Who Will Be Shut Down if P2P Becomes a Felony

Before you post comments please read the corresponding article that has the legal theory behind this page.

Sites that will be shutting down if P2P becomes a Felony

The sites below offer software or procedural instructions on sharing music without direct permission of the music copyright holders.  The Fed has announced that soon the “unauthorized streaming of music” will be a felony.

Once this happens, these sites will either shut down voluntarily, radically change their business model, or be shut down by authorities. Even ones that are outside of the US may be “virtually’ shut down through a court order to their US webhosts.


UPDATED 9/2/12 (Original Posting 3/20/11)

Limwire.com – already closed

MegaUplaod.com (Gone, probably for good. CEO on trial.)

Piratebay.com – (Closed.  CEOs deported to Sweden for trial.)

grooveshark.com (In litigation. Kicked off Google Market– twice)

ThePirateCity.org (Seized by ICE)

NinjaVideo.net (Seized by ICE)

PlanetMoviez.com (Seized by ICE)

TVshack.net (Seized by ICE)

FilesPump.com (Seized by ICE)

Now-Movies.com (Seized by ICE)

ZML.com (Seized by ICE)


piolet.com (back in business after some changes.)

manolito.com (Traffic greatly reduced due to Goolge demotion.)

limeprowire.com (Gone towards a ligit paid service.)

Shareaza (In litigation)

trustyfiles.com (still operating but had litigation issues)

bearshare.com (gone ligit)

blubster.com (Temporarily still in service pending investigation.)

imesh.com (Gone ligit.  According to website, has deals with major labels.)

bittorrent.am (Forced to change URL and re-emerged as a new site.)

There are 100s more.

Sites that will be changing their tune soon regardless of new law.

With the understanding that criminal solicitation is also a crime all of the sites below promote illegal streaming of music though life-style pieces, biased/shoddy legal “analysis” of copyright law or direct advertising of other illegal streaming services.

In each case there is precedent to call these acts solicitation and/or facilitation.  Count on seeing far less promotion of the P2P lifestyle on these sites now that use of the services themselves may become a felony.


UPDATED STATUS: Sections in parentheses were updated 9/2/12

torrentfreak.com (Changed their  tone considerably to a more balanced view after this artifice’s first post. Began moderating forums.)

slashdot.org (Editor and Chief forced to resign in 2011.  Company moved to a “sponsored modle” and changed direction considerably.)

Eff.org (Has not changed a bit)

download.cnet.com (forced to change URL.  Now posts P2P warnings.)

wired.com (Changed it’s bias to a more balanced reporting of tech v media.)

techdirt.com (talks less about music these days and more about other types of media.)

businessinsider.com/sai (Silicon Ally Insider) (Changed it’s bias to a more balanced reporting of tech v media.)

recordingindustryvspeople.com (Softened tone considerably since this pieces first posting. Shifting from Anti- RIAA pieces to ones that discuss “legal aplications of file sharing.))

zeropaid.com (Gone very much to the other side of many issues. According to their Wiki page: ” Has grown up into a full fledged news & technology website.”

boycott-riaa.com (now a neutered portal site.  No legit activity.)

thepirateparty.com (Has avoided shut down by fragmenting.)

pirate-party.us  (Has avoided shut down by fragmenting.)

33 responses to “Who Will Be Shut Down if P2P Becomes a Felony”

  1. Psycho D says:

    I f’n hate the government. But I love this…I finally feel vindicated. Maybe now we can get back to hearing great music more often; and CREATING music while making a bit of a living.

  2. Anon says:

    You do realize that TorrentFreak.com is a news site right? That imesh.com actually has a written agreement with the music industry?
    And you should realize that the ‘virtual shutdown via the webhosts’ is questionably legal?

    • Moses Avalon says:


      Yes, actually I am aware of all those things. Your point…?

      • J says:

        His point was Torrentfreak is a blog.
        His point is that your legal reading of supposed consequences of a proposed law leading to the shutting down Torrentfreak (what?) would be the sort of conspicuous 1st Amendment violation defense attorneys cream for due to the fact that it would be so blatant, actionable, and profitable. Not even the RIAA is that stupid.

  3. Anon says:

    will you list your own site here if these laws get changed? you wouldnt need to rally for big content distributers anymore.

  4. david says:

    What prevents a person from legally downloading a file or creating a digital file from a purchased cd to be shared with freinds, or anyone else for that matter.

    Promoting a new song, or promoting a catalogue requires an undownloadable streaming type of technology, I know it exists, but there is software to unlock,decrypt, and download, then distribute, or share. There is software to track, expensive for the writer. Now what……how do you control your own song your own rights, keeping it out of the hands of the copiers, copyright iS not enough, it needs to be traced….sound scan, ascap, and many more software driven companies all guess…..where can I buy software that will,let me track all of who and where it is being used,played,copied or sold.

  5. Todd says:

    The fun thing about the internet is that it’s global. If something becomes illegal in the US, someone’ll do it in another country. In fact, if this sort of law comes to pass, there’s going to be a huge market for big pipes attached to fast servers located overseas – both for site hosting purposes as for downloading purposes.

    Between VPNs, seedboxes and a myriad other technologies, the only way to seriously enforce P2P as a felony would be a national internet filter similar to China and constant monitoring. Yet another step towards serfdom.

  6. Todd says:

    David – nothing prevents a person from legally downloading a file or creating a digital file from a purchased CD to be shared with friends.

    We used to do it all the time back when all we had were LPs and tapes. In fact, some bands only ever got famous because of bootleg tapes and mixtapes being passed around. Metallica is one of those (that and getting dragged on tour by Anthrax).

  7. Wynand Winterbach says:

    “A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission, he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or an attempt to commit such crime or which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission. It is immaterial that the actor fails to communicate with the person he solicits to commit a crime if his conduct was designed to effect such a communication.

    The crime of criminal solicitation is the actual soliciting, or seeking to engage another to commit a crime, not the subsequent commission of a crime. Therefore, a defendant can be convicted of soliciting, even though the person refuses and the solicited crime is never perpetrated, as long as the intent that that crime be committed is present.”

    I can only speak for Slashdot, the EFF and Techdirt (since I follow them all) – even with a very loose interpretation of the definition of criminal solicitation, anyone that follows these sites could not come to the conclusion that they solicit the breaking of copyright (in fact, many folks that form part of their communities are very pro copyright since Creative Commons licenses and the free software licenses rely on strong copyright protection).

    Some of the other sites may well (though almost certainly not Wired, Businessinsider or CNET would) solicit such activity and I would not be particularly sad to see them go. But there is a world of difference between The Pirate Bay (and its ilk) and the other sites you mentioned.

    Moses responds:

    I don’t think those sites are going to be “targeted” and I enjoy reading Wired, SVI and ther others. But I do think that they are going to have some serious discussions about what they say on the P2P issues in the future. That was my point. That’s why I put it in the context of cigarette advertising on TV. No law said that that networks had to stop advertising tobacco. They did it voluntarily because they saw the writing on the wall.

    • Moses Avalon says:


      I don’t think those sites are going to be “targeted” and I enjoy reading Wired, SVI and ther others. But I do think that they are going to have some serious discussions about what they say on the P2P issues in the future. That was my point. That’s why I put it in the context of cigarette advertising on TV. No law said that that networks had to stop advertising tobacco. They did it voluntarily because they saw the writing on the wall.

  8. Julian says:

    Would love to know your take on my nonprofit’s mission — publicrecords.org

    Loved your related post on the recent White Paper. Have blogged about it equally: http://bit.ly/fkErUd

  9. james says:

    I think some people have some really messed up priorities here. I am much more offended for instance when watching prime time news with the family and having commercials about “sexual dysfunction” and “erections lasting more than four hours” being thrown in my 6 and 9 yr old daughters faces twice per half hour. I’m kinda thinking this is a bigger deal than some small percentage of geeks getting their music for free…..Time for someone to get their priorities back in line Moses. Try working out all the really meaningful issues in life, then we can talk free music.

  10. TC Smythe says:

    (re: the recent decision to block googlebooks from releasing its 15milion-book digital library)

    As a songwriter, I have to wonder if book authors are now wishing they had supported us against napster way back when. Once a product is converted to ones and zeroes, the toothpaste is out of the tube. I predict right here and now that this enormous library will be leaked in a ‘wiki-style avalanche’. Let’s see ’em stop it then! I wish copyrights worked, but they don’t. People will always find justification to steal what does not belong to them, especially if you make it easy.

  11. Now That's Hyperbole says:

    That link doesn’t claim that it will happen soon. It doesn’t claim it will happen at all. It simply states that the executive branch backs Performance Rights and is against some sort of streaming, which itself isn’t clearly defined.

    P2P will not be illegal. Our government is actively backing P2P in other countries. Not for file sharing but that same technology (or similar tech), which is designed to circumvent the authorities, will be used for the same purposes.

    I don’t advocate stealing music (I still buy CD’s), but this is a game of cat and mouse, and it’s a game that can’t be won. Worse case scenario, some stop and others use proxies to mask their location.

    It’s sad. I know people in several up and coming bands, and I want them to succeed, but the reality is that even they download music from shady sources. The game is over….and as much as I dislike it, I would not support making P2P illegal.

  12. Chris says:

    The more people there are breaking a law, the harder it is to enforce. P2P, like speeding, will never be stopped because most of the public do not feel that it should be illegal in the first place.

    When and if enforcement is put in place against the majority of the peoples’ will, then this will cease to be a “Free Country” and will then be a “Police State.”

    I for one, will then lament what would have become of this grand experiment in freedom we call “The United States of America.”

  13. revere says:

    1, P2P is 100% legal and there is no basis for making it otherwise – PROVIDING, DISTRIBUTING or DOWNLOADING copyrighted works is entirely different and can be provided on any web medium (http, ftp, etc) singling out P2P technologies in this case is just a blatantly stupid attempt at scaremongering and self promotion.

    2, Sites who write about a technology – even IF that technology were ever to be banned – would not be required to cease, desist or otherwise change their ways as freedom of speech is a protected right, not just in America but all democratic countries (regardless of America being an actual republic and not a true democracy by any means)

    3, STREAMING (you may want to go check the difinition of that btw) is NOT P2P, there are P2P forms of streaming but there are also http, rtsp, mms etc so what? they gonna ban itunes too? they gonna make the record companies own sites illegal? grow up.

    • Moses Avalon says:


      It would be great if there was a legal dictionary that we could refer to standardize how “P2P” is defined. Unfortunately, all we have right now is a general public concnesus. On that basis I feel fairly confident that the vast majority of people associate P2P with illegal file sharing. Yes, I know that technicaly this is inacurate. But my opinion is not relevant. What is reliant is how the DOJ, FCC, TFC and Congress see it, and for better or worse the general opinion of the legal community is that they will synonimizes “illegal sharing of music files” as “P2P” even though ther are other, legal uses for P2P. Illegal P2P is the clear target of this paper. You can whine about definitions all your want… as they are taking you away in handcuffs.

  14. CybrSage says:

    To Chris:

    When and if enforcement is put in place against the majority of the peoples’ will, then this will cease to be a “Free Country” and will then be a “Police State.”

    Collecting the current level of taxes is against the majority of the people’s will, yet is is already being enforced. According to you, the US is not a free country, but rather a police state.

    Welcome to reality, being a free state does not mean the majority gets to do whatever it wants. At one time, the majority felt blacks should be slaves and Jews should be shunned.

    Democracy must be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

  15. Anonymouse says:

    Unfortunately for bottom feeders like yourself the constitution protects free speech such as that on slashdot and torrentfreak.

    I hope you feel quite as self-satisfied when someone decides they no-longer like your what you say and decide it should be made illegal…

    • if-i-never-would-have-bought-it-i-deprive-them-of-nothing says:

      yeah did you see TorrentFreak tear him a new one???

      Maybe he should thank TF for its continued existence (oh and no law will shut down TF or change 99% of their posts, and he knows it), because of all the traffic he got from them.

  16. Max says:

    To paraphrase star wars:

    “You just don’t get it do you*? The tighter you
    tighten your grip, the more systems** will
    slip through your fingers.”

    -Leia to Vader, Star Wars

    * Gov’t, Corporations, etc.

    ** aka websites

  17. Steve Weaver says:

    “[M]ost of the public do not feel that it should be illegal in the first place”. Where did you get that information Chris? I would like to see that study. There is certainly a loud voice of people who prefer to steal music rather than support creators. But I am definitely not convinced that is “most of the public” by any means – if it were there would be no music or film industry remaining at all.

    Today’s good news. The NPD Group recently published its findings that P2P downloading is on the decline. NPD surmises this is largely due to the shutting down of LimeWire. My source is Music Row (http://www.musicrow.com/2011/03/p2p-downloading-on-decline/).

  18. Interfect says:

    I *highly* doubt that any new law is going to change the behavior of the EFF, Slashdot, or the Pirate Party. No amount of legislation is going to make those people respect copyright.

    I can see this legislation having a chilling effect on the use of peer-to-peer technology by “normal” people. After all, it is potentially making it more illegal, even if the actual target of the proposed law seems to be sites which deliver streaming media over the web in a client-server fashion. It’s a crime to encourage or assist with a felony, while it’s not a crime to encourage copyright infringement.

    In my opinion, this law appears to be an attempt to provide stronger legislative protections for people who sell copies of things, as the actual production cost of a copy continues to drop. As technology makes copyright infringement easier, the legal penalties involved need to get harsher in order to stop people from doing it.

    Piracy is down, so it seems to be working. But we have to ask ourselves, is a society where people’s actions are held in check primarily by the threat of punishment the kind of society that we want?

  19. Rand Bliss says:

    I’ve had enough of this, so here’s my two and a half cents. Take a deep breath now…

    An artist creates a product and only they or the companies that legitimately represent that artist has the right to sell and distribute that product, enabling the artist to make a living from it.

    Copyright infringement/theft in the digital age is one of (if not the) major causes of ruining the once thriving music industry. It’s become a major factor in a negative self-feeding cycle consisting of declining album sales > less profit > reducing financial risk taking > minimizing A&R funding towards new and worthy artists > sacrificing quality for the bottom line > playing it safe > clone then sell whatever works > far less sustainable newer quality music > more motivation to copy/download/distribute/steal > declining album sales > etc. etc.

    How often do these new-age thieves have to be educated to the facts and reality of how they’re contributing to this sad issue? Granted, presuming most of these cretins nowadays haven’t a clue what quality music is anymore anyway, given we’ve all been polluted with so much mediocrity passing itself as music for so long now.

    But even so, if they really appreciated music, they’d respect the artist they love, the process of how it’s created, performed, recorded and sold so the artist benefits from their own work, and they’d support the artist the good old-fashioned way by actually buying the artist’s music.

    But hypocritically they don’t respect the artist they admire, because they’re stealing from him/her and depriving them of what they deserve to be earning.

    Regardless of how small a sum you idiots think is inconsequential, if millions of you are doing it, even your selfish byte-sized brains can figure out it all adds up to very substantial amounts of an artist’s income being lost due to your piracy by whatever means.

    I once read an example of this twisted logic; ‘The
    Beatles made gazillions of bucks, I’m not even making a dent in their fortunes. What’s the harm?’ The point is that The Beatles earned their money by selling a remarkable product, and deserve to continue earning money regardless. You haven’t earned a thing to qualify you the right to copy/reproduce/distribute their product without permission. What part of the word ‘theft’ don’t you understand?

    Put the shoe on the other foot comrade. What if you yourself created something you’re proud of, then someone comes along and steals it from you? Then makes a copy of it and either gives it away freely or even sells it. Forget about how you now feel, ever heard of the concept of ethics?

    Like any tool can be used for positive or negative purposes, digital technology also has its pros and cons.

    Personally I despise digitized music compared to pure analog recordings of old. The human ear actually hears/receives more true/original information from an analog source than from a machine converting that information to a series of ‘0’s and ‘1’s of cold binary code. That’s what we’re being conned into buying and hearing with CD’s.

    It’s like looking at the Mona Lisa through a screen door. Yes, it’s the Mona Lisa, but you’re being cheated out of the full 100% of the entire visual experience.

    However, even as a donkey-minded traditionalist musician I do concede that digital is far more convenient a medium to work with than analog and has become a necessary evil, for me at least. Anyway, I digress…

    Copying music without the permission of the copyright holder is nothing new. Making bootleg recordings in the golden days of analog mediums like vinyl records, cassettes, etc. was nowhere near a threat to our music industry as has become so prevalent in our current digital era.

    Digital technology just makes it too damn easy and guilt-inducingly difficult to even resist the occasional temptation to download ‘the only decent song on the CD’ (admit it people, we’ve all done it at least once) or worse yet an entire album’s worth of blood, sweat and tears from an artist who’s given their all hoping to make a living from selling their art.

    For those singles, I’ll burn in hell for my minor indiscretions I know, forgive me please and I shall NOT sin again. This vented spleen diatribe is aimed at the downloading en masse addicted to dubious free information cheapskates who are the most egregious abusers.

    There really is no gray area with international copyright law. Google it so no time’s wasted repeating all of it here.

    But for those lost souls who are still obviously confused about the facts and ethics of this serious issue of copyright infringement, allow me to help you understand.

    Basically if a person takes something from someone without their permission it is called theft. In the case of what copyright actually means; in its simplest terms means ‘the right to copy’. So if you don’t have the ‘copyright’ or even permission from the copyright holder to reproduce their creative work (music, video, literary, artwork, photographs, etc.) and you do so, you are stealing their creative work. So simple even you can understand this, right?

    With this in mind, I don’t care what twisted logic any of you fools can conjure up with your self-righteous, narrow minded, misinformed, stubbornly ignorant to the point of stupidity then foam at the mouth with; there is no legitimate excuse to steal someone’s creative work, especially if there are laws in place to protect the original owner. If you like it and want it then pay for it.

    Outta’ breath…thanks for your patience.

    I hope I’ve contributed to setting the record straight (pun partially intended;-)

    Luvya Mo, keep the faith!

  20. Michael says:

    In a free society, there would be no copyright. Unfortunately, the USA is not such a society. Rather, it is a police state, and the pending criminalization of copyright violation is not surprising. We already have the world’s highest population percentage behind bars. Who cares if we add a few more millions, right?

  21. Aldiv says:

    Probably they all will be closed in certain time but I think p2p will be live forever.

  22. Baby Bullet says:

    Making bootleg recordings in the golden days of analog mediums like vinyl records, cassettes, etc. was nowhere near a threat to our music industry as has become so prevalent in our current digital era. Thanks a lot.

  23. ross says:

    i dont think you can ever fully stop these sites, but this will make an impact. It would be nice if musicians could make a profit off what they create.

  24. Peer to peer computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads among peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer to peer network of nodes. Thanks a lot.

  25. Pixie says:

    well i dont know if ill explain this well without confusing people as to what im trying to say but im gonna try. OK so if movies, shows, actors etc…all get ratings and earn more money the higher the ratings, or however it is…then why cant music and movies and other copyrite things that are all over the web, instead of making a big deal out of copyrite and how its preventing the stars from making any money, maybe they should look into somehow tracking ratings views and downloads of their “work” and then from there it would just be another way to ensure they got more money but how many downloads views ratings and thru whichever sites they get viewed thru they could maybe somehow earn a share of cash based on how much traffic was going thru the site and for what and which and how many downloads.. i dont know i dont know too much about how all this can work anyways i just dont find it right that they make something available (internet) to be able to use and browse and download things and KNOWING this is all available, how they just didnt in some way see “free” stuff eventually coming from all this and make a plan ahead of time on how to still earn the money but through the sites that are used to get that free “stuff” instead they allowed it knowing the risks and probs that were bound to occur just so they could make a fuss about it and then have a controlling government enough to “punish” us for using what was soo openly given to us to use in the first place. i dont agree with them shutting down the sites, i think they should come up with an alternative to still make it work out for both parties..the artists and the people who obviously support the artists by downloading their work because they like it. ugh im gonna end this now, i hope someone understood basicly what i was trying to get at.

  26. sharpatti says:

    Shut them down. They promote child pornography and that’s enough reason!

  27. dan says:

    this is a crap article, most of those websites are irrelevant to P2P

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