Torrentspy ordered to betray users (Updated)

Mikey 3 comments
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Torrentspy ordered to betray users (Updated)

A federal judge has ordered popular Bittorrent search engine Torrentspy to track visitor activity without consent. TorrentSpy's lawyer Ira Rothken says they have until June 12 to file for an appeal on the decision.

If denied, this could pave the way for other web sites to be forced to track user activity regardless of what is stated in their privacy policies. But Rothken says Torrentspy won't play along:

"It is likely that TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users"

This is apparently the first time a judge has ordered a defendant to capture user data with the intention of handing it over to the plaintiff.

Update: Torrentspy don't have any logs to hand over! Announcement on their web site.


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Sunday 10th June 2007 | 01:20 PM

Linking back to the Zamzar app, this shows the sheer power of the MAFIAA lobby groups in the US.

I do hope Torrentspy does as they say they may and deny US suers rather than cave in. The consistent win, win, win status that these lobby groups have in the US sets a terrible trend and any effort to slow them down is a good effort.

What's truly wrong about these sorts of cases is the judges often have no idea of the technology and simply listen to the lawyers of the MPAA. So we see cases were people are targeted for investigation for having huge amounts of bittorrent bandwidth go by, when the data transferred is legitimately free. Most Linux distros are released by torrent these days.

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Trevor H

Sunday 10th June 2007 | 03:26 PM

Bookmarks updated. Torrentractor is better anyway :-)

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Thursday 27th March 2008 | 04:29 PM

Sadly Torrentspy has decided to shut down the website rather than exclude U.S. users and hence the jurisdiction of U.S Federal Courts. I don't know if they based their decision on the national composition of their traffic or some kind of 'moral stand'. Either way it's not a good sign and possibly an indication of a pending assault by intellectual property advocates on the torrent system.

The increasing modernization of international IP regimes such as WIPO and TRIPS are likely to extend the power of western courts beyond the ability to restrain software facilitating copyright infringement (Napster, Kazaa, Limewire etc) and allocate liability to those running websites sharing torrents.

I don't like it, but the truth is that we all use P2P software and the torrent system to infringe copyright. Anyone who attempts to argue otherwise is kidding themselves and I personally allocate no shame to those who do (raises hand).

Privacy is a different issue and I am loathe to endorse any infringement on the beautiful anonymity of the internet. The only legal justification any court could push is that of public policy i.e. it is against the public interest to allow illegal activities t(i.e. copyright infringement) to continue with a metaphorical balaclava being extended to the perpetrators. Personally, I think they are fighting a losing battle with most savvy net users more than familiar with the use of proxies.

Hate to say it guys, but I foresee the end of liberal file-sharing of copyright material in the very near future. On that note, lets all get out there and waste our bandwidth limits while we still can!

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