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/
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.
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..