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What Really Happend To IPBFree?

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posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 07:43 AM
One of the Internets largest and most popular free forum hosting sites has been taken down completely - its been over 48 hours now. They hosted literally thousands of communities.
Now - all gone, all that work, all that data, gone. No way to get anything back. No reason given, no warning.

Come on guys at ATS, lets find out why.....

Here's a Yahoo Answers page with some info.

Even their twiter, facebook and wiki pages just gone........


[edit on 15/7/2010 by who-me?]

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 08:02 AM
Some more links, the plot thicken, no-one has said why.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by who-me?

Per your own source:

*UPDATE* After more research I have found that they had too many DMCA Violations. Mainly because of people hosting forums with illegal content. They have been shut down because they have done nothing to stop these forums or control/regulate them. After many warnings about the DMCA violations they still did nothing. This came from an anonymous source.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 08:10 AM
reply to post by SeenMyShare

Read further down the page, the DMCA angle is pure speculation, I was hoping to find more info. A service like this doesn't go from fully functioning business as usual to gone just because of some DMCA violations. If this were the case there would have been warnings.

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 09:20 AM
On one of the teams Twitters it says

"@BobbyMihaylov Trust me, we wish we could have provided it. Legally we're not in a position to do so - I think we all feel bad about it."

The word "Legally" there does make me think it could be DMCA based.

If you run a big site/service provider, you get "Safe Harbor" status, so that as long as you comply with DMCA requests and other legal requests, and are seen to be making a reasonable effort to police your site, you can't be held liable. If IPBFree weren't complying, then it's possible they could have been shut down.

Another possibility is a raid. A government agency may have seized the servers. Normally they just ask for the IPs of offenders and for things to be removed, but if it was out of control, urgent, or the owners of the site don't co-operate, they can just seize the hardware.

Of course these are both speculation, but the fact that a staff member uses the word "legally" makes me think it's very possible to be one of these cases.

Another staff member says this:

"Powerfists I can't legally tell you what happened, and believe me, if the community could do anything, we'd be on our hands & knees begging"

That sounds like a government agency action. They can demand that things are kept quiet in case it jeopardizes any investigation.


Someone claiming to be staff denies it was DMCA, but still says he can't discuss.

That makes me thinks a raid is more likely.

The whole thing of them saying it will never be back is odd though.

[edit on 15/7/2010 by harpsounds]

posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 10:50 AM
The strange part to me its the "Were gone, and so's your data, your never getting it back" part.

That data has to be somewhere. I don't think as of right now enough time has passed to even purposely delete it all. All that data still exists somewhere.

The amount of data is huge, were talking 1000's of communities boards with all their posts pics and blogs etc.

[edit on 15/7/2010 by who-me?]

posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:27 AM
This is getting weirder and weirder, why would the yahoo answers question that was almost the only source of info get deleted as well???

Here's the google cache link to the page. vclient-ff&rlz=1B3GGGL_enTH356TH356&ie=UTF-8

[edit on 16/7/2010 by who-me?]

posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 10:36 PM
OK, Here's something new.

"#iPBFree had no legal issues. It was due to financial issues on my part due to my divorce."

(Jean Barker)

I checked the whois as mentioned on their feed, and it does come back

Registrant: Jean Barker

So, if that twitter account is real, there's the explanation.

posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 10:42 PM
I don't really know much about the situation so this is just my guess.

But I'd equate similar to a "flea market". If they continually allowed vendors who sold illegal or stolen items, and refused to act or do anything about it I'm sure the relevant authorities would shut the whole market down.

I don't know how individual merchants getting their items back would play out in that situation. But digital information and personal property would be treated differently I'd think.

Like I said it's just my guess, but it does seem to be a similiar situation.

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 02:29 PM
Very strange! Even the site is routed to godaddy.

Very sudden with no warning..........a divorce?? Doesn't make sense. With the amount of ads they ran on their site??? Wouldn't it have been smarter to keep it going?

It sucks and everything is GONE that we had posted on our site.

The whole thing sucks. We had to scramble to get a new mb for free.

posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:14 AM
I know this thread is long dead, but hear me out on this one guys. I'm tired of poking around to see any remaining or unsettled stories about what used to be iPBFree. If you choose to troll me, go for it - I don't care. But if you stay and listen, this unsolved mystery will finally be...well, solved to say the least much.

My name is RXS (at least that's what my username was). I worked at iPBFree before legal actions were taken several years back. Now I wasn't an Administrator like catfriedrice or Tom, but I worked with them from the very core til the passing of such a legendary site as the official design team member. Working 4+ years really meant dedication to the site, and quite frankly...was my home. What iPBFree had in both performance and community cannot be matched by any other (at least in my point of view), so it really kills me inside to look at such a fire pit and not clear out the ashes. It's as if the ghost lurks around but does not leave because the mystery has to be cleared up.

I was lucky enough to learn about the affairs, and attempted (along with the crew) to avoid this legal course. Alas, it's quite difficult to resolve such disputes and legal reasoning.

And if you ever wanted to view what the typical forum board we hosted looked like...

This was our basic home - the community forums. As you can see, I DO have involvement in this case (so before you criticize me for calling false witness in this, do the research). Not only so, but we still manage our Facebook group with ALL ORIGINAL TEAM MEMBERS to this day to revive some aspects of the late iPBFree in order to re-create such a website.

Now to sum things up, here is the true story of this bizarre case: the community site (separated by our hosted forums) were led under the supervision of Vipul, catfriedrice, and Tom. A few underling staff members (including myself and those of non-administrator status) were very well aware of forums that imported or distributed illegal content. Under our Terms of Service, we work very hard to deploy action and remove such sites. However, we hosted over thousands (if not millions due to the simplicity of board generation), so the only way we could remove those forums were if we were notified by other users or had personal experiences w/ them.

It was only inevitable that legal action would pursue, however, we attempted to claim that we had no such knowledge of every illegal board we hosted. This statement is 100% correct, but the fact that those particular boards [might I add, a majority of those illegal forums were out of the United States] were under our server led to our downfall. Now there is a secret between the government and iPBFree administration that even I cannot nor would not release to the public due to legal conditions. It's like your best friend telling you a secret and if you break it, you break something more than just a promise. But that is another story that is a tad irrelevant the the topic at hand. The fact of the matter is this: iPBFree was assailed with illegal forums under our server that we had no capable knowledge of. Therefore, our inability to remove such boards instantly (and permanently) proposed the tragic falling out of such a legendary forum hosting service.

I believe I speak for the rest of the staff when I apologize for the inconvenience that is bestowed upon not only us, but all our members utilizing our services. I We are all very aware of the magnificent capabilities that our members had, and many of which had put hard work into, along with financial sacrifices and consideration of time. What occurred to the service provider is indeed a unfortunate event that has scarred all of us deeply.

The long tale of the departed iPBFree lies in this very post. Should you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
edit on 26-4-2012 by InfestLithium because: (no reason given)

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