Last December, Aurous developer Andrew Sampson settled his legal dispute with the RIAA for a massive $3 million, according to the legal paperwork.
The legal trouble also affected another popular project Sampson ran, the torrent search engine Strike. While it was not specifically mentioned in the settlement agreement the Florida-based developer decided to pull the plug on this project too.
While the site has been offline for weeks, interest in the project hardly waned. Sampson informs TorrentFreak that over a million visitors still landed on the site, which served pages cached by CloudFlare. In addition, many external services called on the site’s defunct API.
This prompted the developer to make the code available for others, releasing it under an open source license.
“I don’t want to leave thousands of developers hanging; the API received over 25,000,000 unique requests a month, not to mention the millions of unique users we received every month,” Sampson tells us.
“I wanted to leave something, it may not be the prettiest thing, but the least I can do is extend an olive branch and give people a small tool set for hosting their own search engines.”
With the code anyone can set up a custom torrent search engine, replicating the Strike service. The only thing that’s missing are the actual torrent scrapers. After consulting his lawyers, Sampson decided not to make those public.
The past few weeks have been rough for the developer, who says he suffered mentally from his run-in with the RIAA.
“After dealing with this lawsuit I’m a bit taxed mentally, I hit a really low point for a while, depression kind of overwhelmed me, I lost a decade long friendship, a lot of my savings, I just became kind of bitter and angry,” Sampson notes.
However, he’s slowly starting to get a grip on reality again and is looking forward to working on new projects. While he still has a healthy interest in P2P and BitTorrent, he will stay away from anything remotely infringing.
“I’d much rather focus my energy on work and building open source tools that don’t cross grey lines. It is a lot less stressful and feels great.”
The release of Strike’s source code offers the developer the closure he needs, so he can move on to other things.
Currently he’s working on a new project called Ulterius. This is an open source C# based framework that allows users to manage windows based systems from any HTML5 enabled browser.
“I received a lot of support from the community during this, I can only hope they like what I make next. I’m 20 years old, so I’m just getting started,” he concludes.