back to article 'World's largest' BitTorrent tracker Mininova kneecapped

Popular BitTorrent site Mininova has been forced to delist virtually all its trackers, after a legal defeat by a Dutch rights holder organisation. The move may signal the end for what billed itself as the world's largest BitTorrent site. Mininova was sued by BREIN, a coalition of Dutch publishing, music film and software …


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  1. Daar Istia

    Largest Tracker?

    AFAIK Mininova didn't host any trackers. Just links.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    le sigh

    and it was such a good site to find fansubs of older anime - but hey ho it's all still on xdcc.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Slowly they fall...

    Hmm. That cuts my list down a bit then. What with TPB potentially on the rocks every few weeks, I could be left with just isohunt. What happens when they've all gone? How will it work? There must be other ways...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother


      Precisely why bittorrent is stupid for this kind of filesharing.

      You should be using gnutella (although because all you tits now use bittorrent instead, it's now hard to find files on gnutella)

      If you all moved to gnutella (with encrypted connections) we'd all by happy

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem is...

    ... bittorrent sites are bit like a hydra - one goes down, many more will spring up to take its place.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Wonder what BREIN will do

    when their members notice no increase in revenue (or possibly even a fall - after all, filesharers actually buy more music)?

    Another victory for the Luddites.

  6. Matthew 17

    time to move on

    Do think they're fighting a losing battle trying to shut these sites down, takes 2 seconds for folk to latch onto a new one.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Ag Cloud Lining.....

    Mininova is then a Perfect Vehicle for Independent Pirate Private Media Networks InterNetworking SurReal Source ProgramMING.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    The end of centralised file-sharing?

    Enter decentralised file-sharing! :P

    The only way illegal file-sharing can be stopped is to make it easy to get legal content at decent prices. Those BREIN people don't have half a brain between them.

    No, I'm not pro file-sharing necessarily. I just think rights holders are too greedy and that is the first that needs to change, not the average joe's habits.

  9. Lee Cullen

    No way, fist suprnova, now mininova

    Am I going to have to start having an equal ratio in one of theose closed torrent groups, darn it. might have to increase to Sky MAX

  10. Joe Montana


    So mininova lose all their content, and soon all their users... The owners will just sell the name and add it to all the advertising revenue they've made while the site was up.

    Someone else will create a new torrent site, and noone will remember what mininova ever was.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    So the legal route works without DPI then?

    Surely this successful case against illegal filesharing, using the traditional judicial route, rather scuppers Lord Mandelson's argument that we need to use Deep Packet Inspection and administrative extra-judicial means to fight illegal filesharing? Time to kick that wrong headed idea that formed part of the Digital Britain plans, back into the long grass - no - let's suggest the compost heap instead - it's already rotten, so it will be gone in no time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only one thing for it...

    ... Make Google the first port of call for your Heroes, V and Stargate Universe torrents. Let's see em take them on :)

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ... Make Scroogle the first port of call

      There ya go, no tracking cookies, fixed it for you

  13. bexley

    They are still not getting it

    When will these people stop banging their heads against a brick wall.

    You cannot stop a distributed file sharing protocol by simply telling people to turn their trackers off.

    Come to think of it, the content tracked by these trackers *the copyrighted stuff" does not originate on these trackers.

    They come from the FTP scene. It's no secret, it's all in the nfo that comes with each torrent.

    Personally i am in favor of file sharing since it draws attention to the publics growing discontent with the media industry. But watching these fools chasing trackers like a cat chasing a mouse is just becoming an embarrassment and painful to watch.

    If i am to judge (insert name of sudo corporate anti piracy police force here)by their actions to date then it goes a long way to explaining their resistance to understand the marketplace and their commitment to a long dead business model

    Fools. I have no sympathy for them.

    1. James 63

      @bexley - Don't give them root access!

      bexley writes: If i am to judge (insert name of sudo corporate anti piracy police force here)...

      Do you mean "pseudo", or is this a corporate anti piracy police force with temporary root access? Which implies that normally the corporate anti piracy police force can only potter around in their own world and not make any lasting changes to the system. Actually, you're right.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    ...for a switch to magnet links?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have a clue?

    "delist virtually all its trackers" ...delist torrents.

    Mininova is the largest torrent index, not tracker.

  16. Doug Glass

    Another One Bites The Dust

    All you thieves listening??? The fat lady has stopped clearing her throat and has opened her mouth!! The days of stealing via torrents are numbered.

    1. Arctic fox

      When the fat lady actually sings

      I am sure that I will soon be able to download her album - gratis.

    2. mmiied

      I hate to mention it

      but I could give you a list of at least 10 other torrent tracker sites and that is before I even go to google and some of thouse where better for content than mininova was

      I rember hearing the idar that fat lady was singing on the end of file shareing over the internet when they shut down napsetr that worked well for them did it not?

    3. Daniel Garcia 2



      there is so many ways to circumvent that even closing the internet will not stop illegal file sharing.

      the fat woman sang long time ago, the melody was " quasi-free fast digital copy methods".

      important terms are: technology advance,artificial scarcity, high volume transfer, speed of light, popularity.

      and torrent technology is not even half developed yet.

      next step: headless context listing and VPN for the masses.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Ha ha ha!

      If only you realised how silly you sound.

      You can't stop the flow of data any more than you can turn back the tide.

    5. Anonymous Coward



      there are and will be many more ways

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear, they simply dont get it.

    You will NEVER stop people downloading copies of music and movies, what you CAN do is price media at a level that the majority of people are willing to pay.

    Flooding the market with 1000's of rubbish songs ever year will result in people downloading what they dont want to or cant afford to pay for, do they really expect tech savy teens to buy 100% of the rubbish they output ever year?

    As for Movies, I have a Platinum Odeon Card and spend more than I dare think about going to see films on the big screen, but I have bought ZERO New Bluray Movies, i prefer to buy them when they are less than £10 or more often rent 4 for £10 from my local blockbuster than blow £20 on a single BR that I will only watch a couple of times.

    Offer me DRM FREE Digital Movie downloads at

    £9.99 for 1080p

    £6.99 for 720p

    £4.99 for 480p (DVD Quality)

    Availiable as soon as the movie comes off the big screen!

    And you will find I will buy a shed load of movies every year rather than the few discounted box sets I feel are worth the money at the moment.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @Doug Glass and others who think this ends anything...

    Mininova was named after Supernova which was taken down a few years back around the time of the napster stuff... i am sure there is a clever domain suggestion tool that can suggest at least another 100 *something*nova based names to keep the fun going.

    As for the owners of Mininova making millions... (? do they i dont know)., but it puts them at odds with TPB as they always say they only cover costs, and several servers in several datacentres adds up to several hundred or thousand dollars/pounds/euros.

    Anyway, if they do, good luck to them! At least they are providing something people want rather than selling fake viagra or wanting my data for nefarious purposes.

  19. Greg 15

    A new model is needed

    I used to download divx's but gave up cause it is easier and gives me better quality DVD's from LoveFilm. I get to choose the movies I want to watch, when I want to watch them and I am not being raped for lots of £'s in the process. Funny thing is too they are successful as a business model and I'm sure they have the old paradigm of Blockbuster sh**ting brickbusters.

    If only the music industry got it into their heads that many more of us would pay for a subscription for every month of the year if it were say 1/4 the price of a new CD. It turns into a predicatable revenue stream and would have vastly more people paying up each month than the numbers of those who currently buy CD's. I don't want to f**k about turning it into something usable on my particular listening device. Apple and iTunes are close but the concept of "ownership" of a song needs to change to just having the ability to listen to it. I would love not to have to waste my time searching torrents and filling disks. The sooner they get the concept of "renting" the song as opposed to "buying" the song the better. All I would then need to do is refresh my playlist whenever I choose. Whats the point in keeping the download if I know I can just select again in the future. They would quadruple the amount of money they extract from me each year under such a model if it existed.

    The Digital Britain rubbish could even be a front end with access to all catalogues and distributing the royalties each month as per your playlists. It would be a win-win for everyone. Instead we are about to enrich another mob like Crapita or similar to choke off any motivation to innovate.

    1. RichyS

      Problem with rental

      I think the problem with the rental model for music, is that people consume music in a different way to video.

      I watch (and hopefully enjoy) the vast majority of films and television programmes once. Maybe twice. A very few I want to own and keep.

      Music, however, is different. We like to own music because we will listen to an album hundreds of times in it's lifetime. And that is why I like to own my music. I don't want to rent music, that's what the radio is for!

      And this is the view of the majority of people. That's why DVD rental is very popular, but CD rental isn't.

      Personally, I'm waiting for the day that you can rent television programmes from iTunes, and can cancel my Sky sub.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you mean spotify?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't like it at all

      The idea that I should be paying a third party to look after my music library, instead of doing it myself.

      I don't want to "rent" music. I want my own copy, stored in a format of my choosing, ready to be copied to a device of my choosing, no third party necessary.

      I want to be able to make unlimited copies of the digital media I own licenses for (providing the copies are for my eyes/ears only). What's it to the music industry whether I have 1 copy of their album or 8,000 copies? I only have one pair of ears.

      What happens when the third party goes tits up? No more music for you.

      What happens when your internet connection is cut off? No more music.

      What happens when they up their prices? You have to give up music you used to be able to afford.

      What happens when they decide the songs you like are too rude? Confiscated immediately without your permission and with no possible recourse.

      I want *my own* copies of the music I buy.

      On *my* home file server (in addition to 1, 2, or a billion hard copies if that's what I want)

      Is that a lot to ask? No, no it really, really is not.

  20. Steve Browne

    Wouldn't it be easier

    Technology marches forever onwards, new materials are discovered, new uses for old materials are discovered, new methods are devised, new machines are invented and so it goes. Anyone resisting such change is doomed to fail.

    So, why does the media industry insist on flogging the same old dead horse. Companies, like Sony, make money out of selling the kit to copy their CDs, then whine when it is used.

    There is absolutely no point in their pursuing file sharers. I can go rent a DVD, make a copy of it if I like it, or just leave it on my hard disk.

    Many people want to pick and choose what they watch or listen to, why not let them. Distribution, production and related costs are virtually zero, so, charge a sensible price taking into account that the customers are providing all of their own kit to download and produce a disk and away they go with a revenue stream that works for them all day every day.

    They really ought to take up the offer being made to them, license their back catalogues, stuff the whole lot on a server and charge a subscription or a reasonable price and watch the cash come in. They cant sue everybody, and cluttering up the courts or forcing others to do the policing for them is not going to work.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    "Piracy is killing music"

    Is printed on several of the vinyl albums and soundtracks of 80s films I have.

    Which is strange because that's decades ago and new music is still being produced by the bucket load, not that most of the stuff broadcast on tv/radio now is actually worth listening to, but piracy has NOT killed music.

    It's corporations not 'getting it', they need to wise up and realise they could make a bundle if they sold their audio and/or video products through easy online means, with NO DRM so you're not restricted to watching/litening on expensive, kludgy, annoying proprietary hardware/software that totally restricts where you can watch/listen to their products.

    On the subject of Mininova; bollocks! now I have to find somewher else to get the US tv shows from, I don't want to have to wait weeks/months/never to see something good/entertaining from another country - there's not really much regular UK tv I want to watch, all UK soaps are shite and when a good show does come along they only make about 6-8 episodes per series.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    File sharing is good for you

    Yes, it's true.

    1. Loads of music and videos* to enjoy

    2. Fast access to all kinds of interesting stuff

    3. More money in your pocket

    See, I told you.

    * well, maybe not Hollywood's efforts

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I have an idea...

    why don't they make their site "rights friendly"?

    It would work like this:

    - site requires email registration for account (accepts ANY valid email address)

    - site provides a web service API for account holders to:

    + publish torrent files

    + search for torrent files

    + report torrents as infringing

    - manually review all reports of infringing torrents and remove infringing torrents

    - terminate accounts of repeat offenders (3 strikes).

    Before you write off this idea, think about the implications...

    - In principle all infringement notices would be reviewed and infringing torrents removed, while repeat offenders would have their accounts terminated. This is what the rights holders claim are "reasonable steps" for service providers to protect the studios copyright.

    - in reality, infringing torrents would be resubmitted faster than they could be removed, infringement notices would backlog faster than they could be processed, users who had their accounts terminated could immediately re-register using another "throw away" email address and be using the site again within moments.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    The reason they are not embracing digital distribution

    is because they are only willing to accept digital distribution models that allow them to double or triple the price they charge when digital distribution allows them to cut their per copy expenses to virtually nil.

    And they have the audacity to claim that everyone else is ripping them off. Leaches the lot of em (this doesn't apply to the content creators who often get very little reward for their work).

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Googling for

    "Torrent search engine" gives over 15 million results... I guess they still have a lot of work before them :-)

  26. Danny 14

    im sure it will be rehosted

    Since mininova was effectively supanova in disguise im sure maxinova will be popping up somewhere else.

    Im quite surprised that people havent started hosting in .tv or some other obscure foreign country that doesnt care about the lumbering RIAA et al

  27. Alex 32


    " than blow £20 on a single BR"

    20 quid?? Shop around m'son! £20 is almost double the amount for most BR! Granted, if you want the latest releases, you'll pay 17 quid for a double disker, but 2 months later it's cheaper.

    "Shop-shop-shop--shop--shop--shop--shop. Tree-tree-tree-tree-tree-tree-tree. Ahhhh.. Baby Jeeesus..."

  28. Charles Calthrop
    Thumb Down

    le deluge

    Here we go again, thieves masquerading as freedom fighters

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We all knew this was coming beings that mininova was talking about content filtering for many months. This gave people time to set up new sites. I never really used mininova that much, most of what it pointed to was TPB anyway.

    What does sting a bit more is Demonoid though, not sure what their story is exactly. It's one of, if not the best public site/tracker as you seemed to at least not get lots of [insert popular game torrent].torrent with comments saying "Uploader is a ****" and "Uploader ****ed up my PC VIRUS!!!!", like you did on the TPB. Made for funny reading though.

    But no torrent sites will never go away, because in theory they are not strictly illegal in law. But it seems whoever pays off the most people wins which is a shame.

  30. Reeee

    Why, why oh why

    My heart just sinks at the thought of the future the record industry is creating, when I read stories like this I wonder how the industry even came into existance... How come mininova makes millions in revenue and then no one has the brains to think "hey wait a minute why dont we make money like that!?" Could you imagin how much money would be made if they had real adverts on those site as apposed to just dating and viagra?!?!

    Seriously someone needs to wake up and smell the ashes that is the record and movie industry, these businesses are run by apes with stones and twiggs! Dont even get me started on Love Film, anyone who thinks this is a good alternative needs to think again! paying money to rent a broken DVD is not worth it, it's never the DVD you want to actually watch and it soons gets too much to handle! Aaaargh!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @Oh dear, they simply dont get it.

    good idea but the pricing is still wrong. I had a look at the PS3 Store this week to check the prices.

    Again I think your right, the industry just doesn't get it. Why would I pay £11.99 for a download movie even in HD, when it's quicker for me to walk to the local HMV and buy the damned thing for £9.99 on a Disk that the PS3 will upscale. I own a 32" screen so wouldnt notice the difference anyway. With the disk I get the extras AND know that if my PS3 dies, I wont have to go out and buy the whole damned lot again.

    Whoever works in the marketing departments of these companies needs to be shot or slapped around the head with a big wet fish for an hour or two.

    The reason the iTunes App store works is the price point, most of the apps are cheap enough to be a thoughtless purchase. Game for a quid, who cares, it's only a quid?

    Movies should be the same. Offer me a legal download of an HD movie for £4.99 and I will buy it, I might even go to the trouble of leaving the PS3 on all night to download it and I might EVEN buy an external harddrive to back it all up. However, if your price point is a couple of quid less than the physical product, why should I bother?

    Its the same with music. Why should I pay £7.99 for an album download at iTunes, when I can get the physical product for £8.99,rip it and shove the CD safe under my bed?

    When the retards who run the music and movie companies realise and actually STUDY their market and their customers they will see their markets quadruple in size and will virtually decimate illegal file sharing. However, while they make it as hard as possible for us to actually buy their products and use their products, I have no sympathy with any of them

  32. copsewood
    Big Brother

    legalising it or making file sharing uncrackable ?

    This has to be inefficient, because the most efficient way to share files is to make the files globally searchable and for receivers to obtain the packets comprising the file either directly from senders in parallel, e.g as with Bittorrent, or better, using mirrored content servers located within users ISP networks close to the users.

    Both efficiencies (global search and short network distances) give those attempting to attack P2P distributors and users the information they need to identify network endpoints. To defeat such attacks, Tor onion routing makes the packets engage in many hops, supposedly along trust paths, though in practice there are too few Tor routers for most people to be able to find a genuinely trustworthy one to connect to in the early stages of Tor implementation, let alone the several trusted nodes needed for a user to become an effective part of a Tor network. Similar problems exist with a distributed search index - operating a distributed hash table over Tor is also going to provide a slow way of finding multiple distributed components of a wanted file. There is another counter incentive greatly reducing likely Tor participation in the sense that someone who would be willing to operate an onion router carrying one kind of technically illegal content e.g. 50 year old music legal in some places but not in others, might reasonably be unwilling unknowingly to carry another kind, e.g. parts of a kiddie porn file.

    Hacking Copyright law potentially offers a much better fix and avoids wasting most of the available network bandwidth through multi hop routing which doesn't follow network efficiency but which does follow personal relationship trust regardless of geography. The Swedish Pirate Party seem to be taking the first steps in hacking this law, so that unlimited Copyright doesn't trample over human rights to personal privacy and freedom of communications.

    It is ultimately in the interests of content owners not to oppress their users and to obtain a reward based on a fair share of the value of the extra network traffic generated, taken from those charging consumers for this traffic. This value will be partly based upon the convenience of end users not to have to maintain their own media collections, because the media they want is downloadable on demand in exchange for a few percent on the cost of the Internet connection.

  33. Bod


    Often used it to get TV episodes I'd missed but I'm paying for through Sky, and missed in BBC or Sky's catch up net players. Or to get BBC HD stuff (that I'm paying for with my licence fee) that won't play on my netbook due to DRM protection preventing CoreAVC working. The non-DRM'd downloads play fine but torrents are the only way to get them.

    Anything I like I still buy on DVD/Blu-Ray, and movies I never bother with via torrents.

  34. Mark McC

    I'll miss Mininova...

    ...but not because I'll no longer be able to download the latest TV shows or whatever tripe Hollywood is marketing as must-see blockbusters these days. There are still other torrent indexers like Google for those who want that kind of thing.

    Mininova contained a huge heap of hard-to-find movies and TV shows - stuff that is in-copyright but out-of-print. If all the torrent sites vanish, where will I get it from? Shoddy copy-of-a-copy VHS cassettes from eBay? No thanks.

    The media companies don't give a damn about releasing old material that has a limited market value, not even through a low-cost download service. Without amateurs sourcing rare copies and releasing them as torrents, much of this movie heritage would have been lost to the mists of time or locked up for all eternity in the basements of Hollywood.

    Sure, there are still private trackers for this kind of thing, but it's only a matter of time before the media companies' mission to alienate their customers takes its toll on these sites as well.

  35. ElNumbre


    People still use torrents?

    Wish I had their patience...

  36. bexley
    Thumb Up

    @James 63


    Ha!, this is what happens when you use Ubuntu on a daily basis, i must type sudo dozens of times a day.

    yes i meant pseudo and your comments are quite right

  37. Anonymous Coward

    mininova's replacement

    will be aldonova

  38. bexley

    the 'root' of the media industry's concerns...

    Lie's in that they have been paying the 'artists' , the executives and the p&r people more than their product is actually worth. More than the public are now prepared to pay.

    They have been paying them over inflated rates because until the public grasped the use of the very efficient and technically marvelous bit torrent protocol, the public were actually paying said inflated rates.

    Now the public have a more cost effective alternative, largely due to the media industries sluggish, woefully ineffective, slow to catch on motivation to embrace a new distribution technology. They were happy with the old model where they would rake in vast amounts of cash, they didnt want it to change.

    But change it did since the Internet and software empowered the public to the point where they could take matters in to their own hands.

    The media industry have lost control of their distribution channels and consequentially the revenue channels that they once had.

    It's too late now, they missed the boat. What they must now do is swallow their pride, accept matter as they are and look towards a future where they no longer get to ride around in learjets and sit with enormous piles of cocaine with the value of Zimbabwe's national deficit on the living room table,

    No 'Actor' should 'earn' $10 Million for pretending to be a someone else for an hour and a half the same as no musician deserves £10 Million for playing a song.

    The revenue that they have become accustomed to was and is out of proportion to the product they are selling.

    Never in our short history on the planet Earth were Actor's and Musician's rewarded to such absurd extremes, only in the past few decades has this been the case.

    Let us consider for a moment what might happen should the Music industry begin to pay their staff more reasonable rates. The gold diggers would go somewhere else, sport probably. The amount of 'artist's' would shrink in size since the talentless ones - the ones that look better than they sound would not be interested anymore. The valued few who produce soulful, beautiful, goose bump inducing music would be left to produce music because they love to produce music, not because some coked up record exec needs a new holiday home in Barbados.

    One day they will begin to 'get it' and understand. But today is not that day.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    Personally I don't care, this won't stop anything - piracy will continue, it always has...

    All this will do is make many more Bittorrent sites, well done BREIN you aimed directly at your foot...

    If you back them into a corner, they will only come back stronger...

    Anonymous as BREIN would possibly sue...

  40. Dick Emery


    Plenty of alternative sites to choose from. These are just a few.

  41. Subs McNubs

    media content supplied by british gas

    Not really but that's what these numb-skulls should aim to. I'd happily pay £50 a month for unfettered access to all good quality steamed media. I could also do without the hassle of having storage devices thank you very much.

    on tap. straight to my brain.


  42. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    You'd think the copyright MAFIAA would have copped on by now, back in the eighties, the "source" for guitar tabs was alt.guitar.tabs, this eventually became the tab site (Ha Ha, no fancy website there, you had to FTP in to it). The MAFIAA closed that down, so that became the online guitar archive (OLGA), that in turn was shut down by the MAFIAA, only to be replaced by renegade-OLGA (I think there may have been 2 renegade OLGAs) the last was mirrored in several "hard to get places" and is still active. That's 20 years the MAFIAA are trying to shut it down.

    Remind me again, why is anybody concerned that a torrent site has been closed?

  43. Spider

    Ethics aside

    If we ignore for a moment the rights/wrongs of this, which to be frank have been pored over to death, with both sides entrenched and unwilling to change their view. The sheer fact is that simply closing down site after site achieves nothing. It creates no revenue, going after d/l ers only alienates a potential customer base. For the business to prosper it has to produce something customers are willing to pay for, it must be easily accessible and at a price they are willing to pay. Other wise no amount of lawyers will defeat the combined computing power and intransigence of the worlds geeks and teenagers.

    Makes no difference whether I believe this to be right or wrong, same as it matters not a jot whether i want the sun to rise. it will happen.

  44. Fluffer

    A mix of paid ownership and freetardship?

    @bexley - like your sentiments. Is there anything relevant to a situation where the individual is paying already for Sky, Sky HD, BBC, DVD (400+ collection), Blurays, the occassional CD but just dips into the world of Torrent to sample material with a view to purchase at a later date?

    A monthly prepay scheme would undoubtedly be a better way forward, a constant revenue stream at a fair rate, surely the Industry could figure something out?

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