What.cd, an invite-only music torrent tracker, has shut down yesterday, following a report in French media of police raids.
The website, founded in 2007 and with an estimated database of 3 million torrents, was more than a music piracy portal, but also a recommendation engine and a place where you could find some of the most unknown and underground records ever made, not available anywhere else.
Sometime yesterday, the site’s operators took down their site, which was replaced by a blank screen (pictured above) with a message that read:
Due to some recent events, What.CD is shutting down. We are not likely to return any time soon in our current form. All site and user data has been destroyed. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
The same message was also echoed via What.cd’s Twitter account.
Report: Police seize 12 What.cd servers
According to French news site ZATAZ, “recent events” may refer to a series of raids carried out by C3N, the cyber-crime unit of the French Gendarmerie.
The raids are the result of a two-year investigation by authorities at the behest of French music industry rights group SACEM.
It is said that French police confiscated twelve What.cd servers hosted by French ISP OVH in three cities across France: Lille, Free, and Gravelines.
No What.cd employee was arrested in the raids. What.cd’s leadership is based in the UK.
Many have said that What.cd was forced to shut down because they’ve lost access to their data, seized in the raid.
On Twitter, What.cd’s team said the reports on their database being seized are “not factual,” hinting they might still have access to their data, but chose to shut down on their own accord.
Earlier this year, US authorities shut down Kickass Torrents, the Internet’s largest torrent portal. In the following months, Torrentz.eu, Solarmovie, and TorrentHound voluntarily shut down.