In mid December 2004, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) began implementing its world wide campaign against BitTorrent and eDonkey2000 indexing sites. Most key sites such as Youceff Torrents, BuckTV, ShareConnector, Phoenix Torrents and SuprNova.org were eliminated. However, one site defied the MPAA and decided to stay and fight. The name of this site is LokiTorrent.com.
In order to finance this potentially immense operation, LokiTorrent.com established a donation drive. The results so far have been impressive. In less than one month LokiTorrent was able to raise in excess of $30,000 to cover its legal costs. Many consider LokiTorrent the hero of the BitTorrent community for not folding like a cheap suitcase. However the pedestal LokiTorrent was placed on would soon be rocked.
Early this morning, news began circulating that LokiTorrent.com was up for auction on Sedo.com. Frantic, many individuals began flooding P2P forums expressing concerns that LokiTorrent.com had sold out. Not necessarily over the domain, but the username registrations and other personal account information.
Although on the surface these concerns appeared to have merit, level-headedness won the day as a more reasonable explanation took shape. To get to the crux of the situation, Slyck spoke with Lowkee, owner and administrator of LokiTorrent.com.
Slyck.com: What is the total donation amount for Loki Torrent thus far?
Slyck.com: Have you acquisitioned a lawyer, and have your legal proceedings begun? If not, when?
Lowkee: Yes, we have the same lawyer as representing Shoutcast in the Grokster case. Expensive as hell, but the best.
Slyck.com: Are you looking for an outright victory over the MPAA, or would you consider settling with them if so offered? What are your personal consequences if you lose?
Lowkee: I am mainly looking to keep the site open and keep them out of my wallet. If they win outright I, personally, am looking at being out quite a few hundred thousand dollars (not that it will ever be awarded, as the site has barely made me a buck).
Slyck.com: Sedo.com is advertising the sale of LokiTorrent.com, which you are owner of. What was your motivation for this?
Lowkee: To find out the value of it, plain and simple. I'm not looking to sell the domain name, but since all of this happened, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. In selling the domain name, I wouldn't have to give away the source code and simply move the site to my torrentstop.com address.
Slyck.com: On Sedo.com, the description of your site states "Complete source code of www.lokitorrent.com
and forums.lokitorrent.com....Completely automated opt-in mailing list (daily mailings). Benefits of this site: Fully automated web resource site. Zero maintenance required.... Extremely loyal user base. Mailing lists are completely opt-in, no forced mailings. All e-emails are confirmation link verified (no bogus addresses). Membership grows by 3,000 registrations DAILY."
By this description, the new owner would also inherit everything related associated with the domain. On your most recent homepage news section you reverse this statement:
"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)."
Please explain this discrepancy and tell us which one is accurate.
Lowkee: In finding out what a website is worth, all of the site info is needed. If I wanted to know what the domain name was worth, all of that wouldn't be required. Domain names are easy to value, a year of coding isn't quite as simple. If someone offers $20,000 then I'll know it's worth at least that. If I never get an offer, then I know that releasing my source code to the public might be a worthwhile thing to do. Without posting it for sale, I'll never know.
Slyck.com: Prior to listing LokiTorrent.com on Sedo.com, did you consider making this venture very public? If not, why?
Lowkee: I never considered anyone caring that it's listed, honestly, as I never intended on actually telling the site. A bit naive on my part? Possibly. As for making it very public, I wrote every line of code for this site, and I consider it my 1st and (so far) best creation. Parting with it is not something I would do without a court order.
Slyck.com: Give us the low down. Is LokiTorrent.com for sale, and will you pull the ad from Sedo.com?
Lowkee: No, I don't plan on pulling the ad for two reasons. One, I love the web stats they provide potential sellers and pulling it won't help me value the site.
Slyck.com: Can you give us any idea how long the lawsuit will last (providing you have already acquired council.) What are the prospects for victory?
Lowkee: The lawsuit will likely last up to a year or more if the MPAA does not withdraw the suit. Prospects of quashing the MPAA suit will be quite good as long as the Grokster ruling is upheld in the Supreme Court.
Slyck would like to thank Lowkee for take the time out of his very busy schedule and participating in this interivew.