It looks like the anonymous blogger who uploaded a fake OS X Torrent late last week has managed to become one of the most-hated persons of the P2P scene. Even the usually well-behaved readers of this blog had some strong words for him. Apparently people didn't really care for the amused style of writing he cultivated on his blog while people were downloading terabytes of useless data in hope of getting OS X 10.5.

Turns out it wasn't all just a big joke for Marc aka rubyonnails3000. He made some interesting observations during the whole process that may hint at possible solutions to limit the effect of fake uploads. From Marc's blog:

"While the community work seemed promising at identifying fakes, the technical infrastructure failed miserably. Especially the torrent's automatic and unchecked redistribution has caused much harm. While sites like The Pirate Bay can't do much about the latter, it's up to the users to pay much more attention wether their favorite torrent sources are hosting first-hand or crawled content."

His fake OS X Torrent was quickly scraped and redistributed by sites like Fulldls.com, Btmon.com, Seedpeer.com and Torrentportal.com. Taking down the original on The Pirate Bay had no effect on this redistribution. The downloads were facilitated through a total of ten different trackers, up from the two Marc used originally.

But the Pirate Bay was apparently a big part of the problem as well. Says Marc:

"The Pirate Bay also failed to harm distribution by not taking the torrent's tracker offline after removing it from their webpage. Distribution could have continued anyway through DHT, but this way it was even more efficient. Users, who didn't visit TPB regularly, could furthermore get the impression that everything was still fine."


He also suggests that there might be some other technical tweaks site admins could take to limit the spreading of fake files, like banning Torrents with irregularities immediately. At least some of the admins seem to appreciate those thoughts. One member of the Torrentbox team left this comment on Marc's blog:

"Ouch, we got it off TorrentBox quite late indeed (I myself deleted it actually), not our style usually. We get dozens of fakes a day and it's quite a hard job to deal with them all, yours just slipped through I guess. ;)"

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