OpenBitTorrent's initiative to provide a free, stable service with no ties to indexing sites or even hosting torrent files has been a huge public success and it has spawned several copies with almost identical services.
OpenBitTorrent has been suspected of being a part of or a side project of The Pirate Bay, because it was observed early on that both sites used the same trackers. The OpenBitTorrent project has countered by stating that the sites merely shared a tracker cluster operated by DCP Networks and Fredrik Neij during a startup period (February through August 2009).
On May 22, 2010, the OpenBitTorrent tracker was shut down. This was a result of a case against The Pirate Bay by many major Hollywood studios. Later the tracker came back online.
OpenBitTorrent is powered by the opentracker software. The Pirate Bay also used the opentracker software, before they shut down their own tracker.
From July 16 to August 2, 2012, OpenBitTorrent went offline protesting the lack of adoption of a protocol improvement by the makers of uTorrent, that was proposed by Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. As a result of the protest, many people had trouble downloading files on BitTorrent.