Mininova Goes Legit: The End Of An Era

Posted: Nov 26 2009, 12:25pm CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 5:50pm CDT, in News | Technology News

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This is the Internet, so it's fair to assume that a substantial portion of you have either illegally downloaded media in the past, or are currently doing so today. If you're one of those people, you've probably used at some point. Until very recently, Mininova was the largest Torrent site out there. Tens of millions of people used it daily, which brought in fat sacks of money for the site's creators, 5 Dutch students who started the site on a whim.

However, due to a Dutch court's ruling (TorrentFreak) the creators of Mininova must now go legit, or risk losing 5 million euros in penalties. As a result, only Mininova's Content Distribution service is currently active. This service distributes only content that the artists have agreed to give out for free.

The Mininova blog states that they found filtering their systems to remove illegal titles to be an impossible task. The site tried several times over the last few months, and was unable to bring themselves in line with the law.

It's going to be tempting to view this as a major victory in the war on piracy, but it's not. Mininova only came into being to replace an older torrent site, Suprnova, that had died out. There are still hundreds (or more) of active torrent hubs around the Internet, and it won't be long before another one grows as large as Mininova.

The site doesn't matter. All that matters is the fact that millions of people want access to free media and software content. As long as that is the case (it will always be the case) the war on piracy is unwinnable. The best option for content producers now is the same as it's always been; stop punishing the customers who legally purchase your products with things like DRM, and work to make it easier to purchase legally than to download illegally.

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