Newzbin goes into liquidation amid rumours the codebase has been "stolen"

It seems our post early last week about Newzbin registration being re-opened week was short-lived (to say the least): Newzbin has gone into liquidation as a result of their court case loss last month and the site merely displays the following message:

Regrettably the Newzbin website has to close as a result of the legal action against us. More details here: http://deepsharer.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/newzbin-gossip/

Massive Debt

Newzbin were over £1m in the red..

We have been in touch with the guys behind the scenes at Newzbin and can verify the claims in that blog post; Newzbin owed an incredible amount of money to not only the MPA (£230,000+/$340,000+) for interim court costs (as in before the actual final judgement on damages) but also over £500,000 ($740,000) to a software house. In light of these massive debts and the fact that Newzbin's main source of income was all but ruined by the court judgement, the owners had to take the decision to liquidate the limited company's assets and cease trading as a British company.

The Future

Server hacked: codebase and databases stolen?

In the immediate aftermath of the court case and indeed today's liquidation announcement there have been calls from Newzbin's users to open-source the code base and therefore let the code live on with other mirror sites; however, the answer back from them has always been no - understandable when you think about the revenue earning potential of such a site.

It has come to light on the Newzbin IRC channel and also on the blog linked above that the code base and several of the large databases used to run Newzbin have been "stolen" when their co-located server got hacked. We have just had official comment from Newzbin on this and they have guaranteed us that the hack did indeed take place and they have definite proof it did happen. This brings to light a myriad of questions in our mind, the main one being: is it in the right hands, are we going to see a mirror site pop up in the near future?

If we're honest, this entire scandal seems incredibly fishy and well-timed to be a coincidence; whether that is our conspirational minds at work or whether this is actually a great way of getting the Newzbin code out there to someone who can take it forward without the legal problems is another question entirely and something we'll be following incredibly closely.

Please leave your comments and we'll do our best to follow up any leads on this situation..

djm posted by djm
This entry was posted in Industry News and tagged dead-pool, liquidate, mpaa, newzbin, usenet-indexing. Leave a comment. Header image by ChicagoGeek

14 Comments

  1. Mrinnocent
    Posted May 18th, 2010 at 20:05 p.m.

    You put quotes around "stolen"? honestly, whatever happened to trust ;) Hope it is true though..

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  2. Posted May 18th, 2010 at 20:05 p.m.

    Habit..it's a rumour so it gets quotes ;) Having said that, it was a rumour when the headline was written, they confirmed it while the article was being written.

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  3. Max
    Posted May 19th, 2010 at 14:05 p.m.

    Pretty quick article. Definitely quicker than some of the other 'breaking news' stuff. :D

    I first heard the rumour on the aforementioned blog, and when I did I was really hopeful. When I read that you have confirmed it, I very literally felt a wave of emotion. I'm still (again, literally - my feet) tingling with excitement and hope.

    I /hope/ that the Newzbin guys aren't totally 'out'. A clone site managed by the original guys would be excellent. They ran it well, and they know what they're doing. I see alot of hatred, and pity, and love in the comments on that other blog for Freaky and co. I don't really get it all, to be honest. They did their best, and I'm sure, endured alot during the trial. But if they do choose to cut loose right now I'm pretty sure they are in the clear- and probably with reasonably heavy pockets. They earned that! They ran a profitable business. All the haters need to get a grip, I think. Those that pity them care far too much.

    I'd also like the code opensourced (as well as a direct clone). That opens up the possibility of so many better individuals to do their thing. Competition is always good and multiple targets means no ONE target.

    Assuming they guys behind reason may read this at some point or another. I'd like to thank them for making my life more fun and convenient. What is stopping you from releasing the code? If it's simply a greed or moral choice then I urge you to rethink it, but if it's something technical, like legal issues, or heck sloppy coding (I'm embarrassed by alot of my code- iunno) I'm sure there are actions you can take to get the code out regardless. You would make alot of people very happy. What's to lose? No-one having the code and newzbin forever being lost is surely worse.

    Woo. I'm done.

    This tingling is really great!

    BTW I love the new font(s). They add alot.

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  4. Posted May 19th, 2010 at 16:05 p.m.

    Wicked comment Max, thank you very much.

    About the speed: the last few months have been sporadic as you like - hence why some days they'll be four new articles and then nothing for weeks. This has mostly been due to relocating and moving back and forth between cities, losing net access for periods etc. Good news is updates should be more frequency and faster from now on...

    We're keeping an eye out for news on the codebase..

    cheers, djm

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  5. Max
    Posted May 19th, 2010 at 19:05 p.m.

    A correction to my previous post: "Assuming they guys behind reason may read this at some point or another"

    Should read: "Assuming the guys behind Newzbin may read this at some point or another"

    I have no idea how I typo'd that bad.

    Also - djm, I just want to be clear, I wasn't having a go at you. I love the site and only intended to be lighthearted. Good to hear that updates might stabilise though, and congrats on your new home.

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  6. Posted May 19th, 2010 at 20:05 p.m.

    I know that mate - what you said was true though, we haven't been getting on the articles fast enough recently and that will hopefully change..

    We're still looking for extra writers if anyone is interested..

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  7. martin
    Posted May 19th, 2010 at 15:05 p.m.

    nothing compares to what newzbin was, if it resurfaces I'm joining.

    Also, I would like to donate, I can't put a dent in the debt, but everything helps right?

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  8. Posted May 19th, 2010 at 16:05 p.m.

    That's very noble of you but unfortunately it's too late for donations, the company has been handed over to the receivers and therefore Newzbin has ceased to exist as a trading entity - no money will bring it back, our only hope is that the source code did actually get leaked.

    If you see anyone pan-handling for Newzbin donations - do not give them a penny as it's likely a scam.

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  9. Phoneboy
    Posted May 20th, 2010 at 20:05 p.m.

    I would love to see the source code because I would love to use it for personal use. I'm using ikbin right now to index freelance photography groups and for other stuff like railroad pics. (there really is tons of legal stuff on usenet. Always has been!) newzbin just did a great job of displaying the information. Ikbin is lacking in a few areas, and my programming skills are weak.

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  10. anon-emous
    Posted May 21st, 2010 at 15:05 p.m.

    You'll be getting good news about a Newbin clone soon.

    Mr White Team R Dogs

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  11. Posted May 21st, 2010 at 15:05 p.m.

    Unfortunately we can't verify the authenticity of this comment but it is very interesting indeed. Especially if there is an entire team behind the imminent Newzbin clone..

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  12. n03l
    Posted May 21st, 2010 at 22:05 p.m.

    Code like this (to run your own NZB site) has been available for a long time already (and for free!)

    I've had this running fine on my server (for personal use) many years!

    Have a look at http://www.bokko.nl/?page_id=27=1

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  13. Phoneboy
    Posted May 22nd, 2010 at 01:05 a.m.

    Thanks, but iirc that's basically just a version of ikbin again. :-)

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  14. Phoneboy
    Posted May 23rd, 2010 at 06:05 a.m.

    If you have it running... help me out here.. where did you put the username/password for your NNTP server? That page has other people asking but no answers.

    Help a brotha out here. ;)

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Comments are now closed.