After seemingly relentless pressure, last year anti-piracy outfit BREIN had their greatest achievement to date. After an earlier court decision went against them, Mininova, one of the most important torrent sites on the Internet, finally had to give in to the desires of the movie-orientated anti-piracy outfit, removing virtually all of their torrents.
It is difficult to downplay this success. BREIN must have been absolutely delighted that all their hard work and investment had paid off, stopping Mininova in its tracks just a short time after the site had served up its 10 billionth torrent.
The Dutch anti-piracy group also had a fairly significant victory over The Pirate Bay. In common with the earlier decision against Mininova, a Dutch Court ruled that The Pirate Bay has to remove a list of torrents linking to copyrighted works by 1st March 2010.
While it had a win over Mininova and a limited win over The Pirate Bay, both of which attracted mountains of press, it seems the Netherlands-based group has been hiding its biggest successes from almost everyone.
According to figures just released by BREIN, the group shut down a staggering 615 “illegal websites” in 2009 and, apparently, BitTorrent sites made up the majority.
TorrentFreak knew that BREIN had shut down a handful of torrent sites, 19 very small sites for example (plus TorrentVault which was targeted but still operates today via Sweden), but we were absolutely oblivious to the sheer numbers now being claimed.
Total BitTorrent sites BREIN said it closed down in 2009 – a staggering 393.
And it doesn’t stop there. The anti-piracy group also says it shut down 35 eD2K servers, 38 streaming video sites and 14 Usenet portals/NZB sites.
While these closures would have no doubt been very noticeable for those that used the sites and services in question, one has to question how many people were actually using them. Unfortunately, we’re a little bit in the dark, since aside from the sites we mentioned above, a grand total of zero emails flooded into TorrentFreak during 2009 requesting information on the other several hundred closures.
So, if you know any of those we haven’t listed, please post them in the comments. We’d love to know exactly how much damage these closures did to BitTorrent. Our suspicions at this point are, not very much at all.