Truth comes out about Suprnova closure
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Exactly one year since the popular Suprnova BitTorrent link site went offline, its founder, Andrej Preston (known as "Sloncek" to the Internet community), has spoken out about what happened on his website.
After twelve months of speculation amongst former users and many sites popping up to try and take its place, Preston says "it is time for everybody to know the truth and that it is time for me to stop pretending like nothing ever happened".
According to Preston his nightmare began in November, 2004 when he received a phonecall from his ISP stating that Preston's servers had just been raided. Preston claims that at this time he had no communication from the police.
After reading about himself in various Slovenian newspapers in early December, Preston decided to take his suprnova.org site offline. At the same time another project Preston was involved in eXeem was touted as being the biggest thing to happen to file sharing.
Preston claims that a month or so after his site went offline his home was raided by the police at 6:30 in the morning. Police seized two computers and documents. Preston was then called into the local police unit another month later for a hearing. Preston, on the advice of his lawyer decided he would not answer anything during the interview with the police. At the conclusion of the interview Preston was told that the matter would be handed over to the prosecutor.
Preston recalls that on October 18, 2005 he received a notice to go to the post office and pick up another letter which he must sign for. Upon receiving the notice Preston says that he "became completely depressed and sad". Preston however was greeted with good news at the post office when he opened the letter and discovered that his matter had been dropped. He also received his computers and CDs back.
The BitTorrent protocol uses .torrent metadata files that tells a client application which tracker to contact to find peers (users sharing the file) and verification data for the files to be downloaded. It was thought to be "safer" than traditional file sharing systems from a legal perspective as the files (possibly copyrighted material) were not hosted on a centralised server but were instead located completely on users' computers.
Due to the nature of BitTorrent a server is required to "track" (assist in locating other peers). These trackers can be a legal target because they "assist" in distributing the data. It is also quite easy for the administrator of a BitTorrent tracker to remove torrents and stop users from downloading them.
eXeem on the other hand was to be completely decentralised. There was no need for centralised trackers, as each peer on the network acted as a tracker by assisting other clients in finding peers. eXeem had a rather difficult time becoming accepted within the internet community following the discovery of Cydoor adware in the software. Development on eXeem has since ceased.
Suprnova itself was not a BitTorrent tracker nor did it host the actual files being downloaded by the user. Suprnova made available the .torrent meta data files needed to locate a tracker and peers.
- Andrej Preston. "The truth about SuprNova.org shutdown." — , December 19, 2005
- Thomas Mennecke. "Suprnova.org - One Year Later" — , December 19, 2005