BREIN targets Mininova

BREIN targets Mininova

BREIN, the dutch MPAA/RIAA, is hoping to force Mininova to introduce a filtering system for copyright files.

Torrent search engine Mininova is to be targeted by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN for distribution of copyright materials, in the continuation of a wave of lawsuits and takedowns aimed at BitTorrent trackers.

An article in The Register claims that BREIN has been looking to negotiate with Mininova for around eighteen months, promising no legal action if the popular site would introduce a filtering system to keep copyright materials from being indexed by the search facility. Those discussions seem to have broken down, with BREIN now moving the battle to the courtroom and seeking for a judicial injunction against Mininova requiring the engine to halt all activities.

The owner of Mininova, Erik Dubbelboer, isn't too concerned. In an interview with Dutch news site, he claimed the presence of a YouTube-style takedown policy that allows copyright holders to request the removal of their content was enough to keep the law on his side. Dubbelboer stated during the interview that “Mininova is just too big to filter each file,” and that reactive takedowns rather than proactive filtering was “the only proper way to [prevent piracy]” on the site which plays host to an estimated thirty million unique visitors and over five billion downloads every month.

This isn't the first time that BREIN has threatened to see BitTorrent trackers in the courtroom. Back in December the anti-piracy organisation was targeting ISPs that hosted BitTorrent search sites including Mininova, Torrentspy, and BTJunkie. Even as far back as 2005 the anti-piracy group was threatening, which was the successor to It's clear that BREIN aren't going to settle for a reactive removal policy, but it's hard to see how Mininova – even allowing for advertising revenue the anti-piracy group estimates nets its owner thousands of euros each month – could possibly afford to develop and maintain an efficient filtering system that would keep the group off its back – and which would likely alienate the users that have made the site one of the most popular file sharing destinations around.

Any Mininova users worrying about their personal data during the trial, or do you trust Dubbelboer to do the right thing and allow the site to disappear Torrentspy-style rather than betray the privacy of his users? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
MiNiMaL_FuSS 20th May 2008, 11:06 Quote
*deletes mini-nova bookmark*
Torwald 20th May 2008, 12:58 Quote
I'd like to see how they track down all users (30 mil/month o_O) and sue them :D
Kurayamino 20th May 2008, 17:36 Quote
LOL True Torwald, also another big torrent site like TPB, so won't they just upload it else where on the interwebs?
HourBeforeDawn 20th May 2008, 18:33 Quote
another one goes down, another one will go up in its place, so ehh...
specofdust 20th May 2008, 18:58 Quote
Well demonoid just came back up recently.

So + 2 for the torrenters, +1 (possibly) for the corps.

The war goes on, the pirates keep winning battles.
talladega 20th May 2008, 19:16 Quote
how does this affect those in North America though?
proxess 20th May 2008, 19:34 Quote
they have no breins!
DXR_13KE 20th May 2008, 21:38 Quote
Originally Posted by proxess
they have no breins!


there is no way that they can win the war against piracy.
hawky84 21st May 2008, 00:59 Quote
MiniNova has a stronge community and most use the tracker for open source or other legal content, I don't think it will be going away so easily
Dreaming 21st May 2008, 05:12 Quote
I always see these things in the same way I see Apartheid. Obviously, it's nowhere near the degree of abuse lol (sorry sleep deprived = strange arguments). But the silent majority tends to want freedom as in free speech not to exploit other people's hard work obviously but to enjoy it for a fair price, whereas the elite few (not even the artists, they get a smallish cut I heard, something between 1-5% profits) with massive political lobbying power get to impose their ideas over us.

Then again, piracy is piracy, but I still think these people are protecting their own interests rather than saying 'it kills creativity..', and have no bones about picking on the silent majority. I actually have faith in the people not to abuse their position, over on XDA developers some guys make ROMs for mobile phones, basically chop up the existing one and tweak it / improve it and accept donations... even the more modest ones are making £200 a month in donations, and XDA dev is nowhere near as massive as some of the on-line communities about! (Maybe that's not a lot to some.. but it's more than I earn in a month at the moment hah :p)
MrMonroe 21st May 2008, 18:13 Quote
The reason they are unwilling to filter it proactively (which, granted, would be difficult considering the sheer size of the thing) is because they make boatloads of cash hosting links to torrents which are almost exclusively copyrighted files. People who claim otherwise are utterly delusional about the site. The portion of their userbase that uses it to legitimately share non-copyright-protected material is absolutely minuscule. If they were to filter out copyrighted material the site would lose its entire userbase and be forced to shut down. And yes, another would pop up in it's place, with a slight twist on the way it is handled, to prevent from being taken down in the same manner. Does that legitimize the owners of Mininova in making money off helping people pirate? Does it mean the owners of that material shouldn't go after this enormous confluence of illegal torrents? Not at all. They have a right to protect their material, and taking down Mininova would certainly stop a few downloads, if not for long.

Of course, taking down Mininova won't solve the root causes of piracy. Game, movie, software and music developers and producers don't expect it to any more than you or I. They are doing this to stick it to the people who make money by facilitating the illegal distribution of their work. A worthy endeavor, in my opinion. If someone were making money off a game I made without my express permission, I would go after them too, whether or not it would actually stop people from pirating the thing, because I don't like it when people make money off my work. And yes, there are numerous copies of my own employer company's software available on Mininova, illegally, making them money they did not earn. /reported knowing it will be back up in days under a different name. The simple fact of the matter is that removal by request of the owner of the content won't work as a method of preventing copyrighted material from becoming available on Mininova. The owners know this, and knowing they need illegal files in order to make money, they taut this as the "best solution" to preventing piracy on the site. Why? Because they know it won't work.

Again, if we want to stop all this nonsense, the only way to go about it is to do what the first poster should have done a long time ago: stop stealing digital products and giving traffic and therefore revenue to sites like Mininova which exist because of piracy.
diggetydoo 9th May 2009, 17:04 Quote

Why do we need to Bypass content filtering ?

As you might know mininova starts filtering copyrighted material, i dont upload protected content But i fear that such filters may also delete
files wich are not violating copyrights as example Creative Commons music wich has a 4 second part wich is similar to an protected title. Also many Companies demand licenses and copyright on files wich are definitely in the Public Domain and not Copyrighted anymore.
As Example i uploaded charlie Chaplin videos from 1917 on youtube but this videos got deledet because a Movie comapany claimed false
copyrights on these videos. Just have a look to the offical US Copyright law wich says that any work prior 1922 is not Copyrighted anymore.

So im writing this Text not to help you violating copyright but avoiding that legal content might be blocked by failure or Grief of some
Movie and Music companies. I just want to protect your legal content from being censored.

On the other side i can understand mininova since they do not want that users missuse their Content distribution service to share copyrighted stuff. Because this would be quite dangerous for mininova if illegal copyrighted content is hosted directly on their servers. So help mininova by not uploading any copyrighted stuff to their CD service !


It is very very easy to bypass such filters.
Just put your files in a encrypted .rar or .zip archive and choose an password, so The filtersoftware cannot acces the archive to look if the original file is is on the Banlist or not.

Then use Gimp or Photoshop to create an imagefile wich includes the password and save it in the same folder as the archive, use some filters and effects to make in unreadeable for machines.
Then create the Torrent from this folder. So Downloaders get the password and can
Open the file but the automated filters of film/music industry cannot open it and cannot see if the file is on their banlist or not.

Works like a Captcha i think you understand what i mean ;)

I also think this way is also the Best for mininova because since mininova is doing everything
to remove copyrighted material even if they have no succes Curts will see no reason to forbid mininova
because it is not the fault of mininova that the content filter does not work for encrypted files.

As Example Rapidshare is allready using copyright filters but they cannot stop users from uploading these files
since all Rapidshare users use encryption. It think this method will also work quite well with torrents.
So dont worry and continue sharing your legal content, the net was build for freedom and it is impossible to take this freedom away.

I hope you and also the mininova staff understand my viewpoint, i dont want to help people sharing illegal content but prevent legal files from being censored like youtubes content recognition does.

Thanks for reading ;)
thehippoz 9th May 2009, 18:55 Quote
I know I've uploaded videos that youtube rejects strait out.. it's proactive filtering is pretty strict with having anything not user created.. I can just imagine the complexity of a filter like that- doubt telling someone like mininova to create something similar is going to do much

* yeah diggity.. encryption already does this in
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