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Loki’s Map Leads MPAA on Road to Nowhere
February 12, 2005
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“By Court Order [Edward Webber, former LokiTorrent owner] must provide the MPAA with access to and copies of all logs and server data related to his illegal BitTorrent activities, which will provide a roadmap to others who have used LokiTorrent to engage in illegal activities.”

The MPAA’s press release is chilling. Not only has the money donated to the legal defence fund disappeared into a black hole, but all former registered users of LokiTorrent are placed at risk of future lawsuits.

However, registered users will be relieved to hear that very little, if any, useful information will end up in the hands of the MPAA.

“They don't have anything, they have air,” an ex-torrent site owner told Slyck. He chose to remain anonymous. For arguments sake, we will call him Paul.

Paul also ran a Torrent site based on the same scripts and source used by LokiTorrent. They conferred regularly.

Referring to the website logs:

“Those access logs have no value it all. They only display whether you downloaded the .torrent file, not if you actually downloaded the content using that Torrent,” Paul explained to Slyck.

The Torrent file is merely a key; the MPAA can not prove that it was used in any locks.

Paul went on, “We both didn't log [seed and leech] information because first it would allow us to know too much about the people using the network and what they were sharing. 2nd it would require huge resources to keep track of all that. That's the tracker's job.”

At best, the information could be used in conjunction with other research to target “serial uploaders”. Much like the RIAA target those who share more than a set number of music tracks, the MPAA can now target those who have a history of trading Torrent files, although such a system would rely on static IP addresses.

But Paul does not believe that there will be enough information even for this.

“Logs files tend to grow at a rate of 1GB per day on this kind of site. Most site owners … either disable logging or purge the logs every few days. So there's little to no information for them,” he explained. “Perhaps Loki [Webber’s alias] even disabled his logging completely recently because of the large influx of new users.”

LokiTorrent did kept track of which Torrents each user had uploaded, but the information was stored in the database by username, rather than IP address.

The MPAA will find even less information in the logs for the trackers, which were also run by LokiTorrent. Unlike the website, the trackers do know who is uploading and downloading the actual files.

“Me and Loki both used XBTT as our tracker software. For a fact, XBTT is volatile, meaning that if you shut it down the active user list is immediately purged from memory and is NOT stored on disk,” Paul explained.

“The only thing they do know is who uploaded a torrent, but uploading and seeding is completely different. Even then, that information is only available for a few days [at most],” he concluded.

The MPAA would be able to gather more usage statistics and IP addresses by monitoring public trackers themselves. The announcement that they have acquired a roadmap to those behind file sharing appears to be nothing short of a scare tactic.

Paul also had a few words in defense of Webber, who has been accused of selling out those who donated to his legal defense fund, only to settle out of court.

“People should not think he ran with the money because he lost. Victory is not the only outcome of a costly lawsuit,” he said. “The gag order is the weirdest thing, it seems that it's purely there to prevent him from telling the truth.”

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

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