Battle to Crush Iconic ‘Ethical’ Torrent Site Ends After Four Long Years *TorrentFreak


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TNTVillage was once the most popular torrent site in Italy. It had an ethics policy that prevented newly posted content from being shared, but that was of no avail when the owner’s home was raided in 2018. continued for another three years as copyright holders attempted to remove a single remaining hyperlink.

When the Italian torrent site TNTVillage was launched in 2004/2005, the BitTorrent file sharing scene was driven by passionate people with their own unique visions, often focused on specific content niches.

In many cases, torrent site owners have provided services that were simply not available on the legal market. Entire sites dedicated to one genre of music were common, as were downloads of movies and TV shows in specific languages ​​or from long-forgotten eras.

For TNTVillage owner Luigi Di Liberto, the goal was to share and preserve Italian content. Like most torrent site owners, Luigi knew his business could get him in trouble, but that wouldn’t be new. Born in 1952, Luigi supported the Radical Party and the anti-prohibitionist movement in Italy and, for several decades, regularly rubbed shoulders with the establishment.

“Benevolent Dictator” by TNTVillage

Luigi has described himself as the “benevolent dictator” who has held TNTVillage together. The site was a real passion project, but in 2006 it suffered a setback when law enforcement seized the site’s server.

The site eventually returned only to be hacked three years later, but Luigi refused to give up and later lobbied politically to limit the force of copyright law. He was unsuccessful and eventually found himself covered by the same legislation.

In 2018, a coalition of media and publishing companies filed a lawsuit against the platform with the Tribunale di Milano (Milan Court). Luigi was personally named in the lawsuit and his home was raided.

The beginning of the end… almost

After making over 134,000 copyrighted works available to the public, including movies, TV shows, cartoons, software and books, TNTVillage closed in September 2019. Two months later, the Milan court ruled on the copyright lawsuit filed the previous year. , concluding in favor of the plaintiffs.

The court ordered TNTVillage to remove any infringing content from the site, which effectively put an official stamp on the torrent site’s earlier demise. But Luigi wasn’t quite finished. His parting shot was to leave a link to a file on the site’s homepage containing a full dump of TNTVillage.

Another three years of legal proceedings

Anti-piracy group FAPAV, a participant in the lawsuit, warned against attempting to resurrect TNTVillage using the contents of the file. However, the archive also allowed access to TNTVillage torrents by following the instructions downloaded from the Internet Archive and Github. At least three services exploited the dump.

The link eventually disappeared from the TNTVillage homepage, but in an announcement this week, FAPAV said the Milan court had now officially ordered the removal of everything content on TNTVillage.

This includes what FAPAV describes as a link offering “free access” to the site’s torrents, which “effectively disabled the removal order” issued in 2019. In total, it took four years of lawsuits to put TNTVillage completely out of order, with three of those years spent on removing a single hyperlink.

“Through this sentence, it is reiterated once again how the illegal making available online of creative works represents a serious violation which involves a dangerous limitation of the exploitation of the rights related thereto”, declared the president of the FAPAV, Federico Bagnoli Rossi.

“Disturbing economic damage is being done not just to the cultural industry, but to the country as a whole.”

For those who understand Italian, Luigi shares his thoughts on TNTVillage below.


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