Fenil and Bollywood

E-pirates mourn at Minonova’s clean up act

Posted on: December 2, 2009

Sharmila Ganesan-Ram | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; December 2, 2009)

Mumbai: Kurbaan, typed the eager 26-year-old in the search bar of his favourite website. ‘No results found,’ blinked the screen. Santosh Kannan (name changed), who usually reserves his weekends to watch downloaded movies, was aghast. Never before in the history of this techie’s four-year-old affair with the site Mininova had the search for a new movie yielded zilch results. The explanation, that arrived in tiny font on the site’s homepage, soon made Kannan feel like “I had just lost a friend.’’

Mininova, the largest Torrent (a popular file-sharing software) site offering movie and music downloads and the lifeline of numerous online movie pirates like Kannan, announced last week that it will now only share movies that have been uploaded through its content distribution service. This means that all its illicit Torrent movies have been deleted and, in turn, piracy is now impossible on the site. The portal’s founders took the decision after they lost a civil dispute and were ordered to remove all infringing torrents from the site.

This may be reason for distributors to smile as the move is a big blow to online piracy. But for its numerous patrons like Mulund-based Kannan, who banked on the site for its promise of convenient movie downloads, it marks the end of good times. The dejected Kannan even posted a message on Facebook saying, ‘RIP Mininova’. “I had bookmarked this site as one of my favourites. It was safe as, unlike other Torrent sites, Mininova did not contain porn uploads,’’ says Kannan who must have downloaded about 60 to 80 GBs of content, courtesy Mininova so far.

The site was founded in early 2005 by five Dutch students as a hobby project, but soon, it spiralled into a successful business generating millions of dollars. For years, it faced numerous complaints from copyright holders, who saw their intellectual property being shared by users of the site. Earlier this year, the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN decided to take Mininova to court, demanding that the operators proactively filter uploads pointing to copyrighted material.

Final year science student Aditya Kumar, who has set ‘Goodbye Mininova’ as his chat status, says he saw this coming. “A few months ago Mininova had started moderating the Torrent uploads, which was just a sign that they would soon go legal.’’ Though he admits that “piracy is wrong’’, he can’t help but praise the “good quality prints, great download speed and accurate reviews’’ that characterised the website. “It was incredibly well-organized, and easy to navigate. It didn’t require a complex invite procedure to sign and log in,’’ he recalls.

Of course, the site is not totally dead. But “it’s unlikely anyone will use Mininova for legal stuff,’’ predicts Kumar.
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1 Response to "E-pirates mourn at Minonova’s clean up act"

Good to see all the info on a single page.I was looking for this info too but i need more data regarding these movies.But you guys really saved my 10 mins.Thanks

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