Newzbin gossip May 18, 2010Posted by deepsharer in usenet.
Things are moving fast at everyones favourite Usenet indexer Newzbin. A Newzbin Editor let slip some interesting gossip to me on IRC. Apparently Newzbin has been put into administration yesterday because it couldn’t pay its debts. Word is that they owe the MPA £230,000 just in interim costs, and that’s without a full costs ruling or a decision on damages. Apparently they also owe a software development house over £500k. They also stopped taking payments a few weeks back. Fucking ouch.
I predict Newzbin is toast.
Does it mean the end of the service for users? Maybe not. While I can’t see how Newzbin can dig themselves out of this hole or carry on, there have been odd developments. Users have been pressing Newzbin to Opensource the site code but they’ve refused. However the rumour is that someone hacked their servers and grabbed the code and several databases. I PM’d a Newzbin guy and he denied knowing anything about this but the rumours are strong. Added to which Newzbin have been hacked before: about 5 years ago a database of their Paypal transactions ended up on Usenet! (Oh the irony) And another Usenet indexer also turned up running, ahem, similar looking code.
If that is right I’m guessing a clone site will spring up soon, or maybe several.
Wow. Slightly freaked that Newzbin has both closed AND linked to this blogpost to give an explanation. Just to say, I am nothing to do with Newzbin but I am (OK, was, it would seem) an editor and I knew the original guys fairly well via IRC.
I’ll see if I can get answers to questions asked below and post the replies in new blogposts.
As someone in comments said, there is a newzbin users group on irc.freenode.net #newzbin
Update 2 – 19th May
New story: privacy, source code refunds.
Update 3 – 19th May
The original site owners have confirmed that, based on source code fragments examined by them, and supplied by a third party, the site source code does appear to have been stolen and is in the hands of unknown parties. An Attack of the Clones imminent?
update 4 – 28th May
Mr White – code ‘thief’ interview
update 4 – 1 June
Newzbin is back