TorrentFreak
TorrentFreak logo.svg
TorrentFreak home page screenshot.png
Type of site
Blog
Available inEnglish
OwnerLennart Renkema PhD[1]
Created byErnesto Van Der Sar
Andy Maxwell
Rickard Falkvinge
Ben Jones (modified WordPress)
Editor"Ernesto Van Der Sar"
RevenueAdvertisements
URLtorrentfreak.com
Launched12 November 2005; 17 years ago (2005-11-12)
Content license
CC BY-NC 3.0 (text only)[2]

TorrentFreak (TF) is a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news and trends on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, as well as on copyright infringement and digital rights.

The website was started in November 2005 by a Dutchman using the pseudonym "Ernesto Van Der Sar".[3][4] He was joined by Andy "Enigmax" Maxwell and Ben Jones in 2007.[4][5] Regular contributors include Rickard Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party.[6] The online publication eCommerceTimes, in 2009, described "Ernesto" as the pseudonym of Lennart Renkema, owner of TorrentFreak.[7] TorrentFreak's text is free content under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial version 3.0 license.[8]

Their lead researcher and community manager is the Pirate Party activist Andrew Norton.

Specialist areas

According to Canadian law scholar Michael Geist, TorrentFreak "is widely used as a source of original reporting on digital issues".[9] Examples are The Guardian,[10] CNN,[11] The Wall Street Journal,[12] and the Flemish newspaper De Standaard.[13][14][15]

Frequent areas of reporting include:

As well as other news affecting copyright, privacy, file sharing and adjacent topics.[22]

History

On 17 August 2007, TorrentFreak reported that Comcast had begun throttling its upload bandwidth, specifically against BitTorrent users. This made seeding, which is an essential part of the BitTorrent protocol, effectively impossible.[23] It was later determined that Comcast was using Sandvine products, which implement network traffic shaping and policing, and include support for both blocking new and forcefully terminating established network connections. Comcast has denied these claims whenever they have been asked to comment. A guide, for customer service representatives when asked about Comcast's BitTorrent throttling, was leaked to The Consumerist on 26 October 2007.[24]

In October 2008 through to March 2011 TorrentFreak ran a short lived video news service titled 'torrentfreak.tv', directed by Andrej Preston, founder of torrent site Suprnova made available for streaming and download on Mininova.[25][26]

On 21 August 2013, Comcast threatened TorrentFreak for writing about publicly available court documents.[27][28] The underlying document links a Comcast subscriber with the Prenda Law firm.[29] The court case where the document was filed was a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by AF Holdings for alleged infringement of an adult movie.[30][31]

In August 2013, Sky Broadband blocked the site for UK customers after torrent site EZTV pointed its DNS servers to TorrentFreak's IP address and, in July 2014, the site was blocked by the controversial Sky Broadband Shield parental filter system.[32][33]

References

  1. ^ Pouwelse, Johan; Renkema, Lennart (17 April 2009). "Piraten zijn digitale pioniers" [Pirates are digital pioneers]. NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Copyright". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on 27 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  3. ^ Injijian, Allen (14 May 2007). "Pwned: Final Project Interview #2: Ernesto of TorrentFreak.com". Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Ethan; McBride, Sarah (4 August 2008). "Web Piracy: The Enemy Within?". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  5. ^ "About TorrentFreak". Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  6. ^ Profile. Rick Falkvinge Archived 16 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, torrentfreak.com.
  7. ^ San Miguel, Renay (30 June 2009). "Pirate Bay Decides to Join the Navy". E-Commerce Times. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Copyright". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  9. ^ Geist, Michael (20 April 2010). "The 2009 Copyright Consultation: Setting the Record Straight". Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  10. ^ Kiss, Jemima (9 August 2011). "'BitTorrent: Copyright lawyers' favourite target reaches 200,000 lawsuits". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  11. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (10 June 2011). "'50,000 BitTorrent users sued for alleged illegal downloads". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  12. ^ McBride, Sarah (4 August 2008). "'Web Piracy: The Enemy Within?". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  13. ^ Van Cayseele, Patrick J. G.; Vanormelingen, Stijn (26 February 2009). "Prices and Network Effects in Two-Sided Markets: The Belgian Newspaper Industry". SSRN 1404392. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Hoefkens, Kristof (28 May 2010). "'Lost' en het mysterie van de illegale downloads" ['Lost' and the mystery of illegal downloads]. De Standaard (in Dutch). p. 36. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  15. ^ Hoefkens, Kristof (8 July 2010). "Prince versus the internet" [Prince versus the internet]. De Standaard (in Dutch). p. 34. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  16. ^ "File-sharing site back up after copyright suspension". Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  17. ^ Lee, Dave (29 July 2014). "Police placing anti-piracy warning ads on illegal sites". Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  18. ^ Johnson, Ted (15 November 2013). "U.S. Trade Representative Defends Pending Trade Pact After WikiLeaks Disclosure". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  19. ^ Cooke, Chris (1 September 2014). "MPAA research bigs up UK web-blocking". Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  20. ^ Knowles, Jamillah (18 May 2012). "UK Pirate Party sees more than 1.8m visits in 24 hours after ISPs block The Pirate Bay website". Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  21. ^ Henry, Alan (23 March 2014). "Five Best VPN Service Providers". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  22. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  23. ^ Lawler, Ryan (21 August 2007). "Comcast Takes on TorrentFreak". Light Reading. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  24. ^ "Comcast's "We Don't Throttle BitTorrent" Internal Talking Points Memo". The Consumerist. 26 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  25. ^ Ernesto (20 March 2011). "TorrentFreak TV Is Back!". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  26. ^ Roettgers, Janko (14 May 2011). "Suprnova.org: Former Pirate King Embraces Web Video". Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  27. ^ Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (21 August 2013). "Comcast Threatens to Sue TorrentFreak for Copyright Infringement". Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  28. ^ "Comcast Threatens to Sue TorrentFreak for Copyright Infringement (updated)". TorrentFreak. 21 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  29. ^ "Comcast Business Record Affidavit". Docket Alarm, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Docket for AF Holdings, LLC v. Patel, 2:12-cv-00262, No. 1 (N.D.Ga.)". Docket Alarm, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  31. ^ "Complaint, AF Holdings, LLC v. Patel, 2:12-cv-00262, No. 1 (N.D.Ga. Nov. 2, 2012)". Docket Alarm, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  32. ^ Shubber, Kadhim (9 August 2013). "News site TorrentFreak 'blocked' by Sky's piracy filter". Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  33. ^ Brewster, Thomas (6 January 2014). "TorrentFreak News Site Blocked By Sky Porn Filter". Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.