Last month, TorrentFreak had the pleasure of interviewing Merrin, the founder of the 150,000 member MVGroup tracker. It is with great sadness that we bring the news that after a long struggle against increasing health problems, Merrin has passed away, aged just 31.
During April, TorrentFreak interviewed Merrin after his site was shutdown in error following a blunder by an anti-piracy outfit. Despite this setback, Merrin appeared full of optimism for the future so it’s particularly sad that we hand over to ‘Eazbak’ from MVGroup to bring us tragic news:
“It is with a heavy heart that I write this, Merrin the founder of MVGroup.org passed away suddenly on Monday 5th May. He had been ill for sometime but the extent of his illness was not known to the staff , his family or his personal friends. His passing will leave an enormous void at MVGroup.
I was asked to write something here about Merrin, but to be honest I just can’t face it, the thought of doing so is just too painful. So I’ll simply add an abridged version of a post Merrin made at MVGroup some time long, long ago, it will give you a much better insight into who he was and what he was all about than anything I could have written.”
How did MVGroup start and what are our aims, hmm, perhaps a potted history is in order.
Summer 2001 was when I did my first rip, it wasn’t MVGroup back then it was just under my tag. Went well, was released onto the edonkey network with some success. It happened to be Walking With Beasts. I had been given the DVD’s as a present. I always made a point of watching what I could on BBC on tv, but realised after the reaction I got to my first release that there was very little of this kind of thing floating around on the net back then. Don’t get me wrong, I love ST or 24 as much as the next person but I knew that I wanted to give something back to the community that I had taken from for so long. The best way to do this seemed to be to me to release the things that I enjoyed, but couldn’t find, working on the principle that if I liked them there had to be more people out there that did too.
MVGroup was formed in about October of 2002. I talked DarkRain (Vittorio in those days, hence MVGroup, MVGroup also being a tag we had affected once or twice on game rips we had done) into helping me out with rips and supplying DVD’s, we were initially nothing more than a loose association releasing rips on FileNexus.
We then started to generate a bit of interest and we were given (alright I nagged the FN admins) our own section to call home on the FN forums.
Myself and DarkRain had drifted further apart both in real-life and online and MVGroup was looking like it was about to die from lack of time, interest, and releases. It was at this point that I, for want of something better to do, decided that maybe I would put some of our old releases out using the Bitttorrent protocol rather than ed2k. I quickly put a few releases out that way and generated some interest from the BT community. My interest re-piqued I realised that there was no way of releasing on BT using our sections on either FN or FTi that we had by now. The answer was our own webpage.
I got to work on a simple HTML based site on my ISP webspace, that was enough to relight DarkRain’s interest in MVG too and we started cranking releases out again on both BT and ed2k. Funnily enough it didn’t take long before my ISP were getting unhappy with a p2p site on their space. It was then that this current site started to evolve. I decided I better learn how to use proper website tools like php and sql db backends etc. The whole site was put together to a first usable state in about 24 hours straight by just myself lol, that was a day and a no mistake..
Then we started recruiting like-minded individuals that would help us to release and spread the material that we were now known for.
So, what are we trying to achieve, well it isn’t notoriety, it isn’t fame, it isn’t anything other than a sincere desire to make sure that as many people as possible have their horizons broadened by the quality material that we release.
After all we do have a tagline ‘An education in p2p’
….and it ain’t just there because it’s snappy.
So what of the future of the MVGroup tracker? m06166, a close friend of Merrin, explains: “There will be no closing down and no major changes are intended. We will not change the policy of MVGroup of sharing knowledge with the world without ratios for free. Ever.”
The final word from Eazbak: “Our mission now is to make sure that Merrin’s legacy continues, not just this year or the next but for as long as we can possibly do so, the staff is united, we have DVDs ready to rip, files ready to seed, watch out for an MVGroup tagged file on a tracker near you soon!”
Anyone wishing to pay their respects may do so here (registration needed, tracker signups open)
In memory of Merrin – 1976-2008