Sites like The Pirate Bay, which has just celebrated 15 years online, tend to drown out smaller players on the news front, but several have an impressive history behind them.
Take SevenTorrents, for example. The site has been serving torrents for around 10 years and last year serviced around six million unique visitors. It’s not a giant by any means but its longevity is notable in a somewhat hostile and oppressive anti-piracy environment.
Now, however, the show is over for this long-term player. In an announcement yesterday, SevenTorrents’ operator said the towel had been thrown in.
“We have been serving you for near 10 years and served over 40 Million visitors, with all troubles including copyright complaints, limitations, domain bans and …., we were able to keep this site up and running and make our visitors satisfied,” the announcement reads.
Indeed, SevenTorrents has weathered the usual storms over the years. In 2014, the site’s main domain was added to the UK’s ISP blocking system following a complaint from the Motion Picture Association and in 2015, other domains were added to the list.
Unlike other sites on a downward spiral, no single event appears to have pressured SevenTorrents’ out of existence but they clearly feel the time is right to move on. However, the site’s decision to hand over its database to another torrent site raises some questions.
“Today we have decided to retire. But this is not the end for you and we will not let you down, there is a good news for you. We have talked with the owners of our professional friend site WatchSoMuch which is doing same thing as we were doing but in a better way, it has a super fast search and modern and mobile friendly design,” SevenTorrents says.
“We have transferred all the data and members to there, please visit and continue using your account in WatchSoMuch with same password and enjoy.”
While SevenTorrents is an open index, according to its operator it has around 200,000 members, which means that WatchSoMuch – a site that only surfaced in June – now has the details those users signed up with along with any other data gathered along the way.
So, after receiving emails from users and noticing some concern on Reddit and elsewhere, TF contacted SevenTorrents to find out more about the shutdown and the hand over of data to WatchSoMuch. In polite terms, the site doesn’t believe that there should be any concern whatsoever.
TF was informed that SevenTorrents hasn’t encountered anyone who is worried about their data being passed to WatchSoMuch and the overwhelming reaction has been sadness at the site closing down.
“[T]he announcement on Facebook you can see real people reactions, none of the comments in there nor the emails we received show any worries about their data, except people are sad, and asking us not to close this site,” we were told.
“WSM owners are friends of us and very professional, they can be the no #1 movie site in next months because of what they are offering.”
Highlighting the privacy-conscious nature of current times, we pointed out that some people are indeed concerned about the transfer of data. However, SevenTorrents’ operator is insistent that there’s nothing for users to be worried about.
“Yes, logically [users] should get nervous, but they [shouldn’t],” TF was told.
“Transferring the user data to a new site should sound like an upgrade to an existing site. It’s not publishing data or selling it, which many of current torrent sites do without any notice.
“But we respect those users who don’t like to join a new site (if there are any) and I will ask new owners to add a delete account option if there isn’t any.”
While it’s impossible for outsiders to know exactly what will happen, we get the impression that SevenTorrents simply wanted to give WatchSoMuch a rolling start at being a success with a community they didn’t want to tear apart. It won’t sit well with some but this is a free pirate site we’re talking about, not Netflix.
“SevenTorrents will be up for few days but we no longer update this site,” SevenTorrents says.
“We promise this event will look like a change of address and layout to you. There is no difference, the data will be better and more complete. All data including movies, torrents, activities, comments have been transferred to WSM so you will feel like home.”
Indeed, it looks like a large number of former SevenTorrents users have already made the switch. Over the past two days, more than 6,000 are said to have logged in to WatchSoMuch.