Jack Writes: It appears that one of the largest eDonkey2000 communities is no more. Often occupied by over 1 million eDoney2000 users spread over several servers, Razorback2 is often regarded as the very lifeblood of this network. This morning, users of this server network found their community offline.
At this time, details are extremely scarce. However it is being reported the Federal Belgian Police have raided and seized Razorback2's servers. In addition, it is suspected the administrator of Razorback2 is currently in custody.
Razorback2 was an eDonkey2000 indexing server - very different in nature from an indexing site such as ShareReactor. Unlike indexing sites, Razorback2's index was only available through an eDonkey2000 client such as eMule. While it does not host any actual files or multimedia material, it does index the location of such files on the eDonkey2000 network. The legality of such indexing remains questionable, however this has not deterred copyright enforcement actions.
Giving credence to this report, the Razorback2 home page simply times out upon request. In addition, pinging the IP address of Razorback's home page and eDonkey2000 servers yields the same result. Only "fake" Razorback2 servers are online, communities designed by copyright enforcement entities to mimic yet deter unauthorized file-sharing.
The Belgian Federal Police homepage at this time have no information regarding this raid, however considering the magnitude of the situation this should change. One thing is certain; Razorback2 has been removed from the eDoneky2000 network. Most noticeably, the eDonkey2000 population has shrunk from its usual 3.5 million users to approximately 3 million users - an unusual departure from its average.
Update: Below is the MPA press release provided to Slyck.com:
BELGIAN & SWISS AUTHORITIES BREAK RAZORBACK2
World's Largest P2P Facilitator Put Out of Illegal Business
Brussels, Los Angeles-- In a joint operation today police and prosecuting authorities in Belgium and Switzerland shut down the infamous file-swapping network Razorback2. Razorback2 was the number one eDonkey peer-to-peer server facilitating the illegal file swapping of approximately 1.3 million users simultaneously. Razorback2 was operated as a commercial enterprise indexing over 170 million files including millions of copyrighted movies, software, games, TV programming and music with international and U.S. titles. The site was regularly used by people located all over the world, with the vast majority of users based in Europe.
"This is a major victory in our fight to cut off the supply of illegal materials being circulated on the Internet via peer-to-peer networks," said Motion Picture Association (MPA) Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman. "By shaving the illegal traffic of copyrighted works facilitated by Razorback2, we are depleting other illegal networks of their ability to supply Internet pirates with copyrighted works which is a positive step in our international effort to fight piracy."
Swiss authorities arrested the site's operator at his residence in Switzerland this morning and searched his home. At the same time, on the authority of a local magistrate, Belgian police seized the site's servers located at an Internet hosting center in Zaventem near Brussels. The operation conducted by Swiss and Belgian authorities aimed at cutting off a major supply and facilitator of illegal files to several popular illegal file swapping networks. By shutting down Razorback2, the ease with which pirates can obtain illegal content online will slow dramatically. Since November of 2004, authorities have closed down all of the major eDonkey servers in the United States, and now, Europe.
The operators of Razorback2 had clear financial motives. In addition to collecting "donations" from users, revenue was also generated through the sale of advertising on the site, usually promoting pornographic websites. In addition, the availability of offensive content will be inhibited. The operators of this eDonkey site chose not to exercise control over files being traded by users which including those containing child pornography, bomb-making instructions and terrorist training videos.
"Razorback2 was not just an enormous index for Internet users engaged in illegal file swapping, it was a menace to society," said Executive Vice President and Worldwide Anti-Piracy Director John G. Malcolm. "I applaud the Swiss and Belgian authorities for their actions which are helping thwart Internet piracy around the world."
Razorback2 posted statistics on its site regarding the number of uses online at any one time, reveling in its reputation as the world's largest P2P facilitator. Today, users attempting to connect to Razorback2 read the message "Razorback space 2.0 appears to be dead."
Chris Marcich, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the MPA's European Office said: "We are very grateful to the Swiss and Belgian authorities for their cooperation and effective action in dealing with this particularly egregious enterprise and the individual profiting from it."
The MPA and its member companies, working with the local film industries, have a multi-pronged approach to fighting piracy, which includes educating people about the consequences of piracy, taking action against Internet thieves, working with law enforcement authorities around the world to root out pirate operations and working to ensure movies are available legally using advanced technology.