Old lions and new champions of P2P
The content industry can rely on a growing number of tools for trying to censor, sue and damage the users of file-sharing, but said users have more and more ways to share, search and download music, videos or software as well. The Pirate Bay (TPB) is on of the most known names and one of the majors’ main targets as always, yet the old lion of BitTorrent P2P has got its own problems and it has to give way to competition as the most popular torrent site on the Internet.
The Bay is a regular guest of judges’ orders for “immediate” censorship actions, and a Spanish court recently ordered the country’s providers to block access to the site within a few hours or else. The block has been enforced, but users resumed searches on the TPB indexes almost straightaway by employing alternative DNS services. The site’s operational situation keeps on improving and now registrations for new user accounts are available again, while British providers go as far as blocking CloudFlare shared IP addresses to censor a proxy for TPB access.
Industry stubbornness aside, The Pirate Bay isn’t the most used torrent site anymore: this particular award is now to be granted to KickassTorrents (KAT), an indexing engine for files on the BitTorrent network that like TPB promotes on-line content sharing, deals with censorship forced by the majors and must change its domain name over and over again to stay on-line. The latest domain registered by KAT is in Costa Rica (kat.cr), a location chosen a few hours after the shutdown of the domain previously opened with the Isle of Man registry.
The old search engines have to deal with more and more focused and complex anti-“piracy” actions, and even who tries new approaches to BitTorrent sharing experiences the industry’s nearly instantaneous reaction: Strike is a torrent search engine with innovative features, capable of accessing indexing services like TPB and KAT but also, first of its kind, of querying the decentralized part of the BitTorrent network known as Distributed Hash Table (DHT).
While trying to calm down the flow of requests for content removal sent according to the USA DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) law, Strike developer wiped off any index and data archive from his tool; now all searches on Strike are completely dynamic, every user request queries the many sharing platforms supported by the service and the servers save no permanent information at all. New things like Strike try to provide answers to the always growing demand for P2P sharing, a practice that is reaching new download highs for ultra-popular TV series like Game of Thrones despite the threats by the HBO television network.