Another One Bites The Dust: BitTorrent Giant Mininova Forced To Go Legal

It calls itself “the ultimate BitTorrent source”, but P2P tracker Mininova has now removed almost all links to copyrighted content after complying with a cease-and-desist court ruling in August from Dutch entertainment rightsholder group Brein.

As the site’s staff write in a blog post, only content uploaded via the site’s legal P2P distribution service will be available, meaning Battletar Galactica episodes and Lady Gaga tracks have been replaced by more obscure music artists…

The ruling, from a court in Utrecht, claims that the site used to receive 3,500 new torrents a day and was regularly visited by five million daily users. But Friday’s most popular torrents page simply read: “0 torrents added today“. Mininova is considering appealing, but in a week when Swedish rightsholders claimed anti-piracy laws caused an 80 percent reduction in file-sharing, it’s “advantage: big content businesses”.

As in the Pirate Bay case in April, the ruling (Google translation here) said that, while Mininova had no control over what its users downloaded, it was encouraging them to upload and share copyrighted material and making copyright abuse possible.

The site says: “Unfortunately the court ruling leaves us no other option than to take our platform offline, except for the Content Distribution service,” adding that it had been working on a filtering system to remove unlawful files, but it was “neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100% working filter system.” The court ruling threatened Mininova with a fine of