In a week where BitTorrent already lost its largest torrent indexer Mininova, a well-known private tracker has also announced that it will cease its operations. Rumors that the shutdown is related to the bust of the topsite LOOP earlier this week remain unconfirmed.
SceneTorrents (ScT) has been a respected and well-connected private BitTorrent tracker for more than four years. An invite for the tracker was hard to find, but the lucky few that did get in had little to complain about, until today that is.
A few hours ago ScT put up a sad and unexpected announcement for its 20,000 members, as the site’s operators have decided to close the site for good tomorrow. Thus far the staff refuses to comment on the reason for the shutdown, which has resulted in widespread rumors among the site’s users.
ScT announces that it will close the site tomorrow at 10PM GMT.
Some rumors say that the end of ScT may be related to the raid of a topsite in The Netherlands earlier this week. According to the Dutch news site Tweakers, the ‘ranked’ topsite LOOP had its servers raided in Amsterdam, where 40 terabytes of data was stored. LOOP was (supposedly) one of SceneTorrent’s main content provider according to insiders.
According to other rumors, the shutdown could be a planned operation instead of a response to the raided topsite. In the last weeks the site has encouraged its members to donate, offering double rewards for those who pay up, allegedly raking in as much as $10,000.
Thus far both rumors remain unconfirmed, and the same is true for an eBay auction of the site that went up a few hours ago. Since the staff of the site is not talking, it will probably remain unknown why the site will close its doors now, or what their underlying motivation is.
Update: FSF published a short chat with ScT owner ‘Feeling’ who confirmed that the shutdown is not a hoax.
Update: A new staff message claims that the shutdown is due to legal issues.
By now most of you already know that ScT will be going offline permanently.
However, due to pending legal issues, we are not at liberty to speak freely about why we’ve chosen to take down the site.
Members of our staff were arrested and will be undergoing the entire length of the judicial process.
Obviously, in the case of criminal proceedings, it would be downright foolish to comment any further on the situation;
Please bear this in mind and wish them the best of luck.
There have been several theories as to where the donation money (of the recent months) has gone. We’d like to take this opportunity to put all skepticism to rest.
The money was used to purchase new hardware that would ensure our spot as the fastest tracker on the net.
You are free to perform whatever calculations you feel necessary, but in doing so it should become very clear that running a site of this stature costs money.
We feel the overwhelming cynicism is just a product of bad timing compounded with general frustration caused by the current situation.
We sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed being a part of our wonderful community over the past 4 1/2 years.
We’ve certainly enjoyed our members letting us be of service. We’ve always felt our user base played an equally important role in making SceneTorrents.org a model environment in the torrent world.
The staff would also like to express their gratitude to fellow trackers for their support in such a chaotic time. Several well known communities have voluntarily opened their doors, and have offered our former users a new home. We appreciate the courtesy and acknowledge the steps being taken to move forward collectively as a community. Your assistance does not go unrecognized.