Our favorite torrent site is no more, at least for today and tomorrow. Demonoid, the previously fully-private torrent catalog and tracker is down, according to reports at TorrentFreak. Trackers have not been responding for over 24 hours, and the site is completely down.
Demonoid was the second largest tracker online, after ThePirateBay, and has seen its fair share of legal threats and takedown notices from copyright holders and associated groups. Demonoid shifted operations from The Netherlands to Canada back in June after their previous ISP balked at legal threats, but it appears that Canada is no safer as the likely cause of the downtime now is the Canadian ISP blocking the website.
Demonoid was our favorite torrent site, because membership and ratio tracking meant that it provided both a large catalog and much better speeds than alternate trackers. Recently they opened up the last 14 days worth of torrent listings to public access, making the site a quasi-private tracker. Demonoid accounts are also amongst the most requested in inviteshare, and its popularity has blossomed recently as it overtook other previously more popular public trackers which were beginning to fill up with fakes and spam.
Copyright groups have had recent successes against tracker sites and catalogs, no less than a few days ago TorrentBox was also taken down. But at the same time, the recent MediaDefender leaks showed that their effort to plant fakes in popular torrent sites had no impact on the most popular torrent sites including Demonoid – a credit to the communities at these sites who would flag fakes.
Takedown efforts seem to be in vain, as even the once much-loved Suprnova has recently made a come-back. The most that a takedown can accomplish is the intermediate interruption of service to that particular community, but as most BitTorrent users access and use more than one site, and the release groups continue unimpeded, the end results of these efforts from copyright groups are very under-whelming. Shutting down Demonoid for a few days will have no impact on the volume of BitTorrent traffic, and Demonoid will be back shortly and with more interest and new users than ever before.