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TorrentFreak logo.svg
TorrentFreak home page screenshot.png
Type of site
Available inEnglish
OwnerLennart Renkema PhD[1]
Created byErnesto Van Der Sar
Andy Maxwell
Rickard Falkvinge
Ben Jones (modified WordPress)
Editor"Ernesto Van Der Sar"
Launched12 November 2005; 15 years ago (2005-11-12)
Content license
CC BY-NC 3.0 (text only)[2]

TorrentFreak (TF) is a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news and trends on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, as well as on copyright infringement and digital rights.

The website was started in November 2005 by a Dutchman using the pseudonym "Ernesto Van Der Sar".[3][4] He was joined by Andy "Enigmax" Maxwell and Ben Jones in 2007.[4][5] Regular contributors include Rickard Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party.[6] The online publication eCommerceTimes, in 2009, described "Ernesto" as the pseudonym of Lennart Renkema, owner of TorrentFreak.[7] TorrentFreak's text is free content under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial version 3.0 license.[8][9]

Their lead researcher and community manager is the Pirate Party activist Andrew Norton.

Specialist areas[edit]

According to Canadian law scholar Michael Geist, TorrentFreak "is widely used as a source of original reporting on digital issues".[10] Examples are The Guardian,[11] CNN,[12] The Wall Street Journal,[13] and the Flemish newspaper De Standaard.[14][15][16]

Frequent areas of reporting include:

And other news affecting copyright, privacy and everything related to file sharing.[23]


On 17 August 2007, TorrentFreak reported that Comcast had begun throttling its upload bandwidth, specifically against BitTorrent users. This made seeding, which is an essential part of the BitTorrent protocol, effectively impossible.[24] It was later determined that Comcast was using Sandvine products, which implement network traffic shaping and policing, and include support for both blocking new and forcefully terminating established network connections. Comcast has denied these claims whenever they have been asked to comment. A guide, for customer service representatives when asked about Comcast's BitTorrent throttling, was leaked to The Consumerist on 26 October 2007.[25]

In October 2008 through to March 2011 TorrentFreak ran a short lived video news service titled '', directed by Andrej Preston, founder of torrent site Suprnova made available for streaming and download on Mininova.[26][27]

On 21 August 2013, Comcast threatened TorrentFreak for writing about publicly available court documents.[28][29] The underlying document links a Comcast subscriber with the Prenda Law firm.[30] The court case where the document was filed was a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by AF Holdings for alleged infringement of an adult movie.[31][32]

In August 2013 web blocking technology implementation by Sky Broadband blocked the site for UK customers after EZTV manipulated its DNS servers[33] and was blocked once again by the controversial Sky Broadband Shield parental filter system in January 2014.[34]


  1. ^ Pouwelse, Johan; Renkema, Lennart (17 April 2009). "Piraten zijn digitale pioniers" [Pirates are digital pioneers]. NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Copyright". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  3. ^ Injijian, Allen (14 May 2007). "Pwned: Final Project Interview #2: Ernesto of". Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Ethan; McBride, Sarah (4 August 2008). "Web Piracy: The Enemy Within?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  5. ^ "About TorrentFreak". Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  6. ^ Profile. Rick Falkvinge,
  7. ^ San Miguel, Renay (30 June 2009). "Pirate Bay Decides to Join the Navy". E-Commerce Times. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  8. ^ Copyright CC at bottom of sidebar of all article pages.
  9. ^ "Copyright". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  10. ^ Geist, Michael (20 April 2010). "The 2009 Copyright Consultation: Setting the Record Straight". Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  11. ^ Kiss, Jemima (9 August 2011). "'BitTorrent: Copyright lawyers' favourite target reaches 200,000 lawsuits". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (10 June 2011). "'50,000 BitTorrent users sued for alleged illegal downloads". CNN.
  13. ^ McBride, Sarah (4 August 2008). "'Web Piracy: The Enemy Within?". The Wall Street Journal.
  14. ^ Van Cayseele, Patrick J. G.; Vanormelingen, Stijn (26 February 2009). "Prices and Network Effects in Two-Sided Markets: The Belgian Newspaper Industry". SSRN 1404392. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Hoefkens, Kristof (28 May 2010). "'Lost' en het mysterie van de illegale downloads" ['Lost' and the mystery of illegal downloads]. De Standaard (in Dutch). p. 36.
  16. ^ Hoefkens, Kristof (8 July 2010). "Prince versus the internet" [Prince versus the internet]. De Standaard (in Dutch). p. 34.
  17. ^ "File-sharing site back up after copyright suspension". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  18. ^ Lee, Dave (29 July 2014). "Police placing anti-piracy warning ads on illegal sites". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  19. ^ Johnson, Ted (15 November 2013). "U.S. Trade Representative Defends Pending Trade Pact After WikiLeaks Disclosure". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  20. ^ Cooke, Chris (1 September 2014). "MPAA research bigs up UK web-blocking". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  21. ^ Knowles, Jamillah (18 May 2012). "UK Pirate Party sees more than 1.8m visits in 24 hours after ISPs block The Pirate Bay website". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  22. ^ Henry, Alan (23 March 2014). "Five Best VPN Service Providers". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  23. ^ "About". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  24. ^ Lawler, Ryan (21 August 2007). "Comcast Takes on TorrentFreak". Light Reading. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  25. ^ "Comcast's "We Don't Throttle BitTorrent" Internal Talking Points Memo". The Consumerist. 26 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  26. ^ Ernesto (20 March 2011). "TorrentFreak TV Is Back!". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  27. ^ Roettgers, Janko (14 May 2011). " Former Pirate King Embraces Web Video". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  28. ^ Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (21 August 2013). "Comcast Threatens to Sue TorrentFreak for Copyright Infringement". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Comcast Threatens to Sue TorrentFreak for Copyright Infringement (updated)". TorrentFreak. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Comcast Business Record Affidavit". Docket Alarm, Inc. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  31. ^ "Docket for AF Holdings, LLC v. Patel, 2:12-cv-00262, No. 1 (N.D.Ga.)". Docket Alarm, Inc.
  32. ^ "Complaint, AF Holdings, LLC v. Patel, 2:12-cv-00262, No. 1 (N.D.Ga. Nov. 2, 2012)". Docket Alarm, Inc. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  33. ^ Shubber, Kadhim (9 August 2013). "News site TorrentFreak 'blocked' by Sky's piracy filter". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  34. ^ Brewster, Thomas (6 January 2014). "TorrentFreak News Site Blocked By Sky Porn Filter". Retrieved 23 December 2014.

External links[edit]