For the past five years, piracy release site Snahp.it has provided information and links to all kinds of pirated content including movies and TV shows. The site operated in the so-called DDL niche, relying on content hosted elsewhere to service its users. Citing safety and security concerns, the site has now shut down, despite healthy levels of traffic.
At the turn of the century when server bandwidth was at a premium, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing stepped in to solve the problem. Rather than a small number of individuals having to foot the bill, sharers picked up their own parts of the traffic tab by sharing content with their peers.
In the mid-2000s, server bandwidth became much more affordable and as the years progressed, storing media for direct delivery to end-users became a much more viable option. This gap in the market was serviced by early pioneers including Megaupload and Rapidshare but that was just the beginning of a market that was set to explode.
By the early 2010s there were dozens of large file-hosting platforms where movies, TV shows, games, apps, and other content could be stored for direct download. However, since most of these sites had no public indexing feature, the key problem was finding a way to direct users to the content. This is where DDL (Direct Download or Direct Download Links) sites came in.
Platforms like RLSLOG had been operating in this niche for years by reporting on pirate releases and then providing direct download links to content stored on external services. That site threw in the towel just this week, a fate that is now shared by Snahp.it, a relative newcomer to the market but one that made its presence felt nonetheless.
Snahp.it Aimed To Provide Better a DDL Experience
While there is no shortage of similar DDL sites, Snahp.it said that its aim was to provide a better DDL experience. The main aim of many piracy-focused file-hosting services (often referred to as ‘cyberlockers’) is to make life so difficult for downloaders that they cave in and buy premium subscriptions.
By claiming to link to less exploitative file-hosting services, Snahp.it hoped it could set itself apart from the crowd with a more user-friendly experience.
After being founded in 2016, Snahp.it developed a sizeable and loyal userbase but this week, just like RLSLOG, it too has thrown in the towel.
“Today, on the fifth anniversary of Snahp, with a heavy heart we announce the end for the blog effective immediately,” a notice on the site reads.
“Snahp was originally launched in 2016 to replace DDLs riddled with the worst possible filehosts. However, the top priority for us has always been the safety and security of each and every member on this blog, which has been an increasing concern as of late.”
When it comes to piracy-focused file-sharing platforms, the terms ‘safety and security’ are most often associated with legal trouble. The site doesn’t mention any specific threat but considering SimilarWeb reports that the site still has around four million monthly visitors, throwing that away will not have been a decision reached lightly.
Snahp.it is Regularly Targeted By Members of ACE
While no direct threat is mentioned by Snahp.it, the site regularly receives attention from major copyright holders, including those that are members of the global anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment.
According to Google data, in the past month alone the site has been targeted with takedown requests filed by some of the biggest names in film and TV including Disney, NBC Universal, Studio Canal, Sony Pictures, Fox and Columbia Pictures.
The DMCA takedown numbers aren’t huge when compared to Snahp.it’s overall traffic but there is a clear interest from major copyright holders and if threats haven’t already been received, ACE’s considerable activity levels suggest that probably wouldn’t remain the case forever.
As revealed in the Snahp.it shut down message, the site has packaged up its posts if anyone wants to download for posterity. And the site’s forum also lives on at a new domain, for those wishing to continue the conversation.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.