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MiniNova Celebrates 4 Years Online
January 15, 2009
Thomas Mennecke
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MiniNova, arguable the best public BitTorrent search engine and perhaps the largest BitTorrent site, celebrates its 4th birthday today. It's been a rather smooth ride for MiniNova, who refrains from drama and keeps a rather low key appearance in the P2P world - especially compared to The Pirate Bay. But recently a few bumps have appeared on the road as potential legal problems with BREIN, the local Dutch copyright traffic cop, threaten to derail the success.

"It’s January 14, and that means we’re celebrating Mininova’s fourth birthday today!

"The past year was a very interesting year: we saw the number of Content Distribution users/producers grow to more than 1000. The total number of downloads nearly doubled this year and reached 7 billion last week. We’re now serving 10+ million (unique) downloads a day, and handling over 8 million daily search queries. Some more stats: in December we counted 44.7 million unique users who generated 683.7 million pageviews on Mininova."

Ok, so perhaps there is a bit drama with MiniNova. The good thing about being an overseas BitTorrent indexer is that you don’t have to worry about the MPAA – at least not too much. However, since MiniNova is based in the Netherlands, it’s accountable to the Dutch anti-piracy organization BREIN. According to MiniNova, both organizations have attempted to negotiate a reasonable agreement on copyright complaints, but this was unsuccessful. The sticking point of the negotiations was over filtering copyrighted material, something that MiniNova could not fulfill on the scale requested by BREIN.

“BREIN demands that we implement a filter on Mininova and take responsibility to prevent possible copyright infringements being taken place by our users. We discussed this matter with BREIN for a long time, but we couldn’t agree as their demands are both disproportionate and invalid.”

MiniNova won’t disappear any time soon. MiniNova has hired a rock solid legal defense, headed by Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm and VIta Zwaan. Before you think to yourself this will be just another fruitless legal defense of P2P technology, let’s think back to March 2002.

This is right about the time when the KaZaA was fast becoming one of the largest P2P clients. At that time, Buma/Sterma, the Dutch royalty collection agency, sued Kazaa for copyright infringement. While Buma/Sterma won an initial judgment in November 2001, KaZaA won an appeal to the Dutch Court of Appeals in March of 2002. The court found that while users of the software might engage in copyright infringement, KaZaA BV, represented by Mr. Thijm, was not responsible. With Mr. Thijm at the helm once again and in MiniNova's corner, it’s very possible that history may repeat itself.

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

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