In mid 2009, FileSoup – the oldest surviving BitTorrent site – was raided by police and the owner arrested. Despite this, however,the site remained online. Then, during the first week of 2010, FileSoup disappeared without warning. But there is cause for cautious optimism – FileSoup could be back sooner than you think.
Founded in 2003, UK-based FileSoup was one of the original torrent sites. Online for longer than even the mighty Pirate Bay, the site developed a great reputation and a warm community.
After many years of keeping a low profile, on Monday 27th July 2009, police and the MPAA-funded anti-piracy group FACT conducted a raid on the home address of the owner – known to all in the torrent community as ‘TheGeeker’.
It didn’t matter that since 2005 FileSoup hadn’t operated a tracker and never hosted any copyrighted content, Geeker’s offense was initially labeled as “Distribute Article Infringing Copyright”. The full details of the raid and aftermath can be read in our previous article.
Despite all the turmoil, Geeker was never asked or told to close down the site, so naturally it stayed open, supporting the loyal and passionate community it had built over the previous 6 years.
But then, on January 6th this year, without warning FileSoup simply vanished. Of course, as the days went by there was the usual speculation, but the reason for the disappearance was not as sinister as some believed.
A few days before FileSoup went down, TorrentFreak was told by a number of readers that a company they had rented seedboxes from had simply stopped responding. Despite their claim to offer “premier customer satisfaction,” JMHServices.com disappeared leaving many of its customers out of pockets, some by hundreds of dollars. In an email, NetDirekt, a provider that JMH co-located with, confirmed that the company had not been paying their bills.
Unfortunately, JMHServices was FileSoup’s host too, and when they went down, so did the site.
On Monday 11th, Geeker returned to the police station to answer his bail and was again interviewed at length about FileSoup. Various items that were originally seized were returned, including a mobile phone, sat nav and video camera.
Understandably this experience with the police is proving upsetting for Geeker, the JMH situation was yet another kick in the teeth and for a while it looked like FileSoup would be no more, such is the pressure.
Geeker told TorrentFreak that the goal for FileSoup right from the very beginning was always to be a really friendly and open community site all about BitTorrent and filesharing – a place where people could come and find out everything they needed to know in a fun and helpful atmosphere, not just to get torrents.
“It is so upsetting for me and for every member I’ve heard from since Filesoup went offline, to think that we’re all going to lose the friends and the site we all worked so hard to build up over the last 6+ years,” Geeker explains.
But things are looking up.
The hunt is now on to find people with the necessary expertise, knowledge and free time to bring FileSoup back as a great community site.
“Over the next couple of weeks, I’m hoping to find and speak with some like minded people to help me, so fingers crossed, if everything works out well, Filesoup could be back online again real soon,” he told us.
Geeker’s new bail date is currently set for Tuesday 13th April. I’m sure our readers will join us in wishing him well.