Private BitTorrent trackers have rules for members to abide by. They are put in place to ensure the smooth running of the community and 99% of the time a site is a better place when people voluntarily follow them.
However, while many users simply can’t be bothered to read the rules, some site staff don’t stop to think what it’s like to be a user. A couple of dozen basic rules are easy enough to follow, but make them too complex and members just switch off, rules get broken, and no one is happy as a result.
Last Monday CHDBits, a private tracker specializing in HD content, introduced a set of rules for those members who use seedboxes on the site. These server-based tools paid for by members pump bandwidth into torrent swarms, making transfers quicker for everyone on the site.
Far from seeing this as a good thing, CHDBits felt the need to regulate their use with the most bizarre and complex rules the torrent world has ever seen. They include users having to send the site proof that they paid for the seedbox, along with a “legal agreement of usage as well as any other certificate / proof of rental from the original service provider.”
In order to fully appreciate the complexity of the rules a copy can be found here. Please have a read through now and we’ll meet you back here for the next paragraph in 20 mins.
Back already? Excellent!
Perplexed that we may have somehow overlooked the need for such a complex set of rules, TorrentFreak spoke with DroidX from Underleech.org, a company that provides VPNs and seedboxes to BitTorrent users.
“Sometimes things seem like great ideas at the time, similar to when you code your website with a barking dog on every page refresh when you’re drunk at 6am. The difference between the aforementioned and CHDBits’ new seedbox policy is the policy wasn’t taken down when they sobered up unlike your barking dog surely was,” Droidx begins.
“At first glance the policy sounds normal enough: prevent hit and runs and cheating by enforcing a set of rules. Sounds like a perfectly valid reason with good intentions, unfortunately everyone but CHDBits’ has heard the story about how the road to hell is paved. Simply put, these new rules are ridiculous.”
Droidx says that the ruleset basically treats seedbox users like cheaters (people who manipulate their stats to make it appear they have uploaded more than they have) when in reality they tend to be the users that go out of their way to help a tracker.
Rule 1A states that any seedbox used on the site must have a dedicated IP address for that user’s exclusive use. This, Droidx explains, is problematic.
“Maybe CHDBits’s haven’t heard but IPV4 addresses have basically run out, all remaining blocks are owned and users are forced to rent them from their provider or buy them at high prices. This is the main reason just about every seedbox provider in the business uses a shared IP. There is no good reason to buy a dedicated IP for every user on a box and end up charging more for the seedbox plan.
“Worse, I believe the reason for this is that CHDBits’ tracker software isn’t compiled to handle multiple users seeding on the same IP and rather than invest time in fixing the issue and recompiling the tracker, they are taking the easier way out and just banning shared IPs,” he explains.
As mentioned earlier, CHDBits also want their users to send over proof that they paid for the seedbox. That anonymity users hoped for when they signed up for the seedbox in the first place? Forget it.
Other rules basically dictate the terms that a user must agree with their seedbox provider in order for it to be accepted on the site.
“Requiring a minimum rental period of not less than a calendar month rules out the one week and two week plans some users strapped for cash use to get a quick boost. What is the harm in that? The user is paying their own hard earned money to do the right thing and help their account,” says Droidx.
Furthermore, if a user purchased their seedbox in a promotion, received a discount, or even won it in a competition, unbelievably that seedbox is banned from the site.
Of course, no draconian set of rules is complete without the punishments for non-compliance which in CHDBits’ case include being barred from downloading torrents for up to four weeks or being banned completely. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the madness so far, these punishments can kick in for the most minor of infractions, such as using a seedbox for its intended use.
“No mass downloading/ uploading torrents?? HUH? REALLY? Did they not get the damn memo of what seedboxes are used for!?!?!……. MASS SEEDING! That is the whole damn point for the majority of the users. They spend their cash to seed as much as they can to get their money’s worth,” Droidx notes.
But perhaps the best one (and you may have to read this twice) is that users’ seedbox use may not “Disturb the other users download/upload experience.”
“I can see it now,” says Droidx. “CHDBits’ !!! My torrents from your site are downloading TOO FAST! It’s using up all my connection and I can’t stream YouPorn! BAN the asshole with the seedbox who is causing this disturbing situation!”
As highlighted at the start of this article, rules are put in place to make a site a better place, but if they don’t achieve that then one has to question why they are there at all. Furthermore, rules that treat contributing members in this fashion are simply ridiculous and should never have been put in place.
“At the end of the day, with all these rules and regulations, I fear most users will say ‘Why bother with all this bullshit? Easier to download a cheat client.’ I for one, hope CHDBits’ rethinks this assinine policy,” Droidx concludes.