Can 1337x Weather a New Wave of DMCA Subpoenas?

There are two kinds of torrent users in the world: The first downloads movies, TV series, documentaries, video games and applications from The Pirate Bay, and the second downloads the same content from 1337x. 

The remaining torrent sites exist to serve users in the torrent community when they can’t find something on 1337x or The Pirate Bay or when both sites are down.

However, a new wave of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) subpoenas means that 1337x will have to work harder than ever before to stay afloat and keep serving the torrent community.

An image featuring the homepage of 1337 website with a drawing of a person using his laptop on the right side representing subpoenas

In August 2020, Hawaii-based law firm Culpepper IP filed a DMCA subpoena against 1337x. The main aim of the subpoena was to discover the real identity of the person who acted as the registrant for an unnamed client.

More specifically, Culpepper IP was hoping that the subpoena would yield information out of two service providers, Cloudflare and Tonics Domain Corporation. At that point, though, it did not have solid proof that the two service providers had anything of value to give up. It is also true that the main Culpepper IP target was 1337x and not Cloudflare and/or Tonics Domain Corporation.

Copyright holder groups and law firms have been gaining momentum against torrent sites for some time now, but not without some help from major torrent sites themselves.

YTS and EZTV were banned from uploading content to 1337x. The decision put 1337x in the camp of torrent sites that were not willing to share user data under any circumstances. Whether or not that would speed up the process of 1337x getting hit with a subpoena again is something we’ll likely know soon.

An image featuring files with the law enforcement agency text

What is certain is that the pressure on torrent sites to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and copyright holder groups is increasing. YTS didn’t put up a fight when it had to snitch out on its users. Neither did EZTV. Both sites are still working, but they lost substantial reputation points within the torrent community. 

They are not alone, though. Copyright holder groups also went after Glotorrents and TorrentGalaxy, both of which gave up information. All of this means that 1337x should prepare for a flurry of subpoenas headed its way in the coming months.

1337x remains one of the most visited torrent sites in the world. Still, if law firms like Culpepper IP keep the pressure on by demanding to unmask the identity of uploaders to its platforms, it is only a matter of time before 1337x gives up the information or goes down fighting.

Conclusion

1337x will likely come under more pressure in the coming months from law firms and copyright holder groups. For torrent users, though, the eventual outcome should be secondary. They should be using tools such as VPNs and Tor to hide their IP address and their online activity. 

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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