It has been three months since the popular (semi)private BitTorrent tracker Demonoid went offline. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation about its future, and many feared that the site would never return. Totally out of the blue, however, the tracker is now responding again.
The frontend of Demonoid is still hosted in the US, together with the popular Subdemon forums. Interestingly, the tracker – which has been offline for months – is now hosted in Malaysia, and has started to respond again, approximately 30 hours ago.
It is of course not clear what this all means, but without an official message from the Demonoid team, speculation has started. Could it be that the site has found a new host, and preparing a return? Many former Demonoid members are secretly hoping that this is indeed the case.
Last December, Deimos, the founder and main admin of what used to be one of the most popular BitTorrent trackers, posted a message on the Subdemon forums on the possibility of a return. At the time he wrote: “Money is an issue, but the real problem at the moment is finding a suitable place to host the website. There has been no luck there. And there’s some personal stuff I need to take care of that takes most of my time at the moment, and that does not help.”
For those who forgot, here is a recap of what has happened so far. The trouble for Demonoid started back in June, when the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN started to put pressure on Demonoid and their ISP, Leaseweb. Deimos decided that the Netherlands wasn’t the safe haven it used to be and he to moved the site to Canada, which resulted in a few days of downtime.
Deimos never really told the administrators or members of the site exactly what was happening. Initially, most members assumed that there was some hardware failure, but after a few days it became clear that Demonoid was more or less forced to move. Maybe there could have been hardware failures too, who knows, but the outcome was the same – Canada here we come.
Relocating the servers to Canada initially solved the problems, but, by the end of September Deimos took Demonoid offline for the second time. Again, nobody knew what was going on until we found out that the CRIA was responsible for the downtime, which was later confirmed by Deimos. It turned out that Canada wasn’t the best choice after all.
After 5 days of downtime the site returned, now blocking all traffic from Canadian users in an attempt to calm down the CRIA. At first it looked like the storm was finally over, but on November 9th Demonoid’s users were welcomed by a disappointing message on the frontpage explaining that the CRIA was indeed responsible for the downtime.
So will Demonoid ever return? The fact that the tracker is back online, in a different location seems to suggest that there is something happening.
Update: February 20, tracker offline again after 3 days uptime.