A court decision reached last month but under seal until Friday could force Web sites to track visitors if the sites become defendants in a lawsuit.
TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent search engine, was ordered on May 29 by a federal judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles to create logs detailing users' activities on the site. The judge, Jacqueline Chooljian, however, granted a stay of the order on Friday to allow TorrentSpy to file an appeal.
The appeal must be filed by June 12, according to Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy's attorney.
TorrentSpy has promised in its privacy policy never to track visitors without their consent.
"It is likely that TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users," Rothken said. "If this order were allowed to stand, it would mean that Web sites can be required by discovery judges to track what their users do even if their privacy policy says otherwise."
The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Columbia Pictures and other top Hollywood film studios, sued TorrentSpy and a host of others in February 2006 as part of a sweep against file-sharing companies. According to the MPAA, the search engine was sued for allegedly making it easier to download pirated files.
Representatives of the trade group could not be reached for comment.
The court's decision could have a chilling effect on e-commerce and digital entertainment sites, said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He calls the ruling "unprecedented."

EFF, which advocates for the public in digital rights' cases, is still reviewing the court's decision, but von Lohmann calls what he's seen so far a "troubling court order."
This is believed to be the first time a judge has ordered a defendant to log visitor activity and then hand over the information to the plaintiff.
"In general, a defendant is not required to create new records to hand over in discovery," von Lohmann said. "We shouldn't let Web site logging policies be set by litigation."
Many Web companies keep visitor logs, which can include Internet Protocol addresses, as well as other information. Some choose not to record this data, including EFF, von Lohmann said.

First The Pirate Bay and now TorrentSpy. Looks like these people have started getting serious.

First The Pirate Bay and now TorrentSpy. Looks like these people have started getting serious.

Wow i didn't know about the pirate bay... they always acted like they were never going to get fined because of the laws there. Atleast that's what i read a long time ago.

Don't forget the infamous lokitorrent =\
Who knows where the thousands of dollars went...

omg.. I always use torrent spy.. like every frikn day for somethn or other.. Well, hell.. theres always something else.. and at least there are ip annonymizers and proxies that can cover your tracks :)

Really makes me suspicious when someone @ another site offered a torrent for DL the other day and when i suggested uploading to a file hosting site they wouldnt do it,they wanted ppl to dl the torrent!!! (Might be trying to grab IPs) I wouldnt doubt it!!!!

i use demonoid :)

edit] if anyone needs a invite code, let me know... they only open registration like one day a month.

excellent. No more excuses for pirates to continue their crimes in impunity.

These guys are service providers and therefore should fall under the same requirements as ISPs (and those ARE required to track users if there's a court order telling them to).

I can understand why companies would go after them. Afterall, money makes the world go round and torrents are stealing theirs.

But the crackers disagree with you. ;-)

lol.. I thought it was legal to download torrents, anyway.. What would it matter if they did track your ip?

> I thought it was legal to download torrents, anyway
I am surprised to see this coming from you, whatever gave you this idea, eh?

> What would it matter if they did track your ip?
Many bad things.

they send the cops after ya! XD

Well.. that depends what you download. You can download software that are torrents, and that is not illegal so long as you don't infringe copyright laws.

I wish them good luck finding my ip, as I always use peer guardian, my TOR proxy, an ip annonymizer, etc. There is no way that they will be sending any cops this way :)

Don't take them for suckers would be my advice - they have their own ways. ;-)

One would think you had something to hide then josh ;)

Well, I don't know of any legal way that they could tack me.. and of course, they always go for the idiots who don't use proxies/annonymizers first ;)

First The Pirate Bay and now TorrentSpy. Looks like these people have started getting serious.

The Pirate Bay operates within the confines of Swedish law; they are doing nothing illegal. They have been raided a few times due to pressure on the Swedish government from US companies.

TorrentSpy will be missed; it filled the niche that suprnova left; another site will spring up very soon no doubt.

lol.. I thought it was legal to download torrents, anyway.. What would it matter if they did track your ip?

it's not, unless the material you download over it is free of intellectual property rights (which practically nothing you get from P2P sites is, they exist for the sole purpose of distributing pirated content).

So if they came after you you'd loose your PC and for good measure all your burned CDs and DVDs as well and they'd go through it with a very fine comb to find any traces of pirated music, movies, software, etc. they can find. If they find anything you're toast.

.. unless you have a fail-safe in case they do catch you in some magical way.. For instance, I have a double encryption program that would encrypt data and save it in a hidden file disguised as an OS file. Even if this file is found, the encryption is almost impossible to break.. unless you get lucky through brute force..

Not that I use it, or have anything to hide :)

you could always sign up for CompuTrace, though I'm not sure it can be installed on desktops.

I hope the Internet makes copyright become so impossible to enforce that it must be abolished.

It's a monopoly power.

I always wonder why the "equal pay for equal work" people don't attack patents and copyrights. It's certainly unfair pay for little work. (So are sports salaries.)