Not a week after a cease-and-desist letter from anti-piracy group FACT shut it down, and usenet index site NZBsRus is more or less back online. The group migrated to a new server over the weekend, retaining all its data and original URL. Access is available but limited, and its user forums are still offline.
NZBsRus officially came back online Sunday, announcing its return with a simple “guess who’s back?” Restoring the service, however, was far from simple.
“There has been a slight error on the setup of the server, the raid configuration was incorrect and so was the partitioning,” explained the group via its Twitter feed. The bulk of the work was chalked up to a massive 100 GB transfer. In total, it took the site around three days to restore itself.
That’s not to say the index site is yet back to its former glory. “We are limited to VIP just now but it’s only to limit the hammering we are currently getting,” said NZBsRus. “Free download will be open shortly.” It added that some users may have difficulty logging in due to the site’s DNS not updating ISPs.
The site also updated its FAQ in light of recent events:
Our site is completely legal in Europe, USA, etc. Our site does not host any actual media or content. We simply provide moderated and selected indexes of content contained in Newsgroups. We didn’t upload those files ourselves, nor do we support them in any way.
We also do not support piracy. The only thing we do is host files used to index content that is only available through other paid connection subscriptions (which we don’t supply). The indexed information can only be used with a Usenet client application (which we don’t provide). Content on usenet can be legally to obtain free or open-source content, to access content you already own, or to test and evaluate content if no trial or beta is available. You might notice that every page by default says “If you like this, buy it!”, a statement we strongly believe in. Support the people that make the stuff you like, because otherwise it wouldn’t exist!
It’s unlikely that the MPA, which originally pushed for the site’s closure, agrees. The trade organization won a court order this summer which compelled ISP British Telecom to bar access to Newzbin2, another usenet group. The block started last week. However, it was a hollow victory. The site’s operators had already devised a method to circumvent the block.
The ball is now back in the MPA’s court, with little changed. It’s unclear if the group will go after NZBsRus with the same tenacity as Newzbin2.