscape. Two of the 3 major BitTorrent websites, The Pirate Bay and Mininova, have fundamentally changed the way they do business in the last two weeks. The Pirate Bay is no longer running the world's largest tracker, and Mininova is no longer indexing one of the largest collections of torrent files. And for good measure, the popular private BitTorrent site SceneTorrents is no longer online.

This is a familiar scene in the file-sharing world - when the established order is bulldozed in exchange for something new. Remember when Suprnova or ShareReactor fell? These were shocking events, but BitTorrent survived and gave us, among many others, The Pirate Bay and Minonova. With their roles significantly diminished from the glory days, there's a new file-sharing world ready to step in.

Sites like Supernova, Mininova, ShareReactor and The Pirate Bay represented the public face of file-sharing. The success and failure of these communities reflected the state of the P2P/BitTorrent/file-sharing world - if one fell, the entertainment industry would often clamor this as a great step forward and a victory in ongoing Internet copyright saga. But there is another community lurking in the shadows - so called private BitTorrent sites.

These sites aren't open to the public like Mininova or The Pirate Bay. They require an invite to join, and depending on the site, these invites are typically difficult to obtain. SceneTorrents was a private community that managed to gain 20,000 users, but yesterday shut its service down for good. A visit to SceneTorrents yields little more than a RIP graphic with the years of its existence: from August 25, 2005 to November 28, 2009.

According to FileShareFreak, this shutdown was the result of copyright enforcement against the owners. The following except appeared in an internal torrent named “The Final Notice”.

“However, due to pending legal issues, we are not at liberty to speak freely about why we’ve chosen to take down the site. Members of our staff were arrested and will be undergoing the entire length of the judicial process. Obviously, in the case of criminal proceedings, it would be downright foolish to comment any further on the situation;”

The loss of SceneTorrents seems to have hit the BitTorrent community much harder, at least from an emotional point of view, than the loss of Mininova or the transition of The Pirate Bay. This is often times the case with smaller, efficient, and tight knit communities. Such feelings of loss were also prominent when another private community – OiNK- went offline.

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