The Trials and Tribulations of Torrentland

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oklahomaboy

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I feel there should be more clarity for noobs regarding the tracker do’s and don’ts, and while the majority of trackers is able to read between the lines, there are those rare exceptions who aren’t able to do so. I can’t specifically point out which trackers I mean because this isn’t meant to bash any tracker in particular, so I’ll have to stick to generalizations.

For me there was TPB and later on KAT to satisfy my pirating needs. Despite all anecdotes suggesting otherwise, I never experienced any trouble with these sites, be it safety-wise, content-wise or in regards to downloading speeds. It was smooth sailing – nothing ever happened in the sense that the downloading boat was never vehemently rocked. I pressed download and stuff started downloading.

And then it happened – one day my dear download buttons wouldn’t appear. What the fuck?!

If it weren’t for TPB’s downfall last year and KAT’s deletion of tens of thousands of torrents shortly afterwards, I’d probably still be just using those two sites. But people contacted me, one in particular, telling me about this thing called private trackers. I remember I actually had to look up the meaning. WTF is this guy blabbering about? I thought, and he was a fellow countryman to boot! Surely he isn’t referring to the boyscouts so he showed me what he meant by sending me some links.

I couldn’t login, and when I asked why he explained that this were private trackers, you can only get in if you have an invite. So invite me, I said, I want to download, I’m a goddamned pirate. Nope can’t do, he said, I don’t have any invites. This bizarre catch 22 left me puzzled for days, when he told me he still didn’t have invites but I could buy them if I wanted. He explained there were different kinds of private trackers, good and bad, easy to get and hard to get, and this caught my attention. I had a few bucks to spare at the time, and if he knew a good middleman to get me into those places, why not? He was a fervent uploader at KAT at the time, seemed to know what he was talking about, knowledgeable, and send me a torrent from his box with some movies he said he had proving he could privately send me bunch of movies in one torrent at top speed. With no other leechers. Yes, I knew what leechers were, but only from 8-10 years of torrenting :D

This was the drop. I wanted in. He showed me the pages where they sold invites, and I was flabbergasted by the sheer amount of different sites there were out there that I’d never even heard of.

As I watch mostly TV series but also a lot of movies, I asked him how to deal with multiple ones? He said, ah, now you’re getting the hang of it, get your ass on a tracker-invites forum Up to that day I used Hotmail, having no clue the industry standard is gmail, so I had to make an email address to register at the torrent invites site. And it turned out that the site had free invites, and paid ones.

I was raised with the belief that there’s no such thing as a free lunch – so I associated the trackers my ‘friend’ had categorized as ‘bad’ trackers with the free ones and the paid ones was where it was at. Paypal was an accepted method of paying, so that was good, and the staff was very responsive (yeah I know, duuuh) and I had an answer to my inquiries within the hour, and after that within minutes. After some mailing back and forth, the seller decided that if I were to buy two invites, he would not only give me the invites, he would also give me discount, and make me VIP on the torrent invite site AND give me a lot of points (bonus points/account/status points something like that I think it was, forget what it was called). And it wasn’t really that expensive to begin with – so the deal was sealed within days after me entering the site.

The ‘torrents’ and ‘contents’ section of course were far more interesting for the boy who recently stumbled into the coveted candy store, so I spent some timing gaping at all the stuff they had, and started some downloads for kicks – and the speeds were good! Also, the seller had insured me, the safety was guaranteed because this was private, not public, and the accounts were guaranteed to work for life. Of course, after a few days, the accounts were both disabled, leaving me baffled, blinking at the screen. I tried typing the passwords and usernames, again and again – not working. What the fuck?!

The sense that ‘something was wrong’ then hit me. I confronted my ‘friend’, who just laughed it off. Just another anonymous asshole he turned out to be. The seller just panicked upon my confrontation, blamed me for getting caught; the stupidest thing must be that I still didn’t realize it was illegal. I have a mind that doesn’t fill in the blanks automatically, so I just wanted to ask him what happened. He said it couldn’t be helped and please don’t betray me – betray you of what? I asked, and then it all came out.

He couldn’t believe (he wasn’t the first or the last) that I didn’t know the tracker rules, told me I should’ve known better. I asked for a refund, silly me, of course that didn’t happen, and I never heard from him again. Vanished into thin air – or into the torrent invites site, which, despite it’s popularity and ease of finding turns out to be ‘illegal, immoral and unscrupulous’ as I learned later on.

The third party I contacted in IRC were the staff. I’d never used IRC before so they must’ve been plenty annoyed with me, but when I finally got it working properly they were open to listen. One of the trackers asked me a lot of questions, gestapo style, for half an hour, and demanded all info of the torrents invitation forums account, including username and password and my promise I’d never ever ever use the account again, for if I did, I’d face a ‘global perma-ban’. I remember wondering why I wasn’t allowed to login from whichever country I felt like, but global meant something else here. Perma-ban, well, I kind of grasped what he was talking about but why was it so rigorous? No idea, but I’d learn that later on. He also made me swear, gravely, that I’d never discuss this with anyone else. I didn’t.

So, I gave him all info, and he burned the invite tree. He seemed happy/proud about it too, told me it was good they caught a seller/cheater/trader, and I guess that because of that and my honesty I could get another account, new username and password. They kept their word by giving me a new account and not globally perma-banning me, I kept mine by not logging into the invite forum account again or visiting that invite forum again ever).

The other tracker promised A but delivered B. They told me the same as other said tracker, that I could keep my account thanks to my honesty, but in the end they banned me despite their promises. I went to IRC again, and was told the staffer’s decision was overruled by someone higher up BUT if I found a legitimate invite, I could come back under another name.

A few months passed by, I had learned a lot; got to know people, places, rules, seed boxes, proper invites places, and learnt I should use the same username everywhere but different passwords.

I also got into the habit of telling all people at all trackers that I had bought invites a long time ago because somehow they were in connection with each other as a tight-knit community, so this was their way of ensuring safety.

I got into several more ‘respected’ trackers. However, I still wanted to get into the one I bought an invite to. So, one day I saw an official recruit thread, and reacted immediately. For a week there was no response. Nothing, nada, zip.

I applied at another tracker, a quite well-respected one, but got banned within half an hour, more like 20 minutes! What the fuck?! all over again! Their reason for banning me was that I had failed to tell them about my invite-buying. Sa-toopid! It was such a cool place that I must’ve forgotten to mention it in my elation of finding it, thereby ruining my chances of enjoying it. In IRC, they explained that the staff at the tracker where I had try to buy an invite to and promised I could come back, decided I had tried to ‘dupe an account’ by applying again. That this stood diametrically opposite their initial promise was described as ‘contradictory information’ by the staffer who banned me at the other tracker.

To make matters worse, it also got me banned at the Valhalla of trackers, where I prior to joining had told my inviter AND tracker staff about my past fuckups, but in IRC the reason for disabling now was that I was a registered VIP user at an invitation site. Turns out the staff that I had handed all the info over to half a year ago had never deleted it, or changed the email or whatever, and now this shit came back and bit me in the ass.

My torrenting career in the wonderful yet at times byzantine private tracker world started quickly, and wonderfully for the first three days, but n00bs beware: DON’T BUY/TRADE/SELL invites. DON’T CHEAT.

It is not worth it. Please don’t do it. It doesn’t only endanger your accounts, it also endangers the safety of others, and in my case it had quite the emotional effect. This must be because I considered myself a good user, as I was told this several times by several people – so it’s weird that I should receive bans That sounds whiny, it probably is, so take note, DON’T GO THERE it’s NO FUN.

I would like to encourage everyone here and outside to spread the word as much as possible regarding this. Yes, when you’re an experienced user you know everything, and when you’re smart maybe you won’t have to experience the shit I had to experience, but not everyone is experienced and smart.

This doesn’t justify what I did, however, I hope it may shed some light on what happened to me and what I hope won’t happen to too many others.

It has left me disillusioned, frustrated, angry. At the seller, the guy who first got me into it, staffers who won’t keep their word, and in the end, mostly myself for not being a clever person who just ‘knows’. It nearly brought me to tears; after months and months of being ‘good’, being disabled at 2 well-respected places where I REALLY wanted to get, within 20 minutes because of a mistake half a year ago.

One google search or wrong advice and a dose of trust is all it takes to go there. A couple of days on the wrong path stretch right into months of proper tracker behavior on the right path. It’s not worth it.

So, give me all the flak you want, pounce on it for all I care, it’s all right. Some have even doubted my motives/intentions (not sure what they think I’m after) and just told me I’m stupid, yes, I know that already, thanks again. But help others not to have to go through this, I myself know of 2 others who have experienced this kinds of shit so I know there must be few more. Thanks if you made it to here J
 
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oklahomaboy

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It's a bitter pill to swallow, but the main reason for writing isn't so much to gain sympathy.
I endeavored to depict how others in similar situations might end up, and hope to get the word spread.
There should be more clarity. I know google is the number one source for most people to look, and they will still end up in wrong places, but hopefully the word spreads around more trackers, and to more users, to create more information and understanding.
 
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oklahomaboy

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Are you thinking something along the lines of a note on signup via an invite stating that if the invitee has paid for the invite or promised a trade for it that they should not proceed?
That could work, but what I actually aimed at is prevention, especially for noobs.
The more known that is, the better. It really looked like a legitimate online shop to me.
The way I thought of it at the time was 'Gee, I prefer free downloads, but if I need to pay just once, it's pretty good considering the contents and speeds'. Like buying software, just very cheaply and comfortably.
I'd guess these places still get a lot of attention from the hoi polloi, otherwise, they'd cease to exist.
Preventing should be done by talking to everyone, spreading the word as much as possible. Then again, that's just me.
 

Dwarsligger

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But people contacted me, one in particular, telling me about this thing called private trackers. I remember I actually had to look up the meaning. WTF is this guy blabbering about? I thought, and he was a fellow countryman to boot!
That's why it's important to know people, or get to know them. I got invites out of the blue on one of the 1st small trackers I joined through open sign-up and people found me worthy of it just for being there and using the site properly.

I was raised with the belief that there’s no such thing as a free lunch
You weren't raised by pirates then ;)

The third party I contacted in IRC were the staff.
This is something you could have done when you entered the site and would have read the rules. You could have told them on that point instead of waiting for them to find out about the buying. It's in all rules, and many say you can be pardonned even when coming clean directly after joining.

One google search or wrong advice and a dose of trust is all it takes to go there.
That's what's wrong with many people, just 1 google search and click the first thing that comes on. Read a bit further on the same search and you will find out there's a catch to buying/selling/trading...


And you of all people oklahomaboy oklahomaboy , as a fellow Dutchmen! We are known to be cheapskates :D
 
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AbeSimpson

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How many family members "just click on something" and now their PC doesn't work right!
Don't get me started on this. My teenage daughter had over 1000 different spams, trojans and what not on our laptop from always clicking yes to everything she downloaded. I was ready to choke her after spending hours getting that shit all cleaned up.
[DOUBLEPOST=1441730013][/DOUBLEPOST]
It's a bitter pill to swallow, but the main reason for writing isn't so much to gain sympathy.
I endeavored to depict how others in similar situations might end up, and hope to get the word spread.
There should be more clarity. I know google is the number one source for most people to look, and they will still end up in wrong places, but hopefully the word spreads around more trackers, and to more users, to create more information and understanding.
It's good that you are taking this initiative, but I wonder how you can let people know that don't know anything about private trackers. If they do a google search you get all sorts of sites. Some are sellers, some are invite give-away sites and some are information sites like reddit. If you happen to go to the wrong one first and believe what they are telling you then I don't see how the information can get to you.
 

SHA-1

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Thanks for sharing your story so openly. Many would have said 'fuck it' and quit private trackers after going through all that banning stuff. If you ever are tired of community-driven free (except for voluntary donations) pirating, perhaps check out Usenet :p
 

marigold

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Very interesting story :) thanks for sharing.

Unfortunately tho, this is the wrong venue for asking to warn noobs. By definition, anyone new to torrenting does NOT HAVE the info necessary to foresee what rules he/she will encounter down the line, nor can they know that buying an invite is against the "law" After all, in our culture everything has a price :).

All we can do is warn pple we already know, not to buy/cheat at private trackers, but then we probably would just invite such people to the trackers we had access to, anyway.
 
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Dwarsligger

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If you happen to go to the wrong one first and believe what they are telling you
anyone new to torrenting does NOT HAVE the info necessary to foresee what rules he/she will encounter down the line, nor can they know that buying an invite is against the "law" After all, in our culture everything has a price
Like said, people should learn to read a bit more. When you either do a google search on tracker invites/torrent invites or whatever people type to search for invites you also get links warning you.
If for some shortsighted reason people still just want to click the first one available they should learn to read there too. In the pic below are the rules if you visit such site, you actually get warned a few times you can get banned, they talk about scammers and tell you to hide out, does that build any confidence and gives you the feeling you're in the right spot?


If you somehow seem to have missed all the above, you still bought/traded something and get in one of those fine trackers, again you have some rules they tell (command) you to read:




If all that doesn't ring a bell somewhere then the only ones to blame are themselves, and I find it a little bit cheap to say "Hey, I'm a n00b, how should I have possibly known it wasn't allowed?". Be honest, it was pointed out a few times along the way...
 

OldManWill

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excellent story, and one that way more people can relate to then I sure will admit. Your a pirate, thru and thru, and what you did, and how you did it just proves it.. for the guy up there quoting all your comments and pointing out how you should have somehow still known what you were doing.. and that you should have "come clean" immediately upon entering this site for the first time is just full of his own shit, and frankly.. doesnt deserve to call himself a pirate.. by definition alone, we are, as pirates, supposed to go against the grain and obtain things by unconventional, and even sometimes, less desirable ways. its in our nature to find out how to obtain what is difficult to obtain by others.

invite sites are just another part of the community, frowned upon or not.. alot of the good traders now probably got their start from something similar.. and of coarse, would never admit it now. the private trackers that close their doors, and dont put forth any effort to appease the masses of non members interested in joining are the reason that invite sites were spawned.. and why they still thrive. get off your lazy asses and do something about it.. instead of crying cheater all the time and pointing a finger.. step up in your community.. take charge.. speak up.. the interest in join the private trackers is only getting larger as regulations get more strict.. and as it stands now.. its almots impossible to get an invite at a site thats worth a shit.. unless you got a credit card.

so point all you, cry like little babies.. but YOU.. yes YOU, the private tracker that complains about invite sites.. YOU created this problem.. they all want to be "private" when it comes to members.. but they want to advertise their name to the whole world by editing every freaking nfo files that comes thru there and putting their freaking name on it! hypocrits!

Im an old school pirate, alot of you little kids that think you know what pirating is, need to get off your mums tit for a minute and catch up to the rest of us. this private community, pay to get in, pay more for vip, then pay even more to keep it.. HAHA, that is totally AGAINST what pirating stands for in the first freaking place!

ugh, i fear i have yet again vered way off here.. i apologize.. im a little passionate about what i believe in.. eveyone here will find out pretty quick.. im a good guy, but i dont sugar coat nothing.. im short, direct, cold, and to the point.. but im honest.

I love my fellow pirates.. dont let anything u read from me make you ever think different !!
[DOUBLEPOST=1441737916][/DOUBLEPOST]i say, if you want to ban members that pay for invites.. then all the sites that have ever asked for or offered any special treatment for money should also be banned by the community and blacklisted by all the torrenters.. lets see the trackers live by the same standards they expect everyone else to live by.

yea.. thats what i thought
 
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marigold

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If you somehow seem to have missed all the above, you still bought/traded something and get in one of those fine trackers, again you have some rules they tell (command) you to read:
Hehehe just tells you, I never googled for an invite :p and I certainly would not pay for one..goes against every one of my pirate fibers :D
 

cherwonk

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ah Yes the early days of torrenting, seems to be eons ago. Oh wait it was ;) Back in to "00" years when you happened along a private tracker the very first thing they told you was "READ THE RULES"
Way back then there wasnt as much trading and selling going on, things were still pretty much underground when it came to private sites., even more if you had scene axx. You know those "Top Sites" you can even think about let alone speak of, or even better the FTPs.
But the biggest thing back then was keeping your ratio, damned hard in those days with the 1 mb connections. Servers were expensive, but you could always get a shared seedbox for $40.
The old days when you needed to know how to code to run a site, now the servers are $40 and the code is one click and there 1,000's of private sites. Hell there sites with 20 people on them, all friends.
The torrenting world has changed so much in the last 15 years, changed IMO not for the better. More and more sites are going ratio-less, is controlled by time and if I'm not mistaken that is even optional at some sites. Seedboxes are a dime a dozen as is sites. A couple die and 4 or 5 start up. I liked it better back in the day when Private meant private. When you had RULES and everyone followed them...

Note: Banned the invite tree ??? Sound familiar, I know at UTN and a couple other sites I coded for that was common practice. Also, at one time all the owners had there own site, they traded banned members and reasons for banning, this is where your "Global Ban" would have come into play. <--- thats all I can or will say about this
 
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OldManWill

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I guess just shows my age gap.. oh and I apologize for being so direct earlier.. just a case of bad timing.. the wife on the phone yappin and the kids up my ass.. put my agitation with them into my comment here. I do mean what i say, just could say it with a little less attitude for sure.. for for that im sorry..

Mostly, I think it is, I missed the good days of private torrenting. I left the scene around the time all this stuff was getting popular. now that im older and have time again to sit and be part of something other then my own personal life, I find I'm stuck in my old ways.. and them ways seem to be long gone..

I want to fit in, and i will... eventually.. but I call for a complete rework of how things are done.. and not something new.. but something tried and true.. take it back to old school.. you wanted on a ftp site, you had to come on irc and talk to the group.. and you had to wait for the sysop to come online.. cause there was no automatic adding ... you didnt get a payment option page when you tried to sign up.. from what i have seen, every tracker site has an irc server and channel.. so why are the invites not links to web pages with live irc clients??? make it a site wide interview, and then a vote process ( if you want to go the voting route.. personally.. if you want to keep it close and tight nit and private.. thats the way to go ) i know this might not work for some, or even a lot.. and its just a rough idea. but the idea is to get more personal with it.. if you want to trust the guy there with you, there really isnt any other options
 

SHA-1

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if you want to keep it close and tight nit and private.. thats the way to go
Well I can imagine that too close and tight nit and private (as in; not many fresh new members) leads to a site with fewer contents. Having to deal with scammers is part of having a decent sized well running site... Be it bad users wanting to make a buck or staffers looting donation money.
 

othersna

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Informative blog post, and useful for those new to torrenting as a "don't let this happen to you" kind of lesson. Only thing to add from my standpoint is to say what some tracker staff would say - they claim 90% of bad users (and unfortunately buying an invite put you in to that category when you did it) are career bad users who will lie when confronted about things they did. So unfortunately they take on a "guilty until proven innocent" mentality, and sometimes they take the easy way out by letting a ban stand rather than seeing it as a dumb mistake. (I myself was grilled in a tracker help IRC after playing "trader hunter" so I know how it feels to be accused by tracker staff of doing something wrong when in my opinion I didn't.)

Over time, some trackers will ease off, especially when it is clear you are not a liar, and sometimes it helps if you have other tracker staffers vouch for you.
 

karoo

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Usually when you sign up to a new tracker, you have to check the box "I will read the Rules and the FAQ". All this stuff is normally covered in there. Some of the sites even tell you to read these BEFORE you sign up. I don't see how an extra warning would help. If someone's not going to read the rules, then they are probably not going to acknowledge that warning.
 

oklahomaboy

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It's good that you are taking this initiative, but I wonder how you can let people know that don't know anything about private trackers. If they do a google search you get all sorts of sites. Some are sellers, some are invite give-away sites and some are information sites like reddit. If you happen to go to the wrong one first and believe what they are telling you then I don't see how the information can get to you.
This is a valid point to which I unfortunately don't have a clear-cut answer - I have a suggestion though:
each one teach one and let's spread the word more openly.

The thing is, it should be prevented, it's WAY better than curing. The point being, if I skip the rules, isn't it possible that out of all those people 'out there' a few more might? Again - try to imagine you don't know what a private tracker is - zero knowledge. Yeah, it's almost unfathomable eh? That's because it's hard to let go of beliefs established over long periods of time, separating the noobs from the veterans.

So - teach the noobs by letting everyone you know, know. Within 24 hours I reached 30 people with one post. And the people in here usually are well connected, so in all likelihood they have a lot of people listen to them. If a few site owners would sent a pm to their staff to actively use this in recruiting and in IRC the word spreads quickly. If it snowballs out of here, that would be awesome and less and less people would be breaking rules. I hope. And if they still do it, the changes of them doing so knowingly are markedly higher.

Thanks for sharing your story so openly. Many would have said 'fuck it' and quit private trackers after going through all that banning stuff. If you ever are tired of community-driven free (except for voluntary donations) pirating, perhaps check out Usenet :p
I was this close to throwing in the towel, but I have had more good experiences than bad ones. I realize it sounds like a whine-story; after writing it I asked myself whether I should've edited out my emotions or not but decided against it - keep it real and pure, no matter what.

The flak is apparent in the comments; according to the Japanese, the nail that sticks up shall be hammered down; that's true a lot of the time and I'm ok with that. At least I have spoken up and have given it my best shot. Thanks for the alternative, I know it's there and a few friends -as in IRL friends, not 'friends' - have been using it for ages. Somehow, however, I like torrenting better, but let's see what happens :D

Very interesting story :) thanks for sharing.

Unfortunately tho, this is the wrong venue for asking to warn noobs. By definition, anyone new to torrenting does NOT HAVE the info necessary to foresee what rules he/she will encounter down the line, nor can they know that buying an invite is against the "law" After all, in our culture everything has a price :).

All we can do is warn pple we already know, not to buy/cheat at private trackers, but then we probably would just invite such people to the trackers we had access to, anyway.
You're welcome - I hope more people would do the same.

The problem is exactly like you described. People make mistakes - we're hardwired to do so, and the very nature of trackers is collaborating with others - pirates are people, staffers are people, trackers are crowded with people - people and thus mistakes abound. The beauty of our errors is, it allows us to improve, in this case what's needed is the 'rules and laws of trackerland' need to reach the poor unsuspecting impressionable noobs such as moi not too long ago before they reach an invite shop.
Therefore, by all means, feel free to copy/paste my story anywhere, anytime, altered or not, just be sure that TPS staff also allow you to do so, if you feel that this isn't the right venue. The fire has to originate somewhere, doesn't it?

So your last part I disagree - we can not just only 'warn people we know'. Surely someone in here knows a bit of SEO and can implement some links to articles warning for TI and places of such ilk, hell I'd do it myself if I were a bit more savvy.

And what prevents anyone here from opening up a forum on their beloved tracker(s) regarding the subject? If this were to happen, within days the issue would be raised in the larger part of private torrent tracking land - the more people involved, the higher the chances are that someone has a bright idea pop up in their mind and implement it. Sure, there are ways to warn unsuspecting noobs - it just depends on whether people genuinely want to do so.

Like said, people should learn to read a bit more. When you either do a google search on tracker invites/torrent invites or whatever people type to search for invites you also get links warning you.
If for some shortsighted reason people still just want to click the first one available they should learn to read there too. In the pic below are the rules if you visit such site, you actually get warned a few times you can get banned, they talk about scammers and tell you to hide out, does that build any confidence and gives you the feeling you're in the right spot?
If you somehow seem to have missed all the above, you still bought/traded something and get in one of those fine trackers, again you have some rules they tell (command) you to read:
If all that doesn't ring a bell somewhere then the only ones to blame are themselves, and I find it a little bit cheap to say "Hey, I'm a n00b, how should I have possibly known it wasn't allowed?". Be honest, it was pointed out a few times along the way...
Should, should have etc. are things we want which aren't here yet or weren't here and might never be. In any case they always represent something else than reality - so speaking in retrospect, spot on. Yet it doesn't remedy anything.

Not to start a hairsplitting contest, but when I googled this, just to see whether your statement holds true, I saw that the first page is almost identical to what I must've gotten when I started out last March; although I can't recall for the life of me what I exactly googled back then. Again, it's a general idea, if you type a word differently it might very well be that there actually IS a warning displayed. For me, the point is it's NOT ENOUGH.


The first picture you posted is for their forum - yet, I went straight to their "shop". I came for the warez, not the blabla - eager to download stuff, not to talk, so yeah, IF I had done such and such, THEN outcomes naturally might have been different. IF this, THEN that. But IF isn't what happened.

Surely I had to read the rules, doesn't mean I did though. I should have - I'm not disputing that fact, never have and never will. That's what I meant by the kid in the candystore; that's OKboy, just arrived in the tracker - the door to The Promised Lands has opened up, finally, and the torrents section is where it's at! Let's goooo!

Like where I would head straight for the shop on the TI site, I headed straight for the torrents in the trackers. I should RTFM of every electrical appliance I have as well, but it's much more fun not to.

Eve more importantly though - by the time you actually are able to read said rules, you're already in, see the catch 22 conundrum here? The rules are there, telling you to not do something you already did, and that you could only read about by having done that.

Again, I'm not saying I couldn't have or shouldn't have known - I'm saying I didn't know.
A bell started to ring a bell at some point, I mentioned that clearly, or so I thought.
I'm not here to blame anyone, if that's how you perceived it, then I missed my intended goal. Write it up to a lack of writing skills ;)

I understand your sentiments towards people using arguments such as the ones I presented. It's all right if you find it cheap. It pains me a little, honestly, but it's to be expected, I guess. The cost of speakig up :)
But being more honest about it?! That was the whole essence of the post! The immorality and illegality of it was not pointed out to me along the way. We clearly haven't walked the same way, which is not surprising, everyone has their own. These differences comprise the gaps between respected veterans of the community such as yourself and unknown noobs such as me.

I'm not just 'playing the dumb card' here - I really was that dumb, hell, probably still am, really missed those signs you're talking about, however inconceivable that might seem. If I wrote this post in 2020, having been for five years in trackers, I probably wouldn't believe this story either, so I don't blame you, you ouwe dwarskop, to the contrary... :)
 
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Sting

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Thanks for sharing your story oklahomaboy oklahomaboy . The more people that read your message the greater the tracker community will be as a whole. Unfortunately, too many people find out the hard way, and if private trackers don't educate people on the safe and ethical ways to obtain access to their trackers, it should be our responsibility to do so.

As others have touched on, the exclusivity of private trackers is great for security and anonymity, but it creates serious problems for people trying to gain entry. If for example, you have no friends who are even remotely interested in private trackers, how on earth are you going to get your start? Unless you do some research and find out about a certain tracker's IRC interviews, you most likely will take the easy way out and either look for free invites or purchase them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to condone their actions, but I can understand why people choose to go this route, because to them, it seems like their back is against the wall and its either take the risk or don't do anything at all.

Sure you can say that people should read the rules, but often this is too late as they have already received an invite to the site. At this point, you won't find many people who will own up to wrongdoing after they spent time and possibly money to access the tracker in the first place. They will take the risk knowing full well that their ass may be banned in a short space of time. See, what I'm trying to get at, is this is a product of the system. It's the classic forbidden fruit metaphor. Say you can't have something and people will go to extraordinary lengths to obtain it. Once they get it, they're not going to give it up very easily.

Obviously giving away invites for free willy-nilly is not the answer to this. But I admire sites that have an interview or recruitment process so users that have no other option can gain access if they are deemed fit. Unfortunately, I can only name three trackers off the top of my head that recruit this way and I truly wish this practice was more widespread. I'm sure tracker invite forums despise the fact that users can access trackers if they pass an interview, and if it was more common, there may be no need for these forums to exist anymore.
 
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