After a few turbulent years Filesoup – the oldest surviving BitTorrent site – has announced that it will close its doors for good. The UK-based site gained mainstream attention in 2009 when it was raided and two of its administrators were arrested. Both men eventually walked free last year after their case was dismissed, but the resulting exodus of users now leads to the closure of the site.
Founded in 2003, UK-based FileSoup was one of the original torrent sites.
When the site started there was no Pirate Bay, no Torrentz, and isoHunt wasn’t searching .torrent files yet. FileSoup outlived many of the sites that sprung up around the time and developed an active and warm community.
After years of operating the site without any noticeable trouble, in the summer of 2009 police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) conducted a raid on the home address of the site’s owner, known online as ‘TheGeeker’. Another raid was carried out around the same time on the property of fellow administrator ‘Snookered’.
Both were arrested and taken in for questioning.
After a lengthy legal process the authorities eventually dropped the charges against the admins in 2011. The court concluded that the evidence was solely provided by FACT and thus unreliable. While this was a huge relief and a welcome victory for the admins, the legal process effectively killed the once-so-vibrant FileSoup community.
Members left, and didn’t return. Only a handful of the 1,043,311 registered members check in on an average day, compared to the tens of thousands of visitors a few years ago. As the visitor count dropped, the interest of FileSoup administrator Geeker waned.
“Unfortunately, the glory days are in the past. When I was raided almost 3 years ago, there was a mass exodus and since then Filesoup’s interest has continued to wane severely, which for me, has been so sad to experience,” Geeker explains.
The result is that after more than nine years the site is now closing down for good.
“Filesoup has had a great run, since February 2003 we were online as one of the first BitTorrent sites and with our vibrant, helpful community, we grew at a tremendous rate, to at one time being listed in the top 50k visted websites on the internet. We morphed, updated, expanded and changed so much over the years, it was truly an awesome ride,” Geeker writes
“A lot of people and sites have learned, copied, emulated and grown from the things that we did and what went on here, heck we were online long before The Pirate Bay or SuprNova were even thought of.”
As a BitTorrent community FileSoup will certainly be remembered by many of the early BitTorrent adopters. Unlike many of the popular BitTorrent sites today, the community was more important than anything else.
Geeker informs the site’s members that he’s not selling the database, but the FileSoup domains are being put up for auction for those who want to buy a piece of BitTorrent history.