Content Owners Increasing Focus on Usenet Takedowns

TorrentFreak reports that content owners and anti-piracy firms have rapidly increased their DMCA-type notices sent to Usenet services over the past six months. Even more, smaller companies like television studios have joined in the pursuit, sending out their requests alongside larger media giants like Disney and Universal.

Usenet has been around for a really long time, established in 1980 by Duke University graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. Users can post and read messages to numerous newsgroups, but over the years this dusty part of the Internet has become a repository of all things digital, spanning from pirated software, movies, ebooks and more to even darker media like child porn and bestiality videos.

That said, most ISPs have stopped providing free access to newsgroups because it's extremely difficult to monitor what users are uploading and downloading. There are no central servers to monitor either – instead, files are broken apart and scattered throughout a large, constantly changing conglomeration of servers across the globe.

For years content owners have struggled with piracy on Usenet given the network's international structure and inherent security. File retention lengths usually reside around 1000 days, and users can easily discover new content to download thanks to NZB files. But now that ISPs have dropped support for Usenet access, users have turned to subscription-based 3rd-party access for their warez.

Because of this, it's now easier for content owners to put a stop on users downloading illegal media. According to TorrentFreak, one of the content owners focusing on Usenet is the UFC who quickly address subscription services following their live events. Even more, the UFC actually has a team that monitors Usenet 24/7 by using a Bayesian Classifier.

"We also verify everything 100-percent to ensure we are making the proper removal requests for the UFC and our other clients," Joe Morganelli of Morganelli Group LLC told TorrentFreak. "My team also has many 'insiders' that keep us on the pulse of what is going on with changes. There is no other company that does what we do with such success and speed."

Aside from monitoring Usenet directly, content owners and anti-piracy companies are reportedly now monitoring Usenet indexing sites like Newzbin and NZBMatrix. These companies see when users post links to content and thus issue takedown notices to all subscription services immediately.

"The public has only just started to notice it now," said the owner of an unnamed major Usenet provider. "The increase is continuing. We’re pretty heavily under attack at the moment."

To read the entire report, head over to TorrentFreak here.


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  • abbadon_34
    UFC sold out 10+ years ago to get "certified". Gone are the days of "no holds barred". This is the final nail.
  • rantoc
    That said, most ISPs have stopped providing free access to newsgroups because it's extremely difficult to monitor what users are uploading and downloading.
    Gotta love big brother - If they can't watch they automatically presume you do something illegal!
  • waxdart
    I remember when only geeks knew about news boards and torrents. Then the average Joe joined in and it all went wrong. Should have stay command line only :(
  • classzero
    Sad day
  • ISPs didn't stop providing usenet due to security/IP issues. They did so simply to save money. Usenet use was dwindling, so AOL, then other big ISPs dropped their Usenet access.
  • hoofhearted
    Bob Dobbs will issue a curse via the church of the subgenius on UFC.
  • Yes the usenet providors must follow through with the DMCA request of these big corporations, yet all the kiddie porn on Usenet stays untouched. Such class!
  • masterbinky
    Not many *businesses* finds the massive amounts of resources it takes to be "successful" at this.

    The fact that UFC has such large profits to blow seems like they need some more PPV competition to drive prices down.
  • GNCD
    bob2454as Cynthia implied I am dazzled that someone able to profit $6082 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you read this site
    cynthia is awesome.
  • LOL Just make sure you're quick to get the event once its uploaded.