Culture

Another Torrent Giant Has Pulled The Plug, Possibly Marking A Big Change For File Sharing

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The aftermath of Kickass Torrents’ demise is still ongoing, apparently claiming another longtime fixture of the online torrent community — which is odd to say. Torrentz, the popular torrent search engine that made finding content across several platforms a simple task, has been shut down. As Engadget reports, the closure and legal hurdles seem to be connected to a general decline in torrenting on the internet in exchange for a rise in streaming. The ability to go “on demand” for content seems to be winning.

Torrentz did not host files themselves, leading to their longevity despite some run in with US Homeland Security and a few domain changes over the years. According to Variety, it is the first time the site has been down since a copyright incident in 2004:

Torrentz.eu currently ranks as the 186th most-visited site worldwide, according to Alexa. It had 15.8 million unique visitors in August 2015 according to comScore, and claimed to index nearly 32 million active torrents via 28 major piracy websites.

The website, established in 2003, temporarily shut down in 2004 in response to a takedown notice from a copyright holder and then came back online “with a more hardened configuration,” according to the MPAA. The website adopted the .eu top-level domain following the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s seizure of multiple domains, and Torrentz has been the subject of blocking orders in the U.K., Denmark and Malaysia.

Variety adds that torrenting only accounts for 17% of online piracy today, with streaming rising to 74% in terms of movie and television infringement. Engadget also credits the mainstream move for BitTorrent as another sign that file sharing is on the way out as the main form of online piracy.

Is it more a sign of success for copyright holders against online piracy or just a typical wave of consumer tastes changing with the times?

(Via Variety / Engadget)

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