Every year we write roughly 900 articles here at TorrentFreak, and some are more popular than others.
On the brink of 2018, we look back at 2017 by going over the 17 most read news items of the year.
The ExtraTorrent shutdown was a clear eye catcher. Not only was it the most read article, there are also two related news items in the list.
All in all, it was quite a controversial year once again. Website and domain issues tend to be popular items, as the full list shows, as are the inevitable Game of Thrones mentions.
But what will 2018 bring?
Popular torrent site ExtraTorrent shut down in May. The abrupt decision was announced in a brief message posted on the site’s homepage and came as a complete surprise to many friends and foes.
Pirate movie streaming site 123movies renamed itself to GoMovies for a fresh start last March. With the brand change and a new domain name, the popular site hoped to set itself apart from the many fake sites. Interestingly, the site has recently moved back to the old 123movies brand again.
The sixth episode of the last Game of Thrones season leaked online early in August. Soon after, it was widely shared on various streaming and download portals The leak turned out to be the result of an error at HBO Spain.
Prior to its shutdown, ExtraTorrent lost control of its main domain Extratorrent.cc. The domain name was disconnected by the registrar, presumably after a copyright holder complaint.
Putlockers.ch lost its domain name in February. The site’s registrar EuroDNS was ordered to suspend the domain name following a decision from a Luxembourg court, in favor of an entertainment industry group.
ExtraTorrent shut down, but several popular release groups that originated on the site kept the name alive. Later in the year, ettv and EtHD launched their own website which is slowly gaining traction.
Popular anime torrent site NYAA lost control over several of its domain names last Spring. Several people later pointed out that NYAA’s owner decided to close the site voluntarily.
Users of the popular Kodi addon Exodus became unwittingly part of a DDoS attack in February. After the issue raised eyebrows in the community, the Exodus developer rolled back the malicious code and retired.
Last January adult streaming sites were found to use Google’s servers to store infringing material at no cost. While streaming sites have exploited Google’s servers for a long time, the issue hit the mainstream news this year.
The Pirate Bay’s .SE domain name sprang back into action in October, after it was deactivated. A few months later, the Supreme Court decided that it should be handed over to the authorities. TPB, meanwhile, sails on, relying on its original .org domain.
Last summer a man leaked several episodes of the smash-hit TV series Power. The episodes were ‘cammed’ using a phone, with the ‘cammer’ recording his own face for good measure.
The Mayweather v McGregor fight last August was a streaming success, but not just on legal channels. While centralized streaming services had a hard time keeping up with the unprecedented demand, lesser known live streaming torrents thrived.
In September, The Pirate Bay decided to use the computer resources of its visitors to mine Monero coins. This resulted in a heated debate. Supporters saw it as a novel way to generate revenue and a potential to replace ads, while opponents went out of their way to block the mining script.
In April the hacking group “TheDarkOverlord” leaked a trove of unreleased TV shows and movies. The group uploaded several videos, including episodes of Netflix’s Orange is The New Black, which it obtained the content from a post-production studio.
After nearly two months of downtime, the semi-private BitTorrent tracker Demonoid resurfaced online in March. The site was pulled offline due to hosting problems and had to endure some internal struggles as well.
In February a landmark ruling compelled a Swedish ISP to block The Pirate Bay. Copyright holders hoped that other ISPs would follow suit but telecoms giant Telia said it had no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it’s forced to do so by law.
In August two long-time developers of the Vuze BitTorrent client, formerly known as Azureus, launched BiglyBT. The client emerged at a time when Vuze development stalled. The developers promised to take the project forward while removing all advertising and other annoyances.