One of the world’s most strictly regulated and ethically proud torrent websites, UKNova, has been forced to announce its imminent closure, after FACT – the UK arm of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – serviced it with a cease and desist order. Despite full compliance from UKNova regarding the links in question, FACT claimed that any and all links on the site were infringing unless direct permission had been given by the content holder for them to appear.
Guilty until proven innocent it seems.
To put this into context, compared to the many torrent sites that have no sharing guidelines – the places UKNova visitors will now undoubtedly use instead – UKNova operated its torrent search and trackers with a strict code of guidelines. No content that was available on DVD, video, premium content channels or streaming services was allowed on the site, in any fashion. There was even a guideline that said up to two weeks before a DVD release date for a TV series or show, all torrents that allowed for the download of that content would be removed.
In short, UKNova went above and beyond to make its site as copyright holder friendly as possible. It provided links to content that wasn’t available but as soon as it became so, those links were summarily removed and never added again.
Despite these moves by the site’s owners however, FACT made it quite clear that it had no intention of leaving it alone, so the owners have announced the closure. Understandably so, considering the four year prison sentence recently handed out to SurfTheChannel owner, Anton Vickerman.
The people who run UKNova have families, careers and professional reputations that could be menaced by lengthy legal proceedings, whether successful or not. Whilst we believe that FACT are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this,” said one site admin to TorrentFreak.
KitGuru Says: While it’s sad to see site’s that make a real effort treated in the same way as those that are blatant infringers, it also shows a lack of scope at organisations like FACT. All this will have done is drive UKNova users – that might have felt some loyalty to the ethical rules of the site – into the arms of the those with less scruples.