Torrents of abuse: P2P blocks, blacklists and sites coming back from the dead

Torrents of abuse: P2P blocks, blacklists and sites coming back from the dead
Aaar, piracy

It's been an odd week for fans of circumventing the paying money part when it comes to acquiring media.

On the one hand, there was another big win for old media, after it was revealed that in the UK the BPI successfully added another 21 torrent and direct download sites to its ISP-level blockade. Surely it's all over for the media-stealers now, we thought.

But then, on the other hand, one of the biggest names in illegal torrenting came back from the dead days later, with a community-led resurrection of torrent specialist Isohunt - and around three-quarters of the data the original site once carried - now back online and ready for business under a new domain name.

So who's going to win? Spotify and Netflix in the long term, probably, but in the meantime there's one heck of a battle going on, and we're enjoying watching every twist and turn of the us-against-them piracy wars.

Back in hack

The fact that Isohunt was seemingly revived without input from its founder by outside groups that indexed its listings before closure was the key comedy point many readers picked up on, with Stav32 over on the Verge getting in there first with his: "How about that for irony, 'pirate site gets pirated'".

Debate soon got serious as it tends to do when people lump Bittorrent together with piracy and anger the file-sharing elite.

Commenter Todd Morris stood up to those who suggested people only torrent media because it's easier than going through legal channels, saying: "Any attempt to prop up stealing or to defend this ridiculous position of competition is simply rationalizing bad behaviour. If you're going to pirate, then own it and say, yeah I'm stealing. Don't try to defend a position by saying its innovative competition, it isn't and won't ever be."

Return of the Mac Address

Over on Cnet, user Gork_Platter was pleased to see the return of Isohunt and the good it did for low-level media thievery, saying: "Isohunt was definitely one of the best torrent sites out there. The best feature was the community ratings of torrents, including the flagging of virus-laden content." Which is a bit of a weird thing to say and rather like praising your GP for telling you you've got chlamydia.

Further down, Patrick_hush played the role of the sage observer who always knew what the outcome was going to be from the outset, like Yoda in those rubbish adverts, chipping in with: "Taking something that people want offline is like trying to hold water in your hands: the Internet beats Censorship every time... Oh, and the lawyers always win."

And the lawyers win doubly here, as there's now another great place for them to download Iron Man 3 from for free when they get home, too.

On TorrentFreak, there was a warning to those eager to sign up to this high-profile return of the piracy behemoth. Omega50 suggested: "That site is a mediocre shell made by someone unknown, for all we know it could be a trap for the unwise." And with all the headlines it's generated, it's perhaps not overly paranoid to think our chums at the BPI might be running this revival to harvest the IP addresses of the casual film borrower.

Proxy war

As for the BPI's continuing blockade of the UK's internet ports, well, people aren't overly impressed by this latest wave of site blacklistings. Some rather ballsy comments appeared on Wired, with reader Matt Harrison leading the pack with his: "To hell with the BPI and all they stand for. No private organisation should be able to have websites blocked from public access."

There then followed the sort of rational dissection of the ills of the music industry you usually find when the state of record companies today is discussed, with Andrew Baxter managing the worthy: "If the music industry attempted to make buying music slightly appealing then people might actually dip into their pockets. As it stands it's a watered down industry full of too much choice that is vastly too expensive to own. We are encouraged to consume but at the same time limited by the costs."

And if you want to carry on nicking your recordings and depriving the original artists of their drug and haircut money, Shaun Campbell's the man to ask. He said: "I am still able to access Pirate Bay with two extra mouse clicks. When will the powers that be realise that censorship is not going to work."

Can you hook us up with a DVD copy of Iron Man 3 if that's the case, Shaun? Been trying to find it everywhere.