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File-sharing site Newzbin2 shuts down

P2P search engine Newzbin2 has been forced to shut down amid mounting financial pressures and moves by ISPs to block the site.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

Newzbin2 has closed for the second time since 2010 after losing huge numbers of users and running into financial trouble. 

A combination of factors contributed to the closure, the site owners said in a statement on the home page.

"We don't have [many] more than about 40,000 active users and the number of premium users is in the small thousands. It costs much more to run than we bring in, it just doesn't stack up," reads the note

A lack of editors, and servers that crashed on a regular basis also thwarted Newzbin2's efforts to keep the site alive, the note said.

Newzbin2 indexed binary files that were posted on internet discussion platform, Usenet, and provided the results through a search engine, with categories such as music, movies, apps and books. Newzbin2 turned the binary files into NZB files, which premium users could download. NZB files are similar to torrent files except they do not contain the file itself, but rather information about the location of the file to be downloaded. 

The original Newzbin website was shut down following legal action from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in May 2010. However, it was revived in June 2010 as Newzbin2. 

"It costs much more to run than we bring in, it just doesn't stack up" — Newzbin2 owners

The latest closure comes after a court order was issued to several ISPs telling them to block access to the website. BT was the first to cut off customers' access to Newzbin2 in July 2011. Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media were also ordered to cut off access to the site. As a result, the number of users, and — more importantly — premium users, declined.

The website also cited a lack of willing payment providers as a contributing factor to its closure. 

The site owners said the closure was a "tragedy" as Newzbin2 complies with the copyright law set by the Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA). "That was a condition of our advertising & payment partners so we complied but we never got a single complaint from the MPA. Not one," the note said.

The site owners added that Newzbin2 has always responded to takedown requests quickly and simply, but has lost the support of, or access to, payment providers.

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