In 2005, the MPAA initiated a crackdown on BitTorrent sites linking to TV shows. Among those was UK-Torrents, a site that was later reborn as secretive private tracker UK-T. Four years later and UK-T is gone for good, but with no official announcements the exact circumstances are still unclear.
After sharing using BitTorrent increased rapidly in popularity during 2004/2005, the MPAA could wait no longer and moved to pressure and shut down several sites.
Bragginrights, ShunTV, Btefnet, CDDVDHeaven, SciFi-Classics and Zonatracker served around 100,000 users between them, and were all targeted with lawsuits in May 2005. Earlier in the year moves were also made against LokiTorrent, s0nicfreak and TorrentStop.
While others faded away, users and admins of some of these sites regrouped to form new sites, and from the ashes of another targeted site, UK-Torrents, UK-T was born.
After the scares of 2005, becoming a large and open site became less attractive. With security in mind UK-T was an invite-only private tracker with an estimated membership of less than 5000. The site also had a fake frontend which gave birth to its codename: Wheel Mods
Some might wonder why the site is being referred to in the past tense after a healthy four years’ operation. The reason is that the site is no more.
In the absence of any official announcement either by the site’s staff or any anti-piracy outfit, details about the shutdown have been very difficult to obtain. After sitting on this story for quite a while, TorrentFreak managed to get a couple of individuals close to the site’s owners to part with a few pieces of information.
According to our sources a senior member of staff experienced legal issues following allegations of selling counterfeit DVDs which led to a search of his home address. Reports from a second source close to the situation claim that there have been further arrests of site staff, although we have been unable to confirm these reports at this point.
Some facts, however, seem fairly solid. Ex-site members are assured that they are safe, since staff quickly took the opportunity to securely delete the site and databases. However, the bad news is that the site will not be returning.