On talking to insider at Newzbin the other day, it was made clear that the new owners of Newzbin Ltd had registered the domain name with an offshore company in the Seychelles. You can see the details below or check them out yourself:
Registrant: WCIS Limited Victoria House Victoria, Mahe 000 000 SC
This naturally set our detective noses off and so we dug a bit deeper, getting in touch with an old contact we had which resulted in this comment from an ex-director at Newzbin (unfortunately we cannot name who). It details the future of the official Newzbin site and goes in to a bit more detail surrounding the Team R Dogs code theft.
The Newzbin domain, Newzbin's future, Team R Dogs and more..
The future plans of Newzbin proper are unclear. It depends on the results of the liquidation. If the liquidators, Bennett Verby, can find a buyer for the assets, such as the servers and code, then possibly a nearly half a million successor could spring up. Of course since Newzbin got nailed for copyright infringement it's difficult to see who would want to do that, unless that have big clanging balls of steel or they want to transform Newzbin into a legal NZB service (which doesn't sound commercially viable).
As you know because of the litigation Newzbin ran into fairly severe money problems: our income began to shrivel as users started to leave because of fear over the outcome of the case, and also because we were having to filter results, so the site started to become useless. We therefore needed to obtain cash to fend off creditors and one of the assets we sold, on a leaseback basis, was the domain name. This however is all we sold. We didn't sell or licence the site software although we did explore this option with several parties.
The past directors of Newzbin are not interested in resurrecting the business and will not be seeking to buy the assets of the company off the liquidators. Caesium is starting on a new project, Kalante has a full time job and Freaky is mulling his plans.
Obviously we know the code to the site has been leaked or stolen. Usenetshack.com has speculated that because of the 'coincidental' timing this is a ruse of ours and that we will be the 'hidden hands' behind the Seychelles company. This is absolutely denied; as we said above we no longer have any interest in running Newzbin or any successor. Period. Yes we understand most people will be sceptical.
On the matter of the source code theft: it seems it was stolen a long time ago: Caesium has said that the code fragments revealed to him looked like old code versions. If so it seems that TeamRDogs stole the code some time ago and have been sitting on it, rather than it being an odd coincidence of timing. TeamRDogs may have decided to move in now Newzbin was out of the picture. I would also speculate that because a number of contractors outside Newzbin has the site code, TeamRDogs may really be one of them, and the 'smash and grab' server raid story may be a cover up attempt.
Since none of us has any remaining interest in Newzbin we don't now really care that someone is cloning the site. We wish them well and hope they have better success than we did. The site is truly great and it would be great to see someone keep running and meeting the needs of the community.
- ex Newzbin Director
The more we dig around this story, the further we fall down the rabbit hole. If one of the contractors did steal the code-base, this would definitely account for the coincidence in timing which was what initially raised our eyebrows in the first place. Who knows, if this is the case, maybe it occurred because the contractors were annoyed over lack of payment: Newzbin allegedly owed various software houses nearly half a million UK Sterling.
The comment also explains that the actual Newzbin domain is not currently under the control of the liquidators or the ex-directors as it was leased to another company; it could be being held with the offshore company until the new owners decide to do something with it. I can't think of a reason as to why anyone would lease it unless they planned to make some form of money of it, maybe even just from parking it? Who knows, the future will tell.
Still no official news from Team R Dogs...the mystery goes on..