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The Pirate Bay down, forever? (brokep.com)
496 points by Apaze on Dec 10, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 187 comments

In the last 8 years the pirate bay hasn't changed? It went open source and embraced magnet links entirely. Making it so that almost nothing was being hosted on the server itself. You can download the entire pirate bay in 90MB to put one up of your own. There are hundreds of pirate bays all over the world running on almost nothing allowing everyone to download the same things at the same speeds.

[edit: It didn't go open source.]

To suggest the pirate bay hasn't done anything is just lame. Not as lame as sending 20 something's to jail over it but getting there.

The ads were because of legal defence fees, which can be huge.

hey, I am the author of the 90MB archive.

I had to do it manually, it was in no way done by TPB, it took a looong time because their anti-DDoS systems were blocking me, and it was in no way open source. (it was endorsed by TPB though, in the way they told me they like it)

And I stopped updating it in early 2013.

I thought about updating it regularly and putting it somewhere, but that stroke me as slightly more illegal than what I did before, plus I had other priorities (mainly finishing the damn school).

I wished TPB did something like wikipedia (daily XML archives), but they don't.

I just read through your article, I loved it, Thanks for sharing. Here's the script he used if anyone else is curious: https://github.com/runn1ng/runn1ng.github.io/blob/master/pir...

You mentioned you had to switch computers multiple times, about how many times was that? Sorry on the off-topic...

Ooh, I don't remember frankly, it's almost 2 years ago now. I can admit it now - I run it on my school's network that has about 50 computers. I would say I switched computers about 10 times.

I am not sure if it was anti-spam or anti-ddos or just anti-scraper measure.

Awesome. So you're saying the "90MB archive", that everyone waves around as evidence that TPB will somehow live forever, was only done a couple times a couple years ago.

Well, basically, yeah. (Short write-up on my website here - http://www.karelbilek.com/piratebay/ )

There was another effort by a guy on pirate bay named "andronikov", he did something similar, but stopped last year around november. And nobody is seeding his torrents. (They have literally 0 seeds.)

Btw, can someone explain to me how they can have ads?

I mean, if US is willing to go far enough that they seem to have obvious influence on other countries and these countries punish these individuals, when normally they don't(or so I think), surely they very interested in taking down TPB or finding out who runs it?

And they had ads when there were no bitcoin etc.

So what I'm wondering is that, if I were interested in putting my ads on TPB, I would have to put/give money to somewhere/someone.

So if I'm working at NSA, why I don't just go to tpb, look at what companies they advertise on tpb, then look at where that companies sent their money. Surely we are not talking about $10-15 here, at some point they should see "yeaah, you guys seem to give these guys $xxxx(more x?) each month" or "$xxxxx once, why?"

To transfer that amount of money I can send via my bank, or transfer it via my personal account. I can use several layers inbetween, and use other people also. Maybe I won't even take money from company but do it personally. I can make it incredibly hard to be found.

But looking at how TOR services seem to go down and the lengths they go to make sure they don't stay alive, surely if NSA actually wanted they could track them down? Surely NSA doesn't lack the power to see our transactions and surely they don't lack the power to personally track basically everyone related with whoever gave the ads. Or maybe they do, but they still know what companies TPB advertises.

Anyway, if they are not very careful, I could find who currently runs TPB. and if they are, I still might have a shot.

Or maybe I'm not interested in finding out who runs TPB, just taking or down/making it harder. Why I(government) don't go to these porn sites and say "well, if we keep seeing your ads there we will have to do something". They did threaten yahoo and others without legal basis(or so I think), why stop now?

Then considering they can't easily find new companies to take ads from considering what happened to the first 3 companies that gave ads, no one sane would want to work with tpb, and they couldn't buy or maintain servers, then finally in current form they would go down.

Of course some methods to keep it alive(fake ads, donations etc.) will be found, and of course someone else will just create a new one but they seem to be interested in making tpb very hard to maintain, take it down even if it is only for days and make sure no one in their right mind would want to create a torrent site.

Now, why I'm wrong and why they don't do just what I said?

Because NSA is not the king of Sweden? Who ran pirate bay was never a secret, you just read the blog of a former spokesperson of the site. They operated by dodging swedish law, piratebay is still not illegal here. Goverment countered by prosecuting two(?) of the founders for other, unrelated stuff (hacker stuff if memory serves me right).

Hope that explains some of it and excuse the bumpy-train-ride-spelling.

Nope, all four where found guilty of accessory to crime against copyright law in 2009. The hacker charges against two of the four came several years after the pirate bay trail.

The NSA doesn't police copyright issues. Their involvement would be arranging for FBI/police in Europe to get the info they desire to do that.

How is that not police-ing?

They aren't the body that enforces the law.

yeah but they share data with adjacent three letter agencies at least it was done so with War On Drugs policing cartel - they had to furnish received information from NSA as if they have discovered it.

They use the scammmiest of the scammmiest ad networks that install adware and malware, open shitty pop ups and pop unders and so on.

> The ads were because of legal defence fees, which can be huge.


The ads were making millions(1) to the people behind the TPB, and the legal cost is several orders of magnitude less.

update: (1) http://www.thelocal.se/20100930/29334 "The Pirate Bay earned up to 35 million kronor ($5.2 million) in advertising revenue from the file sharing website" (2010, already)

Several orders of magnitude? So legal defense costs less than ~tens of dollars?

> The ads were making millions



Another citation: me, but not going to prove it. I am friends with an ad network TPB used. They made $10k daily from adware installers alone in 2013.

Exoclick was monetizing their traffic for a bit, not sure if that is still the case.

The site had 50m uniques a month. At least 2-3 ads on every page. Even at a terrible CPM rate or CPC conversion rate, they'd have to be ansolute morons not to be making oodles of cash from that setup.

i find that difficult to believe, because almost everyone who would go to the pirate bay would have adblock of some sort no!?

I find this entire thread bizarre as I'd always thought pirate bay was ad free (and due to blockers never knew different)

http://www.thelocal.se/20100930/29334 "The Pirate Bay earned up to 35 million kronor ($5.2 million) in advertising revenue from the file sharing website" (2010, already)

The Pirate Bay earned up to 35 million kronor ($5.2 million) in advertising revenue from the file sharing website, >>>film companies maintained<<<

And literally the second paragraph in your link:

The claims were dismissed by Jonas Nilsson, legal counsel for one of the defendants, Fredrik Neij.

Nilsson argued that instead of being a profits earner most of the work to keep The Pirate Bay running had been undertaken on a voluntary unpaid basis.

"The revenues, which were not very large, went to buying new equipment," Nilsson said.

Well, you can say that "the prosecutor said this and the defendant counsel said this", but at the end of the day we know that the four operators of the site were convicted by Stockholm district court on 17 April 2009 and sentenced to one year in jail each and a total of 30 million Swedish kronor (approximately US$3.5 million, €2.7 million) in fines and damages.

So I guess the court believed the prosecutor.

Well, for one, that the fines and damages were n has no bearing on what profit the site made, if any.

And, two, given the current legal environment in most of the West including Sweden, "the court believed the prosecutor" doesn't mean shit, really. Of course the court believed the prosecutor - they are on the same team, after all.

From what I remember the defense never provided any counter-claim about how much money tpb made. All they argued was that the prosecutors claim was ridiculously high. Exactly how much money the ad networks paid out is not publicly known but wire transfers are tracable. So it seems obvious to me that if brokep and anakata during the trial wanted to prove how much or how little the tpb made, then it would have been easy for them to do so.

How does that help your point. You still haven't provided any information that would back your claims.

Can you try and persuade me that TPB wasn't making substantial revenue when you have millions of daily visitors and a hell of a lot of ads? It seems a pretty simple assumption to make. What factors were in place that stopped that revenue flow?

Users of TPB go on the site to avoid paying for things?

Uses go to Google.com to not pay for search... yet Google makes oodles of money.

I've never paid for StackOverflow, TheDailyWTF or CNN.com yet somehow they all keep running.

Using website X witout paying doesn't mean website X makes no money.

How much they make can be argued, but to think they don't rake in mad money (Look at how much contemporaries like Dotcom made)... is a bit shortsighted to say the least.

>So I guess the court believed the prosecutor.

How do you figure? Their fine was not based on their advertising revenue was it?

The fine was based on what a theoretical license would cost per infringing item, multiplied if I remember correctly by 4. The theoretical license cost was created from estimates by the plaintiffs.

... according to the prosecution, who pulled those numbers out of thin air, with no actual evidence what so ever. You see parts of that in the TPB - AFK documentary.

a vrry impartial source, indeed /s

That number was based on how much advertising space earn on sites with similar unique visitor count, like BBC or NYT.

The assumption is that that companies are willing to spend the same amount of money to advertise on a torrent site as a international news paper.

The fact that it's hosting torrents in flat files or in database rows seems like a minor technical difference to me. Apart from that, the same broken UI doesn't seem to have changed much in the past 8 years. I didn't know that TPB was open source... surprised that the community didn't try to improve the UX a bit.

Broken UI? Really? The posters here are so peciliar about UI sometimes. It's bewildering. Nothing was wrong with TPB's UI. It did exactly what it was meant to cleanly and in an easy to use way. Nothing was difficult or unintuitive about it. Did it not look starkly minimalist enough? Did it not use enough css3? Did it use a table and that just ruined the whole thing? Not enough fancy javascript transitions?

The search results where garbage if you didn't know that you had to click "SE" to sort by number of seeders.

Yes, among other things:

- You often had to scan through the comments for a clickable IMDB link.

- Movie meta data was manually entered by uploaders who didn't really bother with it most of the time.

- Titles contained a bunch of metadata which shouldn't have been part of the title (e.g. encoding, source, quality, uploader name, etc.).

- There was sometimes an extra comment page that was empty.

- No moderation whatsoever in the comments. Impossible to find the interesting/useful comments without reading all of them one by one.

- A bunch of annoying ads (one of the download buttons was an ad if I recall correctly).

There's a recurring meme on HN that all UIs are automatically good if they are old/non-trendy.

The only meme is that old UIs are the /bad/ ones. Those points are all very minor. A major problem would be having an inoperable half-assed mobile version that you were redirected to on mobile.

The thing is that to download a torrent, the absolute minimum amount of information you need is the torrent hash. The torrent hash is on the order of ~40 characters long, requiring no other information. All you have to do is paste that short sting into a torrent client to download a set of files.

Are we really going to say that these 40 character strings are illegal to share? If I paste the hash for the latest blockbuster in this comment, can legal action be taken against me?

It's sad that I have to beat that tired old drum again, but in law, intent matters (yes I have a law degree but I think it's fair to say that one doesn't need one to know that). After 15 years I should have been desensitized by farcically naive 'reasoning' (or I should say, farcically naive sophistry, because let's face it, that's what it is) like 'they don't post torrents, the users do' and 'how can a small string be illegal' but it still annoys me.

At the risk of going down the shitty analogy path, let's consider 'How can putting just a tiny bit of lead into somebody's head be illegal? It's only 115 grain! I mean, of course, putting 500 grain into somebody would be illegal, but if I put only 115 grain of lead into somebody, can legal action be taken against me?' Really?

Maybe a better analogy would be hiring a hall for a music copiers swap meet and charging advertisers for wall space around the hall?

Now, as crimes go I happen to think TPB are far less guilty of offences against humanity than - say - the bankers who cause the 2008 meltdown, or the torturers at the CIA.

And it's also debatable just how many sales of mainstream CDs are lost due to piracy.

But I know a couple of small music software/plugin devs who shut up shop because piracy killed their revenue stream, and it just wasn't worth their time any more.

So it's counterfactual for the supporters to pretend there are no negative consequences to file sharing, and it's all about heroically sticking it to The Man.

It really isn't.

> piracy killed their revenue stream

I hear about things like this every once in a while, but where's the proof?

there are far more musical plug-ins than one would ever need. I see no loss.

As a layman, I think this is the real problem: the law assumes that people are smart and tools are stupid. However, computer programs like torrent clients have become frighteningly smart about efficiently turning scarce information (like a short hash) into illegal actions. Imagine a GPS unit that could turn "don't go downtown, there's a strong mob presence" into a route to the nearest drug dealer.

Most of the "intent" of going from a hash to a download is in the torrent client. It's a smart tool. But to my best knowledge, the law assumes that intent has to happen in a human. If you have two humans, and both have weak criminal intent, but they're connected by a program that makes illegal acts very easy, I don't know how the law judges that. Probably badly.

Intent is subjective as hell. I cant believe you have a law degree and dont realize this.

Every story has a million differnet sides.

It seems like thats the lawyers JOB to prove varying degrees of intent.

Was their 'intent' to merely share magnet links in an open forum or was it to destroy copyright protections,ruin the entertainment industry, and starve all artists to death.

Did I put 115 grain in your head by accident or was I intentionally trying to murder you? (Ie accidental manslaughter vs 1st degree)

Intent does matter and the client with the smaller pockets usually has the worst intentions.

What Colour are your bits? [1] This rather poular article really opened my eyes. Basically the same bits can be both, illegal and legal, at the same time, depending on the method you used to derive them. I still think it's stupid but it gave me a better understanding of the reasoning behind certain court decisions.

[1] http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23

This is the color of my bits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Free-speech-flag.svg

Note: picture is illegal.

Picture is only illegal if you display it and say "I support freedom" with a wink. Don't wink and there'll be no intent. Obvs.

True, I'm tired of the old "ones and zeros" argument. If all you did was punch some numbers into a phone and speak a name, it's still conspiracy to commit murder (or whatever, IANAL) if you are calling a hitman. If you flash your headlights to warn thieves that the police are coming, you're still an accomplice. Surely it can't be illegal to flash my headlights?? Well, yeah it is, in this case. And if I share a hash key which tells people where to find child porn, well that's illegal too.

That's a terrible analogy. Try: "Yes, making meth is illegal. Yes, selling meth-lab kits is illegal. Okay, maybe publishing instructions for building a meth lab is illegal. Wait, linking to someone else's instructions is illegal? And now you're telling me that sharing a short hash that validates someone else's link to someone else's instructions is also illegal?" (Is it even illegal in the meth lab scenario?)

Why, yes, of course. Or are you saying that as long as there are enough indirections and 'wink wink nudge nudge', anything is legal? So I'm a drug runner and it's illegal for me to take your money and point you to the guy at the other side of the street who has your stuff, but it's OK when I give you a piece of paper with a map to a rock under which is another paper with a phone nr which you need to call that will then tell you to walk to the other side of the street?

Or let's say I'm an electrician who wires indoor marihuana plantations. That is illegal. Do you think it would be OK to stand next to some other guy and tell him what switch to connect to which socket and which tools to use to strip the wire? 'Oh your honor I was just distributing instructions on how to build a plantation, not doing it!'. You might want to prepare your diddly hole when you rely on such argumentation as a legal defense.

Again: INTENT MATTERS. When something is done with enough proximity to actual illegal actions, that 'something' is quite likely also illegal and punishable. Which is why Uncle Fester is a free man and Kim Dotcom isn't (well only barely).

In your analogy, TPB acts as the middleman, hooking the user up with the supplier. Yes, when it comes to meth, that's illegal.

I was referring to the example of publishing a hash code for a torrent. So it's like saying "Someone told me that there is a drug dealer (haven't verified this myself) where if you add up the GPS coordinates of his house, divide by 317 and take the remainder, the result will be 42."

It's not at all obvious that saying "42" (with the other operations unstated) is or should be illegal speech, and it's by no means comparable to putting a small bullet into somebody.

I don't know about you, but when I go to TPB, I'm not greeted with a bunch of pages with nothing but simple low numbers. I'm greeted by a search engine, which shows me great lists of things by TV show name (for example), which I can click on and get taken to a page where someone describes what's on offer with this 'number', and other people comment on the quality. I can get the torrent hash, and also instructions on what to do with it. It's generally not something that needs to be verified very often, either.

And in any case, if someone says "hey, where can I get meth", and you say "42, just deconstruct the number with this algorithm", you've done the same thing as just handing over a phone number - you've facilitated the contact.

It's actually illegal to share instructions on how to make "controlled" substances? That sounds utterly abhorrent.

If it was instructions on how to make a movie, I don't think anyone would have a problem. But it's instructions on where to get illegal goods. It's not like the receiver is going through a recipe themselves like they're baking a cake.

Don't get me wrong; I torrent tv shows and the like. But what I find silly is the way people are trying to boil the intent and action away from torrenting, spin-doctoring it to sound as innocent as possible.

I don't think that the post you were responding to was really arguing that the size of the hash was the significant factor for legality. It was instead pointing out that treating the distribution of such short hashes as illegal is absurd. There is nothing to prevent a government from making laws against, say, the distribution of bomb making information. Governments have done so. Such laws are still absurd in a world where there is no practical way to limit the distribution of such ideas. A government might just as well make a law against the darkness that occurs after the sun goes down.

>Such laws are still absurd in a world where there is no practical way to limit the distribution of such ideas.

We keep child pornography illegal, and indeed take measures to limit its distribution. It isn't clear that laws are necessarily absurd because of the difficulty of their enforcement.

The absurdity of a law might be better measured based by the effects of the thing the law prohibits on society or individuals.

I'm not sure what you're arguing. Is it that IP protection laws are immoral, or that they're impractical? GP was making a moral argument (I think), you seem to be making a practical one.

So assuming that you are making a practical argument: should there be no laws that are hard to enforce? Let's take domestic abuse, or child abuse. Hard to detect, even harder to prosecute because there is usually little physical evidence. So should we just throw our hands in the air and go home?

"Such laws are still absurd in a world where there is no practical way to limit the distribution of such ideas."

Well a largish number of raids over the last years on sites hosting torrents, causing these sites to disappear, would say that you're wrong. Sure, it's hard to completely restrict all illegal distribution. That's not even a practical goal. But with TPB down, it's become quite a bit more difficult to find illegal content for people who are occasional torrenters (i.e. not people who are members of private sites, or who use IRC - a tiny subset of all people).

People have been saying for years 'you can't shut down the torrent sites!'. Well there aren't a whole lot of them left, are there? So it does seem that IP law enforcement isn't as impossible as you claim it to be.

People have been saying for years 'you can't shut down the torrent sites!'. Well there aren't a whole lot of them left, are there?

Yes. Yes there are. Not to mention hundreds of sites (especially forums) where torrent files and magnet links are distributed.

> Are we really going to say that these 40 character strings are illegal to share?

Yeah, it's not unusual for short messages containing numbers to be illegal. Like:

"The guy at 42 Foo St. is looking to sell a kilo of coke if anyone's interested."


"Everyone show up at the mall at 11PM exactly, grab something, and run. They can't catch us all!"[1]


"Thank you for your payment to personaldeetz.com! Bill Jones has the social security number 001-23-4567 and the date of birth 1/2/34 and the bank account number ..."

There's nothing illegal about any of the numbers involved here, including the hash of the latest blockbuster. But there can certainly be something illegal about conveying information (in whatever encoding) that's intended to help someone commit a crime. Proving intent is the fun part.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob#Crime

I understand that magnet links might make a difference legally. What I meant is that switching to magnet links instead of torrent files is not what I would consider a big technical achievement (TPB didn't actually invent the magnet URI scheme, they simply adopted it). My main point being that I agree with Peter Sunde, TPB hasn't changed much in 8 years. Here's TPB in 2006: https://web.archive.org/web/20061007080151/http://thepirateb...

You're pointing a thief in the right direction under no duress whatsoever. If a similar situation was replicated with physical goods there would be no question that you would be on the wrong. You're trying to fuzz up the situation using technicalities.

If you wrote down the number Pi in hexadecimal, I conjecture that any possible 40-digit sequence would appear in there somewhere.

Indeed, how could it possibly be illegal to share pieces of Pi? :)

because information without conext is useless?

So someone shares the sequence without any context and someone else grabs it and conjectures the context themselves.

What if they share positional information from a known sequence: pi[3000:3040].

you said yourself the sequence was insignificant, so i assume it would be hard to infere any context. either way, on tpb there is context. A pointer into pi is just a minor difference in encoding. As said in another comment, intent matters - as much as I dislike the pressumptions made about the intent. Law philosophically, for lack of better words, difficult questions of morallity arise and are indeed significant. That includes conciousness about the consequences, which is why this topic is debated at length, because everyone has a stake in it. That's a lot of context.

OTOH assume knlowedge of nothing but the magnet link list torrent file, if you just downloaded the linked torrent files without to procede to download when in doubt about copyright infringement, that woould not be careless.

Your argument extends to how can any string of data be illegal, putting copyright into question, but that's a different debate.

Sorry. I was mistaken it didn't go open source, the proxybay was literally proxies to the main site and now all of them are down. You can in fact download a copy of every torrent and magnet link, then build your own site that searches through them.

Magnet links are just a short string of text so one who does isn't hosting anything as far as I'm concerned. That isn't the law apparently.

> all of them are down

If you mean all the 'thepiratebay' domains, I think you are mistaken. This one works for me:


haven't tried any else yet

That's not a pirate bay domain in the sense that they own it. It's just a proxy and so as the main site is down, that is too.

500 Internal Server Error

If the page loads that doesn't mean it works correctly.

i tried searching for "test" just to see and got a pop up that said my computer was infected. the one time i use the pirate bay...anyone else willing to check it out and see if it actually installs malware? i was using chrome.

Works for me: http://i.imgur.com/GD3rZuv.png but it wasn't earlier. Got the same error.

You are getting some text with a picture, that is not a working site.

No, you won't be able to search for anything. That site just proxies your searches to thepiratebay.se, which is down.

It now searches just fine.

Actually, there is a difference between hosting the files and just linking to them, and is by no means a "minor technical difference". Although to be fair I think it was done not only to increase portability but also to decrease legal targeting, the latter of which seems like it didn't pan out in the end though may have thwarted some legal efforts along the way.

>Actually, there is a difference between hosting the files and just linking to them, and is by no means a "minor technical difference".

From the technical side of showing the torrent/magnet links on the TPB page, it's indeed a minor difference.

I think you misunderstand. They never hosted any content, they only linked to it. What we're saying is that the torrent database was upgraded from plain old filesystem storage of .torrent files to a more efficient/specialized database.

But a torrent was already just a link to the actual content.

trivia about flying on helium balloons:

"In 1982, Larry Walters flew across Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by weather balloons, eventually reaching several miles in altitude. After passing through LAX airspace, he descended by shooting some of the balloons with a pellet gun."

In Brazil, a priest doing a gimmick to raise some funds to his church went on flying with helium balloons. He was drifted to the ocean by the wind and didn't know how to return. He did took a phone and a GPS device. But he didn't know how to use the GPS he took to tell people his location. He died.

EDIT: source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelir_Ant%C3%B4nio_de_Carli

Am I missing something here?

I think the GP post has been edited, I'd guess the helium balloons are a reference to this story http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/122789-the-pirate-bay-pla... that TPB might move the site to drones/LEO sats/balloons.

Nope, my mistake. This was supposed to be an answer to this comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8727049 on another thread.

I was reading both and confused the tabs while clicking on reply, I guess.

Can anybody explain what's the fuzz regarding pirate bay? I mean, there are tons of good torrent sites and search engines everybody use every day... I don't even remember when I last time used TPB...

It's a symbol of resistance. The actual site doesn't really matter, as long as it's up.

The authorities, indeed even the Movie industry, don't care about the niche search engines and torrent sites that the 1% of people into the scene use, they care about the big ones that 99% of the people use.

By shutting down TPB, they've just eliminated the site that >99% of people are using, which is all that really matters to them.

Moral: Stay off the Radar of those in power, and you can do whatever you want.

Alternative explanation: when trying to solve a problem attack the biggest issue first. If TPB was the torrent site for a majority of users (and especially for casual users) then you attack that site first. Now that it is down you move on to #2, #3, etc. The niche sites are less important than the mega-site, but that does not mean that they are not on someone's radar or not going to be next on the list. The "why go after me when TPB is out there doing much worse to you" excuse also goes away.

TPB was by far the most popular pirate site in the world. It is for example the only torrent site I regularly see mentioned in the news. To know of any other site you have to be fairly into the pirate scene and follow relevant blogs and forums. Very few people bother to do that. The vast majority of people who just want to see Guardians of the Galaxy without paying probably only know about TPB.

> Can anybody explain what's the fuzz regarding pirate bay? I mean, there are tons of good torrent sites and search engines everybody use every day...

Such as?

No, seriously. This is why TPB going down is a big deal. There are plenty of other trackers, but most people don't know about them, and Google makes them somewhat difficult to find. And, of course, the really good trackers are by invitation only.

So enlighten us poor heathens and share some links. :)

Besides adding "torrent" word while googling, one good search engine is https://torrentz.eu/

From that, you can as well find about http://www.monova.org/ http://kickass.so/ etc...

Also, high quality sites, albeit in russian:




http://nnm-club.me/ is also OK


Besides its symbolic values, it usually has useful comments.

Is there any existing project or PoC for a blockchain based torrent index ?

I do just love how people think a blockchain is magic crypto fairy dust that solves all problems...

If you're trying to create a distributed, censorship resistant public record then it's a pretty sensible approach to investigate.

Only in the general sense that bitcoin is a system with some desirable properties of a decentralized torrent index. The list of all software with features desirable in a distributed torrent index is as long as my arm and it's arguably sensible to "investigate" any one of them.

But the grandparent poster didn't name many technologies, they singled out the bitcoin blockchain specifically. A technology that through the popularity of its function has made it a popular target to have other things bolted onto. But popularity of the blockchain hammer does not turn all problems into nails.

The Bitcoin blockchain solves the problem of maintaining a distributed public ledger such that changes are agreed upon by all and can't be changed retroactively.

You don't need any of that if you just want a torrent index. There's no need for consensus and no need to keep a secure record of the past. Bitcoin needs to prevent Joe from forging messages like, "Bob sent Joe one thousand bitcoins," but there's no corresponding scenario for torrents.

Solved problem with my bank account so far ;)


Paper money. It still works even if you keep money in other formats.

I trade them with local farmers ;)

I may be wrong, but isn't it the purpose of the dht ?

There are some projects that try to search directly from it :

https://btdigg.org/ http://btindex.org/ https://github.com/laomayi/simDHT

Sure, just put magnet URIs in your transactions.

That said, I'm not quite sure why this needs a blockchain... A URI is either in the system or not in the system... Why would one need a consensus algorithm to store URLs?

Blockchains are about consensus, not storage...

I believe you mean a decentralised repository of TPB's magnet links?

I guess a Git repo would do just fine. It just needs to be regularly updated and signed-off by TPB's people.

Wouldn't that beat the system?

This article doesn't get the point. It's old, doesn't change, conservative and outdated? Stop using it.

The big problem is that TPB was taken offline not because it was buggy but because helped people copyrighted content.

Thank you so much.

This is a seriouis strawman avoiding the actual issues of censorship, big govt overreach, abuse of power, and all that.

How hard would it be to build a distributed hosting system for all the torrents ever on Piratebay ?

Considering how one poster here says that all of the torrents upto 2013 fit into 90 MB , its quite feasible. It could tunnel over TOR to make tracking things a little more difficult.

Sure. But how would one manage updates? I.e. accepting new torrents.

How about just falling back to Gnutella P2P for the torrent hosting layer.

Is that really a viable alternative? My impression is that people left the Gnutella network due to instability and floods of crap files.

Isn't it already roughly done like that? the entire bittorrent magnet system


which, if I'm not mistaken, will look for peers which have the relevant torrent file, and acquire and use that

- - -

and the 90MB is all the information /except/ torrent files, once again, if I'm not mistaken

Currently you still need a web site for searching the magnet links.

I've always wondered if bittorrent itself wasn't the right protocol for this. Let's say you have a tiny web page, with embedded javascript that implements bt. A person could keep a copy of this page local to their system, have a bookmark for it. The page, when it loads, uses bt to grab a copy of thepiratebay, and load it inline. It wouldn't even need a domain name at that point.

The swarm for this would be large enough that it would be self-sustaining, it'd be impossible to shut it down.

I just can't figure out how you'd make it updatable, so that new content could be added to it.

(Also, there's the issue of initial distribution of the html file that let's people get access to it...)

URLs to alternatives?

Sometimes if you Google something with the keyword 'torrent' (e.g. "sia 1000 forms of fear torrent") even if Google doesn't give you anything relevant, you might get a Google results page that has a DMCA notice at the bottom; click that, it'll take you to Chilling Effects, and the badly-written (or excellently-written, depending on your POV) DMCA letters will have huge lists of alternatives to TPB, and relevant links to what you were Googling for. e.g.






The article mentions KLF. What is that?

I just want to add a link to the previous replies:


The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way) is a 1988 book by The Timelords (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty), better known as The KLF. It is a step by step guide to achieving a No.1 single with no money or musical skills, and a case study of the duo's UK novelty pop No. 1 "Doctorin' the Tardis".

It is a great read and well worth tracking down.

A band that once burnt £1,000,000 in cash. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundation_Burn_a_Million_Qui...

It was pretty well their entire earnings from the band.

It was the most popular music act in the world (or at least Europe) for a couple of years in the 90's. They owned and ran their own label. At the height of their success they deleted their entire back catalogue and all the physical records they created, in an attempt to remove themselves from the music industry, and they would have succeeded if they hadn't then gone on and burnt a million pounds in a small Scottish island which was something that people would not forget.

a band. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_KLF

they retired at the top of their fame, and burned stuff both before (their own albums) and after (a million pounds).

Another fight against windmills? Google works just fine for searching .torrent files, I don't even get redirected to TPB lately.

I must agree; the ads are way too crazy.

Maybe I'm one of these "jerks", but it's always amusing to me when people complain about ads on the internet, while there are so many different ad-blockers out there.

I never understood ad blockers or the people promoting ad blockers.

People complain about ads, yet they are unwilling to pay for content, with the popularity of something like ThePirateBay being testament to that.

And then, I can understand that many websites are showing distasteful ads, but if you don't like it, then don't use those websites. This gives a chance to competing websites, being practically like voting with your wallet. Because in truth, ad blockers help the companies that are showing distasteful ads, just like how piracy helped companies like Microsoft.

EDIT: if you're gonna down-vote, at least mention why, otherwise I'm going to assume you are a just freeloader that wants everything for free.

> yet they are unwilling to pay for content

Hold it right there. The problem is that there is usually no way to pay. There is currently no way to automatically reimburse website owners when you just read a blogpost from them without going through the trouble of finding a donate button or emailing them for their paypal.

I do use ad blockers and I donate whenever I find something useful. I pirate books and music and I want to pay when I like it.

> don't use those websites

That's not always as easy as it sounds. I've tried DuckDuckGo for weeks but I just can't get the same results, so I'm back to Google now. I'd love to pay google, but I can't and they keep serving me ads.

Now Google is a pretty extreme example with all the data gathering, but you're almost forced to use some websites because it's a social norm (without Facebook, I'd miss a lot of events and messages from the school group). And you can't exactly decide whether ads on the page will be annoying before clicking on a link from Hacker News.

> ad blockers help the companies that are showing distasteful ads, just like how piracy helped companies like Microsoft

That is actually a good point, I hadn't thought of that before. Then again, I hardly use Microsoft products (just skype, but I could switch over to mumble any minute), but I see what you mean.

If you pay or donate for the content you like, I've got no beef against you.

Personally, I do pay Google for using Google Apps and I'm not getting ads in Gmail or the other services part of their Apps.

Indeed, I still get ads in their Search, but that doesn't bother me personally and AdBlock Plus from what I've seen is allowing those ads in their default configuration. YouTube is the one Google service that greatly annoys me, which is the reason for why I've searched for alternatives and so I eventually ended up using Vimeo, SoundCloud and Google Music - US citizens have many more alternatives available, unfortunately for me I'm being blocked because I'm not from the US.

> I never understood ad blockers or the people promoting ad blockers.

I block ads because they annoy me. Maybe I'm completely selfish but I don't give a shit that whoever I'm "freeloading" from isn't receiving any compensation.

I also download books, music and software because if I can get something for free, I'm not going to pay for it (don't care about the content creator, this is purely selfish). I also download movies because it's free, and series because it's free and devoid of ads (which waste my time and I don't care for). Even if you made paying easier, if there's a reasonably easy alternative to getting it for free, I'm going to use it.

Why? Because it leaves me with more money to spend on shit I can't get for free.

M'kay, thanks for proving my point. I can't help but feel annoyed because it is exactly this attitude that brought us DRM, Trusted Computing and that helped build the monopolies that we are seeing.

It's also not selflessness, because one can be both selfish and recognize that it would be in his best interest to not use ad blockers and to not pirate. This is shortsightedness and it is a pity that it's so prevalent.

I used to think like you... when I was a teenager. I remember one of the things that was attractive about cable TV was that it was ad-free. Now, can you name one cable channel without ads?

I am also firmly in the ad-block camp. You have to realize that there is no contract that forces us to follow the expectations of companies' business models. If my lack of cooperation is enough for them to fail at providing the service, they are the ones that need to change. Not me.

DRM is mostly ineffective at curbing piracy, but it's very effective at preventing legitimate paying customers from exercising all their rights, like watching the videos they bought on all their devices without buying multiple copies. What makes you think DRM wouldn't be brought anyway?

the people who introduced DRM certainly didn't share the attitude of tbe GP.

I'm not going to click ads and, most importantly, actually buy stuff to feel better about leeching content, anyhow? How would that not be shortsighted nor shelfish?

Unfortunately people are only rational, not super rational.

Personally, I use an ad blocker because I never click on ads. They're an ugly distraction and waste of bandwidth that I will literally never click.

For sites whose content I respect who I know rely on per-impression (not click-through) ads, I'll generally add an exception to my ad blocker, and/or buy some merchandise now and then to support them. I'm really excited about systems like Patreon that make this support easier because I don't need more t-shirts.

I respect creators as I'm a creator myself. But at the same time, I think if you're going to put content online and expect something like ads to support it, you need to rethink your business model.

To me it's like putting physical products on a stall on the street, and leaving it unattended with a little bucket for payments hidden in the corner. Yes, morally speaking, people shouldn't steal from it. I wouldn't steal from such a place, but I would not be surprised if others did.

The argument against ads (and thus, for ad-blockers) goes like this: Bob (the person providing/selling ad-space) is selling Alice (the advertiser) something (the reader's attention) that doesn't belong to Bob in the first place. It belongs to the reader, and the reader has chosen to pay attention to the article/whatever, not the ads.

That said, I like AdBlock Plus, and here's why: by default, it doesn't block 'acceptable' ads; i.e. if everyone used it, only the Website operators who show very nice/unobtrusive advertisements get through, and therefore get paid.


To tell you the truth, I haven't in the past used add blockers. There is one site that I've visited several times a day (Slashdot), which had started getting really annoying. I'd walk away from my computer, the screen would be locked, and an hour later I'd hear a video ad start playing through the speakers. Also when I was using a mobile hotspot, I'd go through my monthly data allotment in just a couple of days, due to their aggressive ads. Once I installed an adblock on Chrome, it apparently auto-installed the extension on my other PCs, and I haven't really bothered to take it off.

I don't use ad blockers simply because I don't want to engage in an arms race with web sites I visit. If ads on a site become too onerous then I'll move on. Until then, I'll keep the ads, and even click them sometimes if they're interesting (which really does happen from time to time, targeted advertising can work).

However, I don't really complain about ads. I occasionally make fun of them (it's always hilarious when Amazon's targeted ad program decides it makes sense to advertise products I just bought from them) but if a site's ads get to the point where they're worthy of complaint, then the site is worthy of no longer being visited.

I guess that means I find complaints weird for a somewhat different reason. Ads aren't shoved in your face, you choose to visit sites that host them. Talking to a web server and asking it, "Please send me the content of this page," and then complaining when it does what you requested is odd.

Ads are often ugly, distracting and irrelevant (in the case of piratebay often a combination of online casinos, "adult facebook" and browser games). I hope in the future most purchase decisions are made by an intelligent personal assistant for us, based on various constraints set by the owner, that should at least eliminate ads for laundry detergents, toilet paper and food.

and more and more adblockers-blockers. The point is something is wrong with the web business model, or simply that it has one.

Search works, but links to the torrent's pages are broken.

I was kind of expecting them to build fully distributed system. But I got really disappointed when they claimed that "reverse proxy" / "load balancing" is latest in distributed systems.

I reckon the next big torrent site will be KickAss torrents @ kat.ph. Shame to see the guys behind TPB disenfranchised - they've earned it I guess from all the stress they've endured.

I'm not familiar with Peter Sunde, but this sounds a lot like Peter isn't attached to Pirate Bay at all anymore.

Correct. He has done time and decided to move on with his life. Stopped being involved with TPB in 2009 except for occasionally blogging about it like he did here.

What is so special in TPB? I can't figure out.

I have seen a dozen of better services. Any hidden feature I don't know?

What is so special in TPB?

Everybody's heard of it, you didn't have to dig through obscure sites to find it, it was always there and always worked.

Hmm... now I got it.

That's just a proxy service. Run a search, it'll fail because there is nobody home. Am I missing something?

You didn't actually try searching with it, did you.

1 down, 99999 left.

The blog title contain a question mark, I guess this HN topic should also have it...

Yes, this should be edited. It is very misleading.

Rings of someone trying to get more people to click the link because instead of asking if it might be happening, it sounds like it definitely is going down forever.

It needs to be changed.

exactly!!! this ^


HN: "The pirate bay down forever (Peter Sunde's blog)"

Peter Sunde's Blog: "The Pirate Bay down, forever?"

I'm genuinely curious as to why an admin hasn't changed this title yet.

Certainly enough people have commented about it and it is a grossly misleading omission.

Not knowing whose blog it is leads you believe it may be a factual article as well.

I refuse to upvote misleading information like this.

Yeah pretty much the silliest thing about HN now - the endless title tweaking by the mods.

And to what end? More than once the title has changed so significantly I thought it was an entirely new article.

I agree there should be something that signifies a changed title(perhaps just an appended asterisk) but I also think it is useful and oftentimes necessary functionality.

How would it be 'silly' to add the question mark to the end of this posts title? Especially given that HN guidelines explicitly state that titles should be the headline of the article.

So even HN submitters will linkbait us now? A new low. Someone penalise them please.

>So even HN submitters will linkbait us now?

Pretty much how I feel about this article.

Here's a large excerpt(almost half of the article):

" As a big fan of the KLF I once learned that it’s great to burn great things up. At least then you can quit while you’re on top. I think I left TPB just a little bit after that top, and not when it’s as shitty as it was when it was closed today. It feels good that it might have closed down forever, just a real shame the way it did that. A planned retirement would have given the community time and a way to kick off something new, something better, something faster, something more reliable and with no chance of corrupting itself. Something that had a soul and could retain it. "

This is basically Peter Sunde lamenting the loss of values in the current iteration of TPB and stating he would be glad if it ended now.

I'm not making any judgement as to whether his viewpoint is valid/warranted or not, but the implication this title gives(given that we know Peter Sunde was a former TPB employee) is that ThePirateBay is closing forever and this is an article explaining why.

That's not what this is. There is nothing concrete here regarding TPB closing forever.

This article provides no new information save the fact that this former contributor is discontent with the direction TPB has gone.

Please note, I still find this article interesting; it is interesting to note how a key contributor during TPB's infancy feels about the site. The title remains misleading though.

He never asserts that TPB is down forever. Misleading title.

Fix the title, please, its misleading.

It's already back up: https://thepiratebay.cr/

No, that's a proxy. Searches don't actually work because the main site is down.

actually to test i did a search for aword art online 2 and downloaded episode 21... and it worked.

What's that rule again? The one where if a title ends in a question mark, it can generally be answered with 'No'?

Except in this case it isn't yes or no, it's "I hope so".

Extremely misleading title...

umm.... this works: https://thepiratebay.cr/

Or is this not the "original" TPB?

This is just a proxy. It's down when the main site is down (except for some static things, like the homepage)

Try to search a torrent on it, it will fail.

Well, one shouldn't confuse middle age crisis with the failure of his project.

Sometimes I really don't get why stuff get upvoted and frontpaged on HN.

I feel as if some links, even when poor, are upvoted in order to have a comment discussion on the subject they speak about.

comments alone increase rank, but too many look like spam and therefore get stooped

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