Together with the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, the MPAA shuttered 12 torrent sites in the US this week. Around the same time another 39 file-sharing sites were pulled offline in The Netherlands.
Although the actions appeared to be significant, at the time of publication we were unable to name even one site that could have been caught up in this massive anti-piracy sweep. BREIN and the MPAA weren’t naming any sites in fear of boosting their profile should they return, which made it impossible to determine the scope of their actions.
However, shortly after we published the article about the MPAA shutdowns a staffer of a well-known torrent site got in touch, informing us that they were of of the casualties. The site in question – DarksideRG – is a relatively small community where torrents are posted in a forum, but it made a name for itself a few years ago as being the ‘home’ of aXXo.
To the older crowd the name aXXo will ring a bell as one of the best known DVDrip releasers. Between the fall of 2005 and March 2009, those four iconic letters were attached to hundreds of torrent files that linked to pirated movies. In the release notes of these files there always was a link back to DarksideRG.
Over the years the aXXo brand went on to achieve cult status. While there have been endless debates in the file-sharing community about the sources aXXo used for releases, for many the tag became synonymous with quality, dominating the searches on all public torrent sites. As a result, aXXo has grabbed the attention of scammers, the mainstream press and even documentary makers.
TorrentFreak spoke to a staff member at DarksideRG who informed us that they are indeed one of the 39 Dutch-hosted sites that has been pulled offline. Although this may sound dramatic, in reality the site’s owners were kindly asked by their hosting company to relocate, following complaints from BREIN and the MPAA.
DarksideRG’s hosting company Leaseweb had to ask the site’s owner to leave because BREIN has previously won a case in The Netherlands against a torrent site hoster. DarksideRG was notified about the complaints in advance and was given enough time to secure their files. The forum has been temporarily replaced with an announcement that it is in the process of moving servers.
Despite the setback, DarksideRG is not planning to keep their forums offline for very long. “Bags have been packed and we’re expecting to be down for around a week whilst a new home is found. Unfortunately we can’t discuss details for obvious reasons but we’ll be back,” the staffer said.