BTjunkie, one of the largest BitTorrent indexes on the Internet, has decided to shut down voluntarily today. A combination of legal actions against fellow file-sharing sites and time-consuming projects have led to the drastic decision that takes out one the main players in the BitTorrent landscape.
Founded in June 2005, BTjunkie has been among the top BitTorrent sites for more than half a decade.
The site was never involved in any legal action, and to keep it this way the site’s operators decided to shut the site down for good today. The following message was posted on the BTjunkie homepage a few minutes ago:
“This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we’ve decided to voluntarily shut down. We’ve been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it’s time to move on. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!”
Talking to TorrentFreak, BTjunkie’s founder said that the legal actions against other file-sharing sites such as MegaUpload and The Pirate Bay played an important role in making the difficult decision. Witnessing all the trouble colleagues got into was cause for a lot of worry and stress, and those will now belong to the past.
That said, BTjunkie’s owner still thinks there might be a future for other BitTorrent sites.
“I really do hope so, the war is far from over for sure,” he told TorrentFreak.
While BTjunkie was never targeted directly by copyright holders, the site was reported to the US Trade Representative (USTR) November last year. Both the RIAA and MPAA listed the torrent index as a ‘rogue’ site that facilitated mass copyright infringement.
BTjunkie is also one of the search terms censored by Google because it’s piracy related, alongside The Pirate Bay, RapidShare, uTorrent and others.
As a result of the decision to shut down BTjunkie, one of the top 5 torrent sites with dozens of millions of users a month is no more. Judging from previous shutdowns like that of TorrentSpy and Mininova, users will quickly find a new home at other sites.
Nonetheless, it’s the end of an era.