Grabbing the highly desirable domain name of Torrents.com (with the actual torrents listed on the torrents.fm domain to avoid de-listing by Google), a bold and well-funded new player has entered the BitTorrent space.
Torrents.com is the baby of Spanish entrepreneur and cyberwhizz Pablo Soto, who in 2011 successfully defeated a high-profile €13 million lawsuit against him by Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner and Promusicae (a Spanish copyright enforcement organization).
By some odd coincidence, in the same month as the Madrid Commercial Court ruling the Spanish government offered Sr. Soto a €1.6 million grant to develop a new search engine. Dubbed Foofind, the government viewed this as having ‘enormous potential for the future of our country.’
That as may be, but what it probably did not anticipate was Soto using Foofind to power a brand new BitTorrent search engine, which now lists over 30 million torrents! In addition to this, Soto has developed a new easy-to-use BitTorrent client with built-in torrent search, and released the code for all his work as as Free Software.
Soto explained his reasoning to TorrentFreak,
‘Lately we’ve seen more and more proof that what just a few “conspiranoids” like myself were alerting years ago is now unfortunately becoming true: the war to control the Internet is being won by corrupt governments and corporations.
‘We believe that the most powerful weapon we have in this important battlefield is Free Software. Constructing search engines, P2P servants, robots and what not, and releasing them all under a free license that lets everybody read the code, modify it, and replicate it, is a way to give control back to the people.’
We gave the software, ‘Torrents Downloader’ a try. It is a very lightweight client, clearly designed easy use by non-techies, and contains no advertising or third party software additions.
‘Our robots are crawling everything, they discover new torrent sites on a daily basis. Some have a small number of magnets, others have vast amounts of torrent files. Either way, we work to make everything easily findable. We just surpassed the 30 million files mark and we are rapidly growing.’
How the website, which lists just about everything, is going to avoid a head-on collision with the movie, music, and software industries is an interesting question.
Well, Soto has already demonstrated that when it comes resisting legal pressure he is one tough cookie,
‘In the past we have found that by doing the right thing, and fighting every legal attack, not surrendering to injustice, are the only ways to endure.’
Torrenting self is not illegal, but the sharing of copyrighted material is, so Torrents.fm will comply with legal demands to remove unauthorised content, but will take a hard line when dealing with such demands. Ultimately, Soto believes that common sense will prevail, and the entertainment industries will learn to see the benefits of embracing the technology and the fantastic business possibilities that doing so will bring,
‘Sooner or later, every industry that believes they can make a living from litigation ends up eaten by their own business model… History repeats itself. In the past, some of today’s biggest money makers for Hollywood were enemies but they put down their weapons and subsequently made money together, like the infamous fight between broadcasters and cable companies, who now make billions of dollars together. We’re open to talks but we will continue to defend the open internet for society’s sake.’