Famous torrent site RARBG has shut down, blaming a variety of traumatic factors that have left its staff unable to work.
The site will be going offline after two “difficult” years, staff said in a parting message posted online.
The shutdown comes as some experts have predicted that the internet could be heading for a “golden age” of piracy, amid increasing streaming prices and other difficulties.
But staff said that it had been hit by its own rising costs, as well as the loss of staff to covid and the war in Ukraine.
“Some of the people in our team died due to covid complications, others still suffer the side effects of it - not being able to work at all,” it wrote. “Some are also fighting the war in Europe - ON BOTH SIDES.”
It also said that inflation and price increases had made it impossible to run the site without high costs.
“Also, the power price increase in data centers in Europe hit us pretty hard.Inflation makes our daily expenses impossible to bare,” staff wrote. “Therefore we can no longer run this site without massive expenses that we can no longer cover out of pocket.
“After an unanimous vote we’ve decided that we can no longer do it.
“We are sorry :(“
The message was posted on RARBG itself, and confirmed by specialist site Torrent Freak.
RARBG has been running for 15 years. In that time it has become one of the biggest torrenting sites on the web – bigger even than more famous destinations such as The Pirate Bay.
The change may not only affect users of RARBG. Both the films and torrents that were hosted there were mirrored on other sites, meaning that the shutdown of RARBG may make it harder to access pirated content elsewhere too.
In recent months, piracy has seen a huge surge despite attempts by police to crackdown. Experts have speculated that an increasing number of streaming services, as well as increased pricing from those streaming services and a crackdown on shared logins, could send users to illegal sites rather than legitimate platforms.