Is Demonoid a DOJ trap to catch unsuspecting pirates?
Now that Daniel Dove, the former upload administrator at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ)-squashed BitTorrent tracker and search engine EliteTorrents, has been found guilty of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement and could face up to ten years in prison in the first P2P Criminal Jury Case ever in the United States, the question that has to be asked is: Why are other major P2P sites still alive and kickin'?
The Department of Justice claims that EliteTorrents attracted more than 125,000 members, who downloaded over 700 movies more than a total of 1.1 million times. That is a mere drop in the bucket as compared to some other sites that are not only operating in full violation of every imaginable copyright law on the books, but thriving!
The single most suspicious site has to be Demonoid.com, which has long been a prime cornucopia of pirated applications, movies, comic books, and much more. After jumping around a few countries to try to find a safe haven to operate from, the site finally shut down in November of 2007. With a shrug, most of the seeders and leechers marched off to other sites which operate in supposedly torrent-tolerant countries such as Sweden which is the home for the giant Pirate Bay site or Italy where television show supersite EZTV resides. However, it was rather strange that after almost six months to the day of its shutdown, Demonoid came back online, all of its files intact and looking just like it did before. Apparently a new forum administrator had taken over from the legendary Deimos and everything was back to normal in the world of Demonoid. Download away!
Well... not exactly. Although when the site relaunched in April, 2008 there were claims that the new site was hosted in the "anything goes" Ukraine, and that the domain was owned in Brazil, all far from the reach of the United States DOJ, a precursory WHOIS search revealed that Demonoid was now hosted by American server hosting company Softlayer. If it is indeed the case that Demonoid is now apparently being hosted in the United States, that discovery represents an extremely puzzling turn in the Demonoid saga.
The last country you would want to host a pirate site in is the United States and Softlayer seems to be the last host that would take on a DOJ lightning rod like Demonoid. Softlayer claims to have almost 40,000 servers in three state of the art facilities in Washington, DC, Dallas and Seattle and by all accounts they are doing a great deal of business with perfectly legitimate companies. What possible reason would they have to expose themselves to massive legal action brought against them by the United States Government? Especially since Softlayer's CEO, Lance Crosby, is a licensed attorney and a member of the Texas State Bar?
I do not illegally download anything. I don't have Azureus or any similar software on my hard drive. But if I were a leecher or even more critically a seeder, I would give Demonoid an extremely wide berth. It doesn't take a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist to believe that what better place would there be to host one of the world's leading illegal torrent sites than in Washington, DC, right under the noses of the DOJ. If and it's a big if, it was the DOJ who took down Demonoid in the first place and has now resurrected the site as a gigantic trap to track the IP of every seeder and leecher along with their complete activities, then any pirate should use Demonoid at their peril.
There is some confusion about the physical location of the 126.96.36.199 IP Address and I certainly wouldn't put it past the DOJ to have worked out some stealthy redirection strategy. Is Demonoid a honey pot set there by the DOJ to catch thousands of pirates with their hand in it, setting up a massive number of arrests? It sure looks like it.