TorrentFreak marks sad news for file sharing fans today as the world’s oldest BitTorrent site is closing down.

UK-based Filesoup has been around since 2003 but after a raid in 2009 when two of its founders were arrested, interest has waned and the site has been withering ever since.

On the site’s forum yesterday morning, administrator Geeker wrote the following:

Filesoup has had a great run, since February 2003 we were online as one of the first BitTorrent sites and with our vibrant, helpful community, we grew at a tremendous rate, to at one time being listed in the top 50k visted websites on the internet. We morphed, updated, expanded and changed so much over the years, it was truly an awesome ride!

In the rest of his message, Geeker notes that many people have learned about BitTorrenting from the site and that many other sites for file sharing have emerged in its wake including The Pirate Bay and SuprNova. In fact, there are now a number of places where a torrenter can find, share and store files, so the growth of the market will also have made an impact on the audience share for Filesoup.

Keeping a site running when the audience fades can feel like a thankless task, even if the remaining visitors are enthusiastic, it takes time and effort. Geeker notes:

Things happening in my personal life have changed the priorities I am able to place on time and effort to things and I’ve unfortunately come to the ultimate decision that I can no longer run Filesoup.

As a sad comment on the site, the funding scale at the top of Filesoup’s FAQ page says, ’0% of July’s running costs are met). It goes to show that even when a site is based around a community, there is still a cost to keeping it alive.

filesouppic Domain names of the worlds oldest BitTorrent site up for sale

The database will not be sold according to Geeker, which should assure users wondering about their email addresses and other details.  But the domain names for both Filesoup.com and Filesoup.co.uk are up for sale to the highest bidder.

If you’re a user or past user, there will be updates on the forum, as Geeker writes,

“Just so everyone knows, this is not a decision I have made in the heat of emotion. It is something I have contemplated for a while now and recent events have attributed to my decision. As soon as a decision is made, this forum will be where any news appears.”

Let’s hope the next domain name owner entertains as many people with its next incarnation.