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The BitTorrent hub that has been begging users to fund its legal fight with the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has put its domain up for sale.

Interested suitors can currently bid on LokiTorrent.com at domain registration site sedo.com. This might shock many of you who have contributed to LokiTorrent's MPAA legal fund. The site started asking for donations in December after it was hit with a lawsuit from the major movie studios. So far, LokiTorrent has raised over $40,000.

The sale was first noted at the Computers and Junk web site.

Any good will that LokiTorrent gained from some BitTorrent backers by fighting the pigopolists may evaporate given the For Sale sign at sedo.com. The ad for the LokiTorrent.com reads, "Complete working peer-to-peer website. Includes: 680,000 registered *active* (within 6 months) members. Complete source code of www.lokitorrent.com and forums.lokitorrent.com Completely automated opt-in mailing list (daily mailings).

"Fully automated donation system with donor-only features. Completely optimized for heavy loads. Extremely loyal user base."

The user base, however, has quickly become less loyal after learning of the potential sale. LokiTorrent's operator rushed today to assure users that the site will continue on and battle the MPAA.

"As some of you may have noticed (judging by the evil messages we've received!), we have posted the domain lokitorrent.com up for bidding at sedo.com," a message on the site said. "NO, this does not mean we are closing our doors and packing our things! I (Lowkee) simply wanted to know what kind of bids this website gets (as people keep telling me it's a 'gold mine'). ...That and it allows us to get free web stats (that normally cost $300/mo) by being listed on Sedo."

Despite this assurance, "Lowkee" admits the domain may actually be sold if enough green stuff appears.

"If someone offers us some huge amount for the domain name, we MAY accept and simply move this web site to a different domain name (most likely take over torrentstop.com), but I don't see that happening any time soon."

The MPAA has moved to try and shut down BitTorrent hubs, which are popular sites for users looking to download software, movies and TV shows via P2P software. So far, most of the hubs have given in to the MPAA and pulled their links to content.

It's unclear whether or not LokiTorrent would transfer the cash users have donated to the new owner of the domain. Such a move would surely not go down well. ®

Bootnote

: Since our story first appeared, LokiTorrent removed the message admitting that it would turn over the domain to a high bidder. The site's owner now contends that the sedo.com ad, which promised mailing lists and software, was simply a bluff.

"It's common knowledge that most people that buy websites don't buy them to continue running them,"Lowkee writes. "They simply nab the mailing list, spam everyone, then make the site into one big sponsored search engine and pop-up gallery. ...The exact reason selling it would mean scrapping an entire year's worth of work that I and the entire volunteer team at LokiTorrent have put into making a worthwhile community site.

"If some guy offers me $75K for the domain name, he's more than welcome to it, and I'll simply move the site to a different domain. Selling the entire site will never happen. I have way too much of myself in this site to sell it for any price (well, 2 million could get me to part with it, lol.. but let's live in reality).

"As for the legal fund.. if I were going to run off, I would have already. That money is for the lawsuit, as stated. Only those who would run off with the money thought we would."

Er, right.

Related stories

Supreme Court to probe P2P in March
BitTorrent hub ready to rumble with Hollywood
SuprNova.org ends, not with a bang but a whimper
The BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system
RIAA sues 754 more P2Pers
MPAA to serve lawsuits on BitTorrent servers

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