Usenet was always meant to be accessible to anyone, and especially when it comes to binary newsgroups were all the files we love so much are posted, all are available without any limitations. However, in 2014, some Usenet forums became notorious for some bold claims, concerning so-called “private” or “exclusive” newsgroups.
The claim is that these forums (or Usenet posting teams) have switched to uploading only to special newsgroups, only available through a certain Usenet provider: In most cases, it is claimed to be SSL-News, which is based in Spain and known to sponsor Usenet forums, taking care of hosting and whatnot.
Consider this: If a Usenet provider is paying money to a forum, couldn’t that mean that this is not a completely unsolicited note, but actually advertising? And this is exactly the case here:
The claims made are wrong, period. Let’s go through them one by one:
- Some groups are exclusively available on SSL-News. Nonsense: Usenet is a network of servers that constantly synchronize data between themselves, so that it doesn’t matter where a user posted something, it will soon be available on the whole network. Yes, some groups are not available on all servers, but especially when it comes to alt.binaries, this is because they’re empty or “dead”.
Every single of the so-called “private” binary groups are added to every single large provider within days, and you can access their posts from every provider out there – period. An exception are, of course, uploads that contain copyrighted material and have been deleted through DMCA or takedown requests.
- SSL-News is not located in the USA, and so DMCA takedowns don’t take place. Technically this is true, but very misleading. If an upload is deemed infringing copyright and is targeted by a takedown bot, it will soon be deleted on virtually all Usenet servers in the world, at least the large, publicly-available ones. There are some differences in how quickly that happens, with time frames ranging from a few minutes to several days.
Now, the law that forces Usenet providers to do so is not called DMCA in the Netherlands, but there is an equivalent that works exactly the same way. The claim that there is any “safe haven” for copyrighted material on Usenet is absolute nonsense, or you should be very wary of such claims at the very least.
Summary: These Claims Are Fraudulent Advertising
Nothing more, nothing less: These are false claims to get people to signup for a Usenet provider, which is not to say it is a bad provider, but you definitely let your judgement be impaired by them. Find our list of the best Usenet providers here, along with in-dept reviews.