All eyes have been on the Pirate Bay in recent weeks, but the Swedish pirates aren't the only ones forced to radical changes due to increased pressure of rights holders. The Dutch torrent site Mininova.org has been defending itself in court since early June, with a verdict due at the end of August.

Mininova has started to take a more proactive approach against infringement, filtering out infringing torrents much like Youtube is filtering its uploads. The Mininova staff described these filters this way:

"(L)ikely infringing video files referred to by torrents are checked by a third party content recognition system. If the system finds that the file corresponds to unauthorized content, we remove and block the torrent that refers to this file on Mininova."

The announcement was met with a lot of skepticism from Mininova's users, with many users denouncing it as suicde. Well, guess what: It's two months later, and Mininova is still very much alive. The site clocked almost 45 million uniques and over 628 million page views last month. However, there are some early signs for users abandoning the site because of the filters.



Most websites have pretty heavy seasonal ups and downs. That's traditionally also been true for file sharing communities and services, which usually tend to get much less traffic during the summer months. Kids that travel don't download that much. You can see that Mininova had some of those seasonal ups and downs earlier this year as well.

However, Mininova had a clear dip in page views in June. Page views were down by almost 14 percent month-to-month. Visits declined only by ten percent, which seems to be an indicator for users spending less time and clicking on less links on the site.

The next few months could be make or break for Mininova. Back to school will be a good indicator on whether users are coming back to the site or switch to torrent sites without filters, and any court decision that would force Mininova to even slightly stricter controls could spell trouble for the site.

Tags: , , , ,