UTRECHT, Netherlands - Giant BitTorrent search engine site Mininova took in one million euros in 2007, according to tax records filed with The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. The site earned the money by offering lists of audio and video files, some possibly illegal, Ars Technica reported Wednesday.
Based in the city of Utrecht with known offices, the Dutch file-sharing website reports earnings to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, and by paying a public viewing fee, Ars Technica found the company's profits went from 600,000 euros in 2006 to more than a million 2007, before taxes.
According to the technology news site, most of Mininova's revenue came from ad sales on its own pages and those belonging to video service Snotr.com, some affiliate partnerships and money from toolbars.
While torrent-listing site The Pirate Bay claims it makes no real money and its owners stated such during their recent trial in Sweden, Mininova appears to be upfront about its earnings. Plus, the site claims it removes illegal files upon request.
Nonetheless, Mininova Founder Niek van der Maas denies making a profit from any pirated file listings, saying his company's revenues derive only from ads and other services and partnerships.
"Website revenue has nothing to do with copyright infringement," van der Mass told Ars Technica.
Entertainment industry 0rganizations such as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in Europe would argue to the contrary, since sites like Mininova and The Pirate Bay wouldn't enjoy ad sales if they didn't offer searches for or list torrent files.
While The Pirate Bay has been called the world's biggest torrent-listing site worldwide, Mininova claims to be bigger, saying it receives more than 17 million daily page views.