Amid the hustle and bustle of the U.S. holiday came word last week that BitTorrent-index site Mininova has purged all user-contributed torrents in an attempt to comply with an August order by a Dutch judge.
For now only approved users will be able to upload and share torrents through Mininova.
The announcement was made just a week after operators of The Pirate Bay shut down their site's controversial BitTorrent tracker, saying advances in technology have made it unnecessary.
TorrentFreak calls the move by Mininova "the end of an era" for what was perhaps the most successful BitTorrent-index website -- one founded in early 2005 by a group of Dutch teenagers. What began as a hobby quickly developed into a profitable business that earned almost $1.5 million in 2007 alone.
But the increasing popularity and revenue was accompanied by complaints from copyright holders. Although the site's moderators routinely complied with requests to remove infringing files, a Dutch judge ruled in August that Mininova must remove all copyrighted material or pay up to $7.5 million in penalties.
"Unfortunately the court ruling leaves us no other option than to take our platform offline, except for the Content Distribution service," Mininova's administrators wrote last week. "According to the verdict we have to prevent uploads of torrents to Mininova that refer to certain titles or to similar-looking titles. We’ve been testing some filtering systems the last couple of months, but we found that it’s neither technically nor operationally possible to implement a 100% working filter system. Therefore, we decided that the only option is to limit Mininova to Content Distribution torrents from now on. We are still considering an appeal at this moment."