In May 2009 the Dutch copyright enforcement organization BREIN started a civil procedure against Mininova, the worlds largest torrent sharing site, demanding it starts filtering torrent files pointing to copyright protected works from its platform.
In August Mininova lost and the judge ruled that, although not directly responsible for any copyright infringement, it was lawfully ordered to remove all torrents linking to copyrighted material within three months, or face a penalty of up to 5 million euros.
Today, according to TorrentFreak, Mininova made it happen. The site has removed all torrents except those that were uploaded through its content distribution service. This means that only approved uploaders can share torrents through the site.
Where do we go from here? Mininova may still appeal the decision but the costs involved and unlikely success will probably leave the millions of Mininova users looking for a new HQ.
Many might believe with the demise of The Pirate Bay and now Mininova, this might mean the beginning of the end of Torrents and file sharing as we know them, but with limited current offerings and absurd restrictions, file sharing won’t just go away, not until the industry begins to modify their business model to align themselves with their customer’s needs.
File sharing will evolve and continue to thrive, no matter how many lawyers, judges and rulings you throw at it.
Mininova launched in January 2005 as a successor to the (at that time very popular) Suprnova.org. Based in the Netherlands, the founders also run a recently created video sharing site Snotr.