Late last week, ex-members of the now defunct Newzbin indexing site started receiving emails from a group claiming to have obtained the site’s source code and databases. Now it’s being claimed by an ex-director that the Newzbin domain name was sold to a Seychelles-based company to help clear company debts.
At the beginning of May, Usenet indexing site Newzbin finally collapsed (TF) after its copyright infringement battle with several Hollywood studios.
Fans and supporters of the site soon found reason for optimism though, when it was revealed that someone had previously hacked the Newzbin servers and grabbed the source code and several databases.
Adding to the intrigue, a group calling themselves Team R Dogs/Newzbin2 contacted ex-members of Newzbin last week with a message claiming that they would soon bring back the site.
“The crew got most of the original Newzbin source code and the main databases,” said Mr White from the group. “We loved it too much to let it die.”
So it seems that Newzbin could be making a comeback, but the mystery doesn’t stop there. Both the Newzbin.com and Newzxxx.com (Newzbin’s sister adult site) domains have been transferred to Seychelles-based WCIS Limited as can be seen via WHOIS here and here.
As readers will be aware, The Pirate Bay was also transferred to a Seychelles-based company when it had legal troubles.
To shine some light on these developments, the folks over at UsenetShack managed to catch up with an anonymous ex-director of Newzbin to ask a few questions, to which they received some interesting responses.
In respect of the domain name transfer, the unnamed source says that due to money problems and the need to appease company creditors, Newzbin raised funds by selling the site’s domain name but continued to have the use of it “on a leaseback basis”. The ex-directors of Newzbin categorically deny that they are behind the Seychelles company.
As for the liquidation, the source says he finds it “difficult” to imagine who would want to buy the remaining assets of the site with a view to bringing it back “unless they have big clanging balls of steel or they want to transform Newzbin into a legal NZB service”.
So what about Team R Dogs? The source claims that the code they acquired is probably an old version of the site, leading to an assumption they could have been in possession of it for some time. Furthermore, the source speculates that since a number of outside contractors had access to Newzbin’s code, it could be that Team R Dogs are one of those and the hacking claims could be just a cover story.
If all these threads collide and Newzbin eventually comes back under its old (current) domain name, that would be quite a feat and a massive annoyance to the MPA who did a huge amount of work to bring the site to its knees.