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isoHunt, TorrentSpy Stand Strong
July 9, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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From a BitTorrent fan’s perspective, the news surrounding isoHunt and TorrentSpy hasn’t been tremendously favorable lately. Both sites are currently being sued by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), while TorrentSpy was ordered to hand over its user logs as evidence (however this order has been stayed pending appeal.) Additionally, both sites announced their partnership with, a copyright management firm initiated by TorrentSpy’s Justin Burnell.

For just about any other company, the last two months would have been considered a public relations nightmare. On May 29th, the judge presiding over the TorrentSpy vs. MPAA case ruled that visitor’s information stored on TorrentSpy’s server’s memory was subject to be submitted as evidence. The judge also ruled that TorrentSpy must begin logging visitor’s activity, including the individual’s IP address and likely the corresponding search request (pending appeal.)

In all likelihood, the majority of collected IP addresses and search requests wouldn’t be used against the end user. Rather, the information would be collected to help build the MPAA’s case against TorrentSpy. The MPAA’s case would appear much stronger if they went into court with records backing up their claim that TorrentSpy was overwhelmingly used as a method of infringement. This is hardly comes as solace to already paranoid users, many of whom are convinced the information will be used against them.

isoHunt and TorrentSpy fans received more troubling news in June, when news broke of their partnership with Although both sites have maintained a policy of acting on DMCA notices, is designed to automate the process. The copyright holder uses the tool to identify their copyrighted work, and to automatically remove such work when a user attempts to reupload the infringing torrent file.

News of this formulation garnered lambasting criticism, especially from The Pirate Bay’s spokesperson, “brokep.”

“So, the parts of the BT-community that I personally do not like (Isohunt for instance) are shooting themselves in the foot,” brokep’s post reads. “Trying to hide what they do, trying to be legit. Justin has started something he calls I see the business model in it, he tries to make money on sleeping with both sides. Ok, so first of all - Justin, you know this is not going to work. The way BT works makes this so easy to avoid. Maybe that’s what you’re expecting? Playing hide & seed maybe?”

How much of an impact has this supposedly devastating news had on TorrentSpy and isoHunt? Remember, we have a court decision (albeit stayed) that demands TorrentSpy begin spying on its users, the automation of the DMCA process from both sites, and a scathing insult from the hierarchy of The Pirate Bay. Surely traffic to both sites has tanked?

Not even close. In fact, the latest trend from suggests that traffic to both sites has actually accelerated in June – the very month which both sites faced some of its worst press coverage.'s best asset is its ability to gauge the trend of a site’s traffic over time - such as MiniNova's ascension to the top 100. Below is a comparison of isoHunt and TorrentSpy overall "reach" from the last three months. Reach indicates the percentage of Internet users visiting a site. The "rank" indicates its overall popularity (which in this circumstance closely follows reach.)

The reach and rank of each site has increased substantially in the month of June, despite the less than favorable publicity. In fact, both isoHunt and TorrentSpy are surpassing the peak of their popularity, as indicated by a more historic view of traffic.

While some have sworn off TorrentSpy and isoHunt because of June’s events, many more are instead streaming to the site in droves. Perhaps the threat of logging user activity and filtering copyrighted work isn’t enough to stem the growing tide of BitTorrent. One is only left to wonder, can anything deter traffic to a free BitTorrent site?

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

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