German police officers took down a private Birttorrent tracker last week, raiding three flats and confiscating multiple PCs, hard drives, DVDs and CDs. The bust was initiated by investigations of the German anti-piracy organization GVU, which had this to say about it in a press release:

"Members of the file sharing networks were able to buy download packages for up to 75 Euros. Users who paid 100 Euros or more received special privileges."

The tracker apparently provided access to movies, video games and porn, but it only listet a total of about 300 titles. Just a quick comparison: The Pirate Bay currently tracks 1725641 torrents, and Demonoid, arguably one of the biggest private trackers, has around 240,000 torrents in its database.

That makes this small tracker almost look like it's not worth the hassle, doesn't it? Well, apparently you can still get some good headlines out of a bust like this one. The German press has picked up on the GVU press release, but overlooked a few subtle details.

The GVU never said that users of the now-busted tracker had to pay in order to download content. In fact, it's probably safe to assume that those payments were voluntary donations that were rewarded with ratio credits. However, Germany's biggest news site Spiegel.de reports that this was a "so called paytracker, meaning a file sharing server that only provided access to paying users."

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