Drama has struck parts of the BitTorrent community recently as the popular DVD ripper aXXo hasn’t uploaded any torrents for several weeks. Recently a rumor surfaced that aXXo went to join a private BitTorrent tracker and continued to share his work there exclusively. But is this really the case?
Over the years aXXo has been built up to cult figure status by many BitTorrent users, to a point where the mainstream press and even documentary film makers show an interest. This March aXXo went silent, but some claim that he is still active on a relatively unknown private tracker named Speed.cd.
A few weeks ago, some blogs and commenters on Mininova picked up on this and reported that aXXo decided to go underground, releasing his torrents only on a few private trackers. Interestingly, he would also have left Darkside RG which was considered to be his home for years, and where he posted the following message only weeks ago.
“My home is my beloved Darkside and as i’ve said so many times before on each of my torrents…. Be aware of bogus sites and lamers,” aXXo wrote.
So here are some facts. There is indeed a staff member called aXXo (with identical capitalization) on Speed.cd. He joined the site in January 2008 and has been uploading (some) aXXo rips after they appeared on public sites such as Mininova. After aXXo stopped releasing torrents elsewhere, aXXo on Speed.cd continued to upload movies.
But is this member called aXXo on Speed.cd the real deal? No, not even close. A quick comparison of the codecs used on these “new” aXXo releases and an examination of some of the metadata such as the ripping software and specs, clearly shows that it is not the same aXXo his fans know and love.
Also, it is a bit strange that the mystical aXXo only uploaded his releases sporadically onto the Speed.cd tracker before he stopped releasing on public sites three months ago. To us, these are all clear signs that we’re dealing with an impostor here.
For years aXXo has been warning followers to “beware of bogus sites and lamers,” but apparently that didn’t help much. Over recent weeks, thousands of people signed up at Speed.cd, and according to a poll on the site, most of them joined because of the ‘aXXo’ releases.
aXXo poll on Speed.cd
The aXXo user on the private tracker is clearly enjoying his new status, and has even changed the NFO files bundled with his releases to point to Speed.cd instead of DarksideRG. In the comments he is chatting with his new found fans and explaining why he decided to leave Mininova and Demonoid.
The site’s operators on the other hand are welcoming the many donations made by aXXo’s followers. “Since axxo is part of this site I have donated $10,” one user commented after buying some upload credit and VIP status. There are even better deals though. Three months of VIP access is only $50 and you’ll get a star next to your nickname as bonus.
Then again, if thousands of people can’t spot the difference between the uploads of aXXo and the fake aXXo, does it really matter? We’re inclined to say no, if it wasn’t for the price lists and money begging going on at that site.
Let’s hope that they don’t have the MPAA fooled and end up with their servers raided by the authorities. That would be a shame.
Update: A topic on Speed.cd linking to this article was quickly removed….