Just over a day since the MovieX BitTorrent tracker disappeared following the arrest of two admins, the 400,000 member site has returned. A remaining admin is adamant that TorrentFreak completely fabricated the story and that the brothers who ran the site weren’t arrested. All the indications point to the opposite being true.
According to the Australian Federal Police, two Brisbane men from the same family, a 21 year-old and a 27 year-old, were arrested two days ago. The site they founded and administered was MovieX.info, although one of the remaining administrators Dev0 claims that TorrentFreak and many other news outlets completely fabricated the story, claiming a simple hard drive failure.
Of course, TorrentFreak previously sent emails to the founders giving them ample opportunity to deny the allegations, but we have had absolutely no response.
Yesterday it became apparent that despite the site going offline, the domain name of MovieX.info wasn’t controlled by either of the arrested pair, making a return of the site likely. Indeed, although the arrests of the brothers caused a knee-jerk takedown of the site, in the AFACT (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) press release they took care not to mention the name of the site, probably mindful of the likelihood it would reappear. Today, that’s exactly what has happened.
Just a couple of hours ago the MovieX holding page disappeared to be replaced with an apparently-intact site. Over time, the site got more and more busy and now there are many people back on the site, although some users are reporting that although the forum is functional, the tracker isn’t, but it’s early days. No doubt it will be fully functional soon.
Despite users on the site asking for one, there is currently no official message explaining the reasons for the downtime, but ®ama’s user account profile has been edited to remove statistics related to the material he personally contributed to the site. His location, Brisbane, and his actual date of birth remain, as does his original profile in Google’s cache. Indeed, none of this information is a secret, anyone can access it. He is the 27 year-old mentioned by the police.
When questioned about ®ama and his whereabouts and the lack of information by a VIP user, one admin said: “What I am saying is that whoever the person or persons are who have been arrested, [it's] none of my business.”
MovieX offered a VIP area where users could download material directly rather than use the site’s tracker. Much was made by AFACT of this section, claiming that the site generated revenue by charging users to access it. Since the site returned, some users are reporting that the section is inaccessible, although it is unclear if this is the case for all everyone.
Whereas with the OiNK raid, police took the time to completely neutralize the site by arresting the admin, seizing the domain name and confiscating the servers, Australian police did a much less comprehensive job. As a result, MovieX is back online with more publicity than ever before.
It remains to be seen if the news outlets that reported its demise will be just as quick to report that it’s back in business, but back it is, and despite uncertainty in other areas (such is the ‘fog’ of BitTorrent) there can be no doubt about that.
Update: (03:09 PM) dev0 [admin] “Tracker is now back online”