August last year the popular BitTorrent tracker Demonoid had its servers taken down by Ukrainian hosting company Colocall.
Local authorities explained that Interpol had requested the action as part of a criminal investigation into the site’s alleged owners in Mexico.
Months earlier Mexican authorities had carried out raids in Monterrey, the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León. Their prime target was a Demonoid operator, and one person connected to the BitTorrent tracker was subsequently imprisoned but later released.
While the legal troubles may have played a role in Demonoid’s continued downtime, the site was already suffering with technical problems at the end of July last year. Talking to TorrentFreak the site’s admin blamed a DDoS attack. At the time, however, the tech admin of the site was determined to get the site back online.
“You know how it goes with Demonoid. It might take a while but it will come back,” the admin told us.
But in the year that followed the Demonoid team kept their trademark silence. The last official update we received dates back to September last year when hopes for a quick resurrection were tempered. At the time, Demonoid’s tech admin told us that the site might not come back soon.
“We are down, and we’re not looking into putting the site back up at the moment,” the admin said.
And he was right.
Of course there are still many who believe the site may eventually return. The hopes of these Demonoid users was fueled in November when the tracker briefly returned, as well as by a follow-up switch to a new .HK domain. But this short-lived excitement wasn’t followed up by anything concrete.
Still, the Demonoid “spirit” is still very much alive and touching many people who miss it dearly. Over the past months we have seen the rise of imposters and a standalone tracker inspired by Demonoid. The closest to a true resurrection is the mysterious D2.vu site, which launched using a copy of the Demonoid user and torrent database.
However, none of these sites has come close to the millions of active users Demonoid had before it collapsed. These newer “alternatives” simply miss the truly unique community and collection of fresh and rare content.
Of course there is no shortage of “pirate” sites on the Internet, but many users saw Demonoid as something more than that.
While the music and movie industries would quickly label Demonoid as a piracy haven, for members it was often the go-to place for rare and unique content that was not available elsewhere on the Internet, even through legal channels. In addition, it was also a place where creators were happy to share their work.
However, we have now come to a point where we are tempted to draw a sad conclusion for the “comeback kid.”
After a year of Demonoid downtime, which is double the 2007/2008 downtime record of six months, it is very unlikely that the famous tracker will ever return to its former glory. Never say never, but even those who are optimistic by nature have to agree that Demonoid’s future is looking grimmer than ever before.