Torrent Site What.CD Shuts Down, Destroys User Data

Rolling Stone
Torrent Site What.CD Shuts Down, Destroys User Data
What.CD, an invitation-only torrent site that avoided the wrath of the music industry for nearly a decade, shut down suddenly Thursday.

What.CD, an invitation-only torrent site that avoided the wrath of the music industry for nearly a decade, shut down suddenly Thursday following a reported raid on their servers in France.



"Due to some recent events, What.CD is shutting down. We are not likely to return anytime soon in our current form. All site and user data has been destroyed. So long, and thanks for all the fish," the site posted Thursday.

That closing line, a quote from A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, echoed the farewell announcement from What's torrent predecessor OiNK when that site shut down on October 27th, 2007. Following OiNK's takedown, the site's founder and six users were arrested and charged with suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the music industry. Days after OiNK's shutdown, What emerged, operating under a similar foundation.

According to TorrentFreak, France's cybercrime division, in association with French music industry group SACEM, raided What's servers Thursday after a reported two-year investigation. Despite the raid, What's Twitter alerted their users, "Reports of our database being seized are not factual." 

French magazine Zataz, who first reported on What's shutdown, added that no arrests had been made and that the founder of What is believed to live in the United Kingdom.

What.CD was home to nearly 1 million unique torrents, the site announced in February after hitting the landmark, as well as many impossible-to-find albums that users had uploaded throughout the years.

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