Dutch Bit Torrent tracker Mininova has passed into oblivion with it's decision to cease all tracking aside from it's official Content Distribution Service, the white elephant it launched in 2007 utilised in an attempt to abide by a Utrecht court ruling last August ordering they filter copyrighted material and provide no access to it. After testing various filtering models, Mininova found, unlike Senator Conroy in Australia, that "it’s neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100% working filter system.”
“Today is an important day in the history of Mininova. From now on, we are limiting Mininova.org to our Content Distribution service,” reads the site’s blog.
Mininova faces fines for linking to torrent trackers that subsequently link to copyright material of €1000 euro ($1,422 USD) per link up to a maximum of 5 million euro (7.13m USD). The argument the court used was that such sites facilitate copyright infringement in a direct fashion, causing the popular tracking site to close it's doors. They did not, however, rule out the possibility of appealing the courts decision.
“The launch of Content Distribution has proven to be a success,” it says. “Countless content owners have used Content Distribution to distribute their content (e.g. albums and documentaries) for free to millions of users.”
While a once strong hub of internet movie goers fades away, it appears to be aiming for a flawed model of text based video resourcing, similar to youtube, vimeo and all other such popular sites; with the added hassle of having to click a link and download the entire thing before viewing.
It's a shame to see another great torrent site going the way of torrentspy who closed their doors on March 24, 2008 citing that, "The legal climate in the USA for copyright, privacy of search requests, and links to torrent files in search results is simply too hostile. We spent the last two years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, defending the rights of our users and ourselves."
In the meantime Pirate Bay still sits with the proverbial sword of Damocles hanging over it's head after it's owners were arrested earlier in the year after their court case failed, it is however still functional (and yes, the owners are free again) pending an appeal.