Torrent users, rejoice. File sharing website and BitTorrent tracker Demonoid is back online after being shut down since late July.
A BitTorrent tracker like Demonoid lets its users find torrents – small pieces of a file separated onto different hosts – that can then be downloaded as a complete file.
Often, torrents are hosted by “seeders” – or uploaders – and downloaded by “leechers”.
Though torrent hosting and distribution is illegal in many countries, there are a number of torrent websites, with Demonoid being one of the most notable.
Matt Lischynski, a Demonoid user for several years, said he didn’t expect it to ever come back, but welcomed the news.
“When the website comes back, I’ll be using it,” said Lischynski. “It’s how I get my music – a lot of stuff I can’t find in music stores.”
Lischynski said he uses the service to download roughly 10 to 15 albums a month.
Even with the shutdowns, Bernie Monette, program coordinator for web development at Humber, said Demonoid doesn’t risk losing its large user base.
“The tendency has been that someone else is going to pop up and take it over,” said Monette. “That’s the whole thing with BitTorrents. It’s not really one user base.”
Monette said that because users share the torrent files across many websites, torrents stay alive regardless of a website or tracker going down.
It is likely Demonoid will have to deal with their site and tracker going down again. An anonymous source – said to be an administrator for Demonoid – told VICE magazine the US government has been trying to shut down the website, “since day one.”
Mario Bouchard, general counsel for the Copyright Board of Canada, said the federal government regulates downloading and file sharing laws. He said it is generally better to monetize file-sharing websites than block them completely.