BitTorrent Tracker Mininova Now Filtering Copyrighted Material

UTRECHT, Netherlands – BitTorrent tracking website Mininova is now filtering out copyrighted content as it faces a court date in less than two weeks.

Considered possibly largest BitTorrent tracker site on the Web -- perhaps even bigger than the more ubiquitous Pirate Bay -- Mininova is due in a Dutch court May 20 for a trial similar to the recent Pirate Bay case, accused of aiding and abetting copyright infringement.

Mininova co-founder "Niek" told TorrentFreak the new filtering system will be tested for 12 weeks on a limited number of titles, and will then be evaluated in court as part of the lawsuit filed by Dutch anti-piracy agency BREIN.

In a blog post Wednesday, the site said, "We decided to extend our platform and run a trial with content recognition. This basically means that likely infringing video files referred to by torrents are checked by a third party content recognition system. If the system finds that the file corresponds to unauthorized content, we remove and block the torrent that refers to this file on Mininova."

"We hope that this system will make it easier for copyright owners to remove torrents that refer to infringing content from Mininova, while still offering the best platform to our users," the posting said.

Mininova claims it is following through on assurances to rights holders that all torrents related to copyrighted media will be removed. The site is currently working with an unnamed rights group to put the new system in place.

According to its daily statics page, as of mid-day, U.S. Pacific Time, Mininova saw 2,601 new Torrents Thursday, 7,549,382 downloads and 6,914,312 searches. All figures were down from Wednesday when the announcement was made. The site features more than 1 million torrents, downloaded more than 8 billion times.

Various sites have reported that many copyrighted files can still be found throughout the site if one searches, but as Niek stated, the filter is still in a testing stage.

Many users have expressed disappointment in the site's move, "caving under the pressure." Copyright groups, however, have already said it's a step in the right direction, but want to see all torrents associated with copyrighted material taken down, which BRIEN plans to argue in court later this month.