Government attempts to knock out file-sharing sites in the battle against music and film piracy could be doomed.
A new file-sharing software called Tribler cannot be knocked out by governments or anti-piracy organisations, its creators claim.
'The only way to take it down is to take the internet down,' says Dr. Pouwelse of Delft University of Technology.
Tribler is a variant on the popular BitTorrent file-sharing software, but is designed specifically to stay online under any circumstances -- including attacks by governments and anti-piracy organisations.
|Accused: Kim Dotcom at his bail hearing on January 25. The judge denied him bail, saying Dotcom's vast wealth meant he could flee the country if released from custody
'Tribler is designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline,' says file-sharing news site Torrentfreak.
Moves such as the seizure of the Megaupload domain by U.S. authorities would not work against Tribler.
Other piracy sites wobbled in the wake of the U.S. move which led to the arrest of its founder, Kim Dotcom, along with three of his colleagues, who've been charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.
Popular BitTorrent site BTJunkie closed down in the wake of the move.
Other file-sharing sites have also been spooked by this legal action, with QuickSilverScreen also voluntarily shutting down and Filesonic and Fileserve users now being restricted to downloading files they've uploaded themselves.
Tribler, though, could render all of the U.S. government's efforts useless.
There is no central point to attack. Users with the software share files with each other without a 'listing site' hosting the files.
The technology has been under test for six years, and has never been offline, even for a second, its Dutch creators told TorrentFreak.
It's based on the same technology, and can share normal 'torrent' files of the sort posted on sites such as BTJunkie and PirateBay.
But, crucially, it can continue working even if every torrent site on Earth is taken down.
'Our key quest is facilitating unbounded information sharing,' Tribler leader Dr. Pouwelse tells TorrentFreak.
'No matter what crazy laws may pass in the future, people will always be able to share,' says TorrentFreak.
The software only has a few thousand users at present, but its creators are working on protecting it against any kind of failure or government attack.
The move will come as slim consolation to Kim 'Dotcom', who was refused bail in New Zealand for running the Megaupload 'digital locker' site.
The convicted hacker is currently in jail in New Zealand after being accused of masterminding a scheme that made more than $175million in a few short years by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation.
Dotcom was denied bail last month when Prosecutor Anne Toohey argued at the bail hearing that Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was a flight risk 'at the extreme end of the scale' because it was believed he had access to funds, had multiple identities and had a history of fleeing criminal charges.
In an appeal hearing recently Dotcom told the Auckland court he would not flee New Zealand and wants to fight to get back his money, some of which authorities seized last month.
He told the court that with his assets frozen and business shut down he had no intention of trying to flee to his native Germany, where he would be safe from extradition.
'I will not run away. I want to fight these allegations on a level playing field. I have three little children. My wife is pregnant with twins. I just want to be with them,' he said in court.
At his bail hearing last month, his defence lawyer said the former hacker, who is reportedly 6ft 6in tall and weighs more than 20 stone (285lbs), was hardly likely to escape detection by New Zealand immigration.
'He is not the sort of person who will pass unnoticed through our customs and immigration lines and controls,' said lawyer, Paul Davison.
Kim Dotcom - nicknamed 'Dr Evil' - a German national, was renowned for his flamboyant lifestyle.
He owned a £3million collection of 25 cars which was confiscated at the time of his arrest - mainly top-of-the range Mercedes with number plates such as 'STONED', 'HACKER' and 'GUILTY' but also including Maseratis, a vintage pink Cadillac and Dotcom's runabout, a £300,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom with the number plate 'GOD'.
Although music stars such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys have supported MegaUpload, film and record companies say the seven-year-old file-sharing site is making a fortune off their work without paying them a penny.
©Daily Mail Online