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RetSpan Seeks to Have SuprNova Eliminated
November 9, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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SuprNova.org, the largest Torrent website on the Internet today, has been the hallmark of the BitTorrent network for well over two years. Few Torrent sites are comparable to the enormity of links SuprNova has to offer. While one may be quick to judge this site as a piracy haven, a closer examination of how the BitTorrent network operates is necessary.

First, it is important to note that SuprNova.org hosts no copyrighted files. There are no MP3s, DVD rips, warez, ISOs, xVids, DivXs, OGG Vorbis files or any other kind of muiltimedia available. SuprNova.org simply acts as a Torrent host that directs traffic to a tracker. A BitTorrent tracker directs users to the location of a specific file. Quite simply, it keeps track of all users that have downloaded a specific file, and relays that information to the client.

Despite this, RetSpan has decided to move forward with its complaint against SuprNova.org. RetSpan is an anti-piracy firm based in France. It is known for its flagship software "PeerFactor." PeerFactor is used by willing members of the P2P community that wish to trick their fellow peers for money. The program plants fake copies of popular files on various P2P networks. Unsuspecting individuals download the file thinking, for example, it is the latest Eminem album, while in reality it may only be a sample or nothing at all.

According the RetSpan’s press release, which has mysteriously disappeared from their website, the anti-piracy firm filed their complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center and with several local FBI offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Phoenix. In addition, several ISPs hosting SuprNova mirrors were also issued complaints. RetSpan judges the enormity of SuprNova.org as having nearly 80 pages served per day, however bases this information on the dubious “Alexa.com.”

While fans of SuprNova.org may be concerned regarding this news, and there are hordes of them, administrator "Sloncek" is not. Slyck was about to catch up with Sloncek to get his reaction RetSpan’s campaign to eliminate Suprnova.

Slyck.com: What is your reaction to RetSpan’s complaint against SuprNova.org?

Sloncek: We are aware that this organization is trying to shut us down, although I have no idea how are they connected with [the] Internet, since I have never really heard about it before now.

Slyck.com: What precautions are you taking?

Sloncek: None, because I am sure that I am not doing anything that would be breaching any laws.

Slyck.com: Have you heard from RetSpan, or have they tried to contact you in any way?

Sloncek: No, I just found out about it yesterday, when somebody sent me a translated article of what they said on their website.

Slyck.com: Considering the nature of the complaint, do you feel that the future of SuprNova is secure?

Sloncek: Since I am sure I am not doing anything wrong, I think that there shouldn’t be a reason to worry about it.

The legality of hosting links to copyrighted files remains unclear. Similarly, ShareReactor (an eDonkey2000 link site) was sucessfully shut down by Swiss authorities. Any legal conclusion to the ShareReactor situation remains unclear at this time. However given the similarities of the two sites, any conclusion set by one will surely establish a precedent for the other.


This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Interviews
Legal/Courtroom :: BitTorrent Lawsuits

You can read RetSpan's press release (translated) here.

You can discuss this article here - 41 replies
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