BitTorrent site operators have an abundance of responsibilities; keeping their servers online, providing the latest torrents, and avoiding a Suprnova fate. With some talent and patience, the first two criteria are well within the administrator's control. The last concept isn't so straight forward, as administrators have been trying for years to keep copyright holders at bay
The strategy for accomplishing this varies depending on the BitTorrent site. Although BitTorrent sites are not inherently illegal, the content which they index has been the subject of numerous legal actions.
To mitigate the chances of becoming the next LokiTorrent, isoHunt.com and BitTorrent.com both have nearly identical torrent removal policies. If a copyright holder finds his or her work on either search engine, an email to the administrator usually does the trick. Although both policies are very similar, only BitTorrent.com has avoided the legal wrath of the entertainment industry by establishing a cooperative relationship.
The polar opposite of course is to simply ignore and ridicule take down requests. This policy has become the standard for ThePirateBay, which to day has never removed a torrent due to copyright concerns. While this policy may keep a site popular with the masses, it led to the temporary shut down of this site in late May. ThePirateBay, with its considerable grass roots power, is the only such website with enough clout to pursue such an option.
It seems Snar-if.org has found a middle of the road approach. Looking to stay within the realm of the law while also pleasing its constituency, Snarf-it has release a "Do it yourself" copyright enforcement tool. When a copyright holder finds his or her work indexed, this tool can then be used to delete the infringing torrent.
The move was precipitated by over 200 requests from Microsoft, who apparently found an abundance of copyrighted works indexed by Snarf-it. The administrators of Snarf-it contend that because of the small-scale nature of the operation, it is impossible to efficiently carry out such copyright enforcement on a daily basis.
"A couple of days ago we received this email from Microsoft asking us to remove about 200 torrents from the site that were "offending" their ideas of copyright," an administrator notice reads. "This site is run by people who have day time jobs, we don't make anywhere near the exorbitant amounts of money made by other bittorrent site admins so we have to have normal day jobs to survive. This means we do not have the time it would take to go through 400,000 sql entries to find and remove the torrents that other companies would like us to remove."
While the job of removing torrents may be easier for the Snarf-it administration, copyright holders have a bit of hurdle to jump before being granted access to the removal tool. Once the copyright holder registers, he or she must await confirmation from the Snarf-it.org staff. This requires an email and/or telephone confirmation by the Snarf-it.org staff.
“You must now apply for corporate status on the site which will give you access to the DIY tool. Please email email@example.com advising us of the following information: Your company, your position, your email address (this must be a qualified email from your company domain), your telephone number and any relevant information you think we should know. Use the title Corporate Account Upgrade for your email.”
We’ll see how much patience copyright holders such as Sony-BMG have waiting for a confirmation call from a Snarf-it.org staff member.