BTJunkie, one of the top five BitTorrent search engines, has decided to close its doors voluntarily after 7 years in operation. The move comes amid growing pressure from authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere, who recently took legal action against MegaUpload and scored a court victory against The Pirate Bay's founders. BTJunkie was never the target of direct legal action but apparently the site's operators wanted to get out while they still could.
The site had been running for the past seven years and at one point boasted at least 80 million users. According to TorrentFreak, both the RIAA and MPAA listed the torrent index as a ‘rogue’ site that facilitated mass copyright infringement, while Google added it to its search blacklist in November last year, preventing the site from appearing on its Instant and Autocomplete search features.
In its farewell message posted over the weekend BTJunkie wrote:
This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we’ve decided to voluntarily shut down. We’ve been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it’s time to move on. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!
BTJunkie isn't the first file-sharing site to voluntarily cease or limit operations following the MegaUpload raid. FileSonic and FileServe both disabled their file sharing features, only allowing users to download files from their personal accounts, while QuickSilverScreen closed its doors and Uploaded.to locked out U.S. visitors.