‘Good Old Downloads’ shuts down, publishes source on GitHub
Good Old Downloads (GOD), a pirate site dedicated to gaming titles, announced on its website that it is shutting down with immediate effect, reports TorrentFreak.
For those unaware, GOD started as an alternative to GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games), that offered downloads of DRM-free games from GOG.com for people to pirate for free.
With more than million visitors visiting every month, the website started growing in popularity, which was ad-free and funded exclusively through donations.
According to a message posted on the site, the site’s operators say that they are shutting down due to attacks on the platform from rival sites and the fear of being targeted with legal action.
The farewell message on the website reads:
“We looked at other popular game piracy sites and discovered they were all filled with dozens of tracking scripts, infuriating ads (sometimes viruses) and mainly existed for the sole purpose of making money.
“In response, we created a website without any of those things and improvements; it was easy to download files, a clean design, and dead links became a thing of the past with the voting system where you could vote to have games re-uploaded automatically. Best of all, almost everything was automated so you didn’t have to rely on some person at their computer to upload files!
Which brings us to…
“Rival sites started to target us by making threats and claiming they have reported us to anti-piracy corporations. We also want to move on with our lives and enjoy other things without the constant fear of legal action breathing down our necks.”
Although GOD did not disclose the names of the rival sites due to which they decided to call it quits, they did get back at some of the other game piracy websites by publishing an investigative report (PDF file) that suggests gamers which piracy sites are safe and which ones aren’t.
“The purpose of this document is to summarize information found online that reveals the identity of the individuals that operate the gaming piracy websites ‘igg-games.com’ (http://igg-games.com/) and ‘gamestorrent.co’ (http://gamestorrent.co/) which profit from the distribution of illegal copies of video games via advertisements (pop-up ads, etc). At the time of publication, they are ranked 1,305 and 5,958 globally by Alexa.com,” the report notes.
Interestingly, the site operators of GOD decided to publish the source code of all their sites on GitHub so that its legacy lives on.
“The source code for all our sites is being released under GPLv3. Feel free to fork and improve the project; we have been working on this almost every day for nearly 2 years,” the site’s operators write.
Recently, GOD had started its own retro-gaming section on the site after Nintendo had accused gaming sites, LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co of huge copyright and trademark infringement.