CYBERSPACE—The fallout from recent law enforcement action against some of the largest alleged "rogue" websites on the planet continues unabated as the fifth most popular Torrent site on the internet has now decided to voluntarily shut itself down. BTJunkie, a torrent index that ended 2011 with an Alexa rank of 299 and a compete rank of 987, took itself offline this weekend, leaving in its place nothing but a single page containing a blue background, the company logo and a brief goodbye note, which read:
"2005 - 2012
This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we've decided to voluntarily shut down. We've been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it's time to move on. It's been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!"
According to TorrentFreak, the action was taken for two reasons. "A combination of legal actions against fellow file-sharing sites and time-consuming projects have led to the drastic decision that takes out one the main players in the BitTorrent landscape," reported the site this morning.
"Founded in June 2005, BTjunkie has been among the top BitTorrent sites for more than half a decade," it added. "The site was never involved in any legal action, and to keep it this way the site’s operators decided to shut the site down for good today."
The owner of BTJunkie spoke with TorrentFreak about the closure, admitting that "legal actions against other file-sharing sites such as MegaUpload and The Pirate Bay played an important role in making the difficult decision," but he also tried to sound militantly optimistic, even in the face of his own decision to cut and run, when asked if he thought other Torrent sites will be able to survive the current crackdown.
“I really do hope so, the war is far from over for sure,” he told TorrentFreak, which added that despite managing to avoid being dragged into court, BTJunkie "was reported to the US Trade Representative (USTR) November last year. Both the RIAA and MPAA listed the torrent index as a ‘rogue’ site that facilitated mass copyright infringement," and the site itself was "one of the search terms censored by Google because it’s piracy related, alongside The Pirate Bay, RapidShare, uTorrent and others."