A recent FACT shutdown of a UK-based NZB indexer brought out a bit of defiance in the site’s owner, but seems to have only resulted in vaporware for USENET indexers.
According to an article in TorrentFreak, the UK-based operator of an NZB indexing site, NzbX, recently received a nasty visit from FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft. The organization is an industry front that works to shut down sites that are accused of copyright infringement. The operator of NzbX, who goes by the handle Lemon, got a personal visit from FACT and, after getting into an argument with the representative, decided he wasn’t going to comply with what they wanted him to do, shut down the site and surrender the domain.
Lemon was threatened by FACT, but he never made profits, according to the TorrentFreak story, on the site, so there was really little to be concerned with. The agent was persistent, waiting outside his home after buzzing twice and asking to be contacted to set up a meeting via a letter slipped through the door.
Lemon ended up shutting down the site, but said he did so for health reasons, having recently suffered a heart attack. He stated that he was going to keep the domain open, make some alterations to the code and redistribute his indexing system as open source software. Defiant, to be sure, but the promise apparently hasn’t manifested into much, according to several posts on Reddit.
Originally, Lemon had wanted to transfer the domain and index to a different group of operators, but they balked after finding out about the FACT visit. The site was still up and running as of roughly 20 days before this post, but users had only gotten a 502 bad gateway error when they tried to access the site. In the TorrentFreak article, there were many improvements that Lemon mentioned he wanted to make to the indexing software, including ones related to commenting and other community building features. That hasn’t manifested as of yet.
Users on Reddit expressed some disappointment, as they had been waiting for the code to open up their own indexers or to simply develop it further. FACT and other industry front organizations continue to actively go after NZB indexers, though new indexers seem to be popping up regularly and the number of sites replacing the shut down sites seems to be providing plenty of options for USENET users.