Torrent site BTJunkie shuts down

Voluntary closure seen as reaction to legal measures against Megaupload

Torrent website BTJunkie has closed down voluntarily in response to legal pressure on its contemporaries, after more than six years in operation.

Visitors to the site, which had boasted of being the biggest collection of torrents on the internet, are now greeted by a farewell message.

"This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we've decided to voluntarily shut down. We've been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it's time to move on. It's been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!"

Speaking to torrent news site BitTorrent Giant, BTJunkie's founder, who remained un-named, said that the decision to close was a direct result of seeing the legal action taken against other torrent sites like Megaupload and Pirate Bay.

However, he was upbeat about the future of other torrent sites continuing to ply their trade, telling BitTorrent Giant that he sees them persevering. "I really do hope so," he told the site, adding "the war is far from over for sure."

BTJunkie was screened from search results by Google, and had been reported as proliferating pirated material to the US Government, but no legal action was thought to be underway.

Last month, the FBI collaborated with New Zealand police to shut down Megaupload, arresting founder Kim Dotcom and several executives, freezing assets whilst suing for extradition to the US.

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Latest comments (16)

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart7 years ago
"no legal action was thought to be underway."

The FBI doesn't tend to tell people in advance that they are under investigation.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
It's going to be too little, too late, if they're trying to save their necks. If they're being investigated - and they are - they're going to get nailed.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago
Unlikely. The difference between Megaupload and BtJunkie was that Btjunkie never charged for anything (at least as far as I know). If it's going to cost millions to pursue them and the odds of getting any money at the end of the line are zero I'm fairly certain there would be "No investigation underway"
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago

Also doesn't mean they did. It's a judgment call as to whether the gains will justify spending millions in public money to pursue them. If at the end of the chase the news headlines read pennyless guy in bedroom arrested then it will call into question the viability of any such operation in the future.

I think it's enough that the heat of megauploads has caused other "we'll never get caught" and "what can they do to us" advocates to think long and hard before setting up such sites in the future.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
@Peter - The content industry - more specifically, the RIAA (and MPAA) - were once compared by a financial analyst to being a "rogue state with nuclear weapons" on how their scorched earth policies affected investment and stiffled innovation and anything relating to how they do business. In short: if they don't provide it, kill it with fire.

So it's really not about whether or not BTJunkie charged for anything, because the Pirate Bay never did, either. Now, their founders are in jail for a long time, Kim Dotcom is going to jail for a long time, and other sites are folding up. With TPB, the main rallying cry was that they made money on ads. Furthermore, they were providing illicit copies of their property. That's all there is to it.

To them, anyone who doesn't do things their way should be crushed. You're talking about an industry that almost successfully lobbied a way around the United States' laws of due process. They *WILL* have these guys taken out, eventually, if only to put their heads on a pike as a warning to others. They organized the timing of Kim Dotcom's arrest to chill others; mission accomplished.
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource7 years ago
Great! This should end piracy forever!
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Roger Edwards Writer/Blogger/Podcaster 7 years ago
@Christopher Bowen

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers...
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
@Roger - Assuming this is a statement that the industry is creating more pirates by squeezing down, I 100% agree. That doesn't affect the admins of BTJunkie, though.
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology7 years ago
so another torrent site is down..well another will pop up and take its place as expected..

piracy is bad but the FBI etc should focus on more important matters tbh..
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Vitalii Moskalets Game Designer, GameLoft7 years ago
Let's imagine, that piracy somehow ends, and there is no more sites where you can download pirate game (which anyway is fantastic). So now you can't download game for free, will you buy it? Will those who played pirated games will now buy the same amount of games they used to play? NO. They just won't buy them and won't play them.

Even if Game Companies income will increase from selling games, will developers get more salary or prize money? NO. Every part of increasing income will just feed executives and board of directors more.

Will there be innovation or some more great games? NO. Executives don't want to change anything if they have solid income.

So what actually will bring elimination of piracy?
- less gamers
- less game industry professionals - why? Because how many people working professionaly on games in the world were trained and learned how to do it ONLY on legal software???
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Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games7 years ago
"Because how many people working professionaly on games in the world were trained and learned how to do it ONLY on legal software???"

Well, most of my contemporaries used ASM-One (free from 1992), DPaint (bundled with pretty much all Amigas) and ProTracker (free) :)

There are free versions or clones of all the different packages in common use available, you just need to make sure that you teach yourself the relevant skills in a transferable manner, rather than becoming reliant on one particular program.
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Jeff Wilson7 years ago
I am not sure of US Governments stance on this issue. Are they intending to take legal action against BTJunkie for making lots of money due to advertising or because they are pirating illegal software or movies ? If it is the latter then they have an impossible task due to the huge amount of illegal file sharing that exists today whether on a LAN or WAN.

Personally, I think it should be the ISP's that are investigated. They are responsible for allowing so much content that has damaged the economies of many countries without prior legal checks. Where is the litigation for the network providers ?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
Martin, ISP's can't stop people from pirating software any better than car manufacturers can stop drivers from running over pedestrians.
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Brian Smith Artist 7 years ago
@Vitalii - Well said.
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Reilly Davis7 years ago
lmao @ jimmy

if there were no torrent sites or p2p people would just go back to how it was done in the old days file serves on irc and swapping discs with mates

piracy thrives whilst customers are unhappy for example prices of games could come down, the preorder bonuses are a great incentive to actually buy the game
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Danik Junivic7 years ago
FBI would be well advised investigating themselves, the CIA, the Pentagon over all the child pornography/slavery going on... Oops! I forgot crooks don't nitpick themselves.
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