Another Tracker Sidetracked… Mininova Cleans Its Results

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Pirate Bay heir Mininova is now cleaning its tracker directories, thanks to a court decision recently issued in the Netherlands.

The ruling, delivered by the Court of Utrecht in August, requires the service to strip away tracker links that contain copyrighted or unlicensed material.

Instead, Mininova is shifting towards its ‘Content Distribution’ offering, a system that allows producers to voluntarily upload their own content.  “We’ve been testing some filtering systems the last couple of months, but we found that it’s neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100 percent working filter system,” the company blogged.  “Therefore, we decided that the only option is to limit Mininova to Content Distribution torrents from now on. We are still considering an appeal at this moment.”

The removals closely follow a wind-down by the Pirate Bay, a group that is now dismantling its tracker-based service.  That opens the opportunity for another big tracker to emerge, and seems to set the stage for a ‘wack-a-mole’ enforcement path given the existence of an underlying and decentralized BitTorrent protocol.  And, depending on the severity of the enforcement, it also opens the possibility of a shift towards even more decentralized methods for acquiring BitTorrent content.  That would loosely resemble the technological shifts that followed the shutdown of Napster, a history the music industry knows all too well.