This article is about the torrent site Demonoid. To be more specific peer to peer BitTorrent* tracker. I have been a huge fan of the site for the past few years ever since a friend of mine introduced me to it. Till then I used isoHunt mostly. But found back then that it was being heavily spammed. (It still is…) For instance only after downloading a movie would you realise that it’s 700 MB of junk. (This is hypothetical and does not imply that I downloaded a 700MB movie 😉 ) The worst part was that we had 3000 seeders* for that spam torrent and yet no one could make comments. That’s the worst part about open-to-all sites like isoHunt. Demonoid worked on a strict member to member share basis which meant that spam was hard to come by. And in case someone called a Theatre-print** a DVD-Rip***, other members could comment on the same to correct it so that further downloads could be avoided. It was almost like bliss. You could get almost anything that you wanted. I don’t think it would be a good idea for me personally to divulge into the details of what files I downloaded. To stay away form any trouble, I will just claim that all I ever downloaded was my friends birthday video to which he holds the copyrights anyway ;). The best part is, they(Demonoid) never asked anything in return for the membership. Just that the share ratio* be maintained above 1.0 .(Even that was not mandatory. Just decency you know) Which is the least you can do for fellow users anyway.
On and Off:
Demonoid has been in trouble for a while now. So it’s not entirely a surprise that the site is down for now atleast. It was initially hosted in Netherlands. That was till June this year when Dutch Copyright guys BREIN sued the host provider of Demonoid. So Demonoid was forced to move to another area. Considering it was moving under controversial circumstances already, it would not have been so welcome anywhere in the world. So they moved to Canada and in no time, CRIA – Canadian Recording Industry Association was telling them they weren’t so welcome after all. This was in September. They just blocked Canadian traffic intially. Then the CRIA threatened the hosts again and the site was down again sometime in November.
Why the site is down ?
While for end users, it was bliss, people who hold copyrights stand to lose a lot. For instance a movie maker would not sell enough original DVD’s if someone bought the DVD and uploaded it on to the net. Everyone else will download it. So the Movie Industry is a big loser. And since these guys are heavy-weights when it comes tomoney and power and they are being threatened, they chose to act.
Another major segment that loses out is the software industry. While the software is selling in the market for exhorbitant prices, here you could get pirated versions of the same with a crack. A crack means that the software would work just like the original. What probably pissed off heavy-weights like Microsoft is the fact that within a week of the Vista release, we had cracked versions of Vista available online. For how much ? Absolutely fricking free of cost!! (Except the bandwidth cost, which is mostly pretty low compared to the prices these guys want.) So we had Anti-virus software, games, photo-editing software…..everything you could think of.
Obviously somewhere down the line these guys thought, enough is enough!! Lets do something about this before we end up on the streets.
The implications of shutting down torrent trackers:
First things first. No more downloading whatever you want. If the trackers go down completely, then people will be devastated. If Demonoid trackers start going down, then even sites like isoHunt which is just a search engine on its own, can’t do much. Very soon Airtel and BSNL unlimited connections are going to come down. Yeah there’s still Rapidshare, but that’s actully pretty irritating unless you are a premium user, for which you have to pay money. Sucks!!
The second implication is that there is going to be a lot of socialising between friends. So you will see your friend coming over and offering you the Linkin Park album he downloaded, only to ask for something else in return 😀 . Not a bad thing actually. You will get to be good friends with people who have TBs of movies, music and software stashed away!!
*For terminology related to BitTorrent in case you are alien to the world of file sharing, look into Brian’s BitTorrent FAQ and Guide
**Theatre-print means the movie was shot in a theatre with a camera. More often thatn not it means bad clarity, poor sound quality and peoples silhouette on the screen.
***DVD-Rip means that the print is a compressed equivalent of the original movie released in the market.