(not) made (so) undead (that) by (our) pop (music) culture (sucks)

How to spot Fake Torrents!

I’m becoming incereasingly pissed with all the fake torrents that litter the Internet. Yesterday, as I looked for Cloverfield torrents, I could see dozens of fake torrents. What the hell is up with that? And many of these fakes even take up names of the more reputed rippers.

Half the torrents are malware scams, like the WinZix one I blogged about before. The ones that are more annoying, though are the ones where you have 700 MB of garbage data. Many of the fakes I saw had a “sample” video, that was actually a slightly edited version of the 4-minute Cloverfield trailer. And there was 700MB of utterly useless data. I suppose the uploaders get a kick out of reading the comments saying “FAKE”.

Edit: Did some editing to add on to the post, seeing as how it’s gotten fairly popular.

How do you spot a fake torrent? Here’s what I’ve learned:

Always check the Comments first
Always check the Comments for whether the file is fake. The BitTorrent community consists of good guys (well, mostly so) and fake torrents are immediately pointed out in the comments section. And that’s why you should not download from sites that do not support comments.

If you encounter a fake torrent, notify that in the comments ASAP. Similarly, if you find a legit torrent, link to it in comments for fake torrents to help misled downloaders. Also comment back on the legit torrent’s page assuring its quality. Do not tag good torrents as ‘fake’ and fake torrents as ‘high quality’. You are being an ass.

Many sites also support reporting of fake torrents now (at least most major sites), using that option is a good idea, as that’ll get the torrent off the site faster. Using private or semi-private sites like Demonoid is also a good idea as they have better moderation. I’ve yet to see a fake torrent on Demonoid, but moderation’s pretty good on sites like The Pirate Bay, isoHunt or Mininova nowadays too.

RAR/ZIP files
Reputed rippers never put their video files in RAR archives. It will always be a straight and clean AVI. If you see a movie torrent with the main file being a RAR, abort it immediately.

This does not mean that RAR/ZIPs are not used at all in the community, they are used fairly often for software and games, usually if their sizes go beyond a gigabyte. Compressed archives are fairly safe for software and games, but definitely not for movies.

There are also many legit movie torrents that are compressed in multi-part archives, but I generally don’t support them because it’s a pain to unzip them and then seed the archive when you could be seeding the movie itself and saving tons of valuable space.

Suspicious Instructions
Many fake torrents will have files (especially HTML files) named “IMPORTANT – READ ME FIRST” or “READ THIS” or “UNRAR INSTRUCTIONS” etc. Firstly, most rippers put their info in an NFO file, with a minority doing TXT files. The HTML file is first indication something is wrong.

Secondly, rippers generally put information about the movie (running time, cast, synopsis etc.) in the NFO/TXT file first, in a systematic manner before their personal comments. This may be ignored by some rippers (especially casual rips of rare/obscure movies), but is something to check out all the same.

If the Readme file tells you that the file had to be compressed to RAR because of MPAA threats – that’s utter bull. Same goes if it tells you that you need special codecs, because these codecs are nothing but malware.

Password Protected
BitTorrent is all about freedom, and unless a torrent is private and meant to shared in a small, closed community, no torrent should be password protected. If you see anything about a password in the Readme, Title or Description, abort. Even if the Readme says “You may be asked for a password”, it means “You will be asked for a password.” This is a fake, a sham and needs to be discarded. Even if it is legit, do not seed Password Protected Torrents, just because they need to get the hell out of the Internet.

Most legit torrents have screenshots or links to screenshots in their descriptions these days. Checking is out is usually a good idea. While theoretically even fake torrents can have these (steal shots from trailers, promos), I’ve yet to see a fake torrent with screencaps.

Remember the general quality guide: CAM and TS releases will have poor video quality while DVDRips, Screeners and other releases will have high video quality.

Do not seed fakes!
As soon as your download is done, verify it is real. As soon as you get the slightes clue it is fake, delete it and stop seeding it ASAP. The only way you can make the world a worse place is to seed a fake torrent.

Use VCDQuality
VCDQuality is a good site in that it serves a database for working, high-quality torrents from reputed rippers. It does not host any torrent or download. It is only a great way to check if the movie you want has a working torrent yet.

Serve the community well, report bad torrents, download lots and kick the spammers out!

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19 responses

  1. Sundog

    Nice work. I d/led a full DVD of Cloverfield which was password protected rar files. Fakes suck. They are only posted by riaa scammers and malware pushers. Beware, you can lose your identity, among other things.

    May 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm

  2. Christelle

    thanks for ur info! if only more bastards could be like u! ;)

    February 18, 2009 at 8:20 am

  3. Ajax

    Thank you for the info. I have been new to the torrent sites and coming from the IT field I am a fsat learner. I noticed everything you had said is true. Any files with RAR, ZIP, HTML etc are junk files pertaining to movie files. Software files are compressed and most work but there are fakes there as well. I find the best solution is to Seed at min bandwidth until you know it is good then pump it up as not to seed bad torrents. Also leaving comments as you said is excellent to help others from the same waste of time and bandwidth. I have found all kinds of Trojans buried in software and some in the movies files like you said you don’t need to download any codec’s if you have the basics and it is an AVI file. Bad files are WMV and RAR. Also there are people uploading torrents with good names in the files name and these are also bogus. I have found AXXO to be a very good source however it is always an AVI file and there is never a password. Stay away from the torrents sites that want passwords and memberships again it should be sharing and free, Any torrent site with porn splashed all over it is only there for one thing and that’s to infect your computer with Trojans and porn pop ups. You will find that these sites have anything you want to download safe to say if it’s too good to be true, it is. If you find this helpful pass this info on to others.

    Happy downloading Ajax

    March 12, 2009 at 1:46 am

  4. aa

    Can you believe such asses?


    Paying to upload fake torrents? Just a shitty idea.

    - fake torrents can be easily detected by the community (usually)
    - fake torrent can’t be used against you in court, because of its nature (fakes)

    Use only sites where you can post comments or better, you can register. Usually these have moderators who can remove that stupid files.

    I strongly agree that we must RESPECT and PAY the artists who deserve it, but also strongly agree that the MOVIE and MUSIC INDUSTRY is way too much of a business for a few, and not for the artists themselves, so we must FIGHT BACK to maintain a balance!
    For Christ sake, 20$ for a piece of plastic who costs around 2-3$ to produce it??

    July 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm

  5. Pingback: Week 2 « Pirate Blog

  6. Get torrent tips befor using a torrent http://www.kload.x10hosting.com/showthread.php?tid=22&pid=23#pid23

    November 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm

  7. ljudica

    i have just downloaded movie , and of course its a fake. it goes like 30sec of movie and then ask me to download x3player …I’m so pissed

    February 13, 2010 at 11:53 pm

  8. Vishal

    Nice work still confused which site to use?

    March 11, 2010 at 12:03 am

  9. leopard14

    I have an additional tips for movie torrents.. I always get fake torrents.. so im already pissed. How to know if it is a fake movie torrents? it’s simple. Before you download, check the files. Sometimes, it has only one .AVI file and it doesn’t come up with .txt, .idx, .sub, .srv or system information files, pictures or something else. Secondly, the fake movies come occasionally, but not always, around only 700mb, and the info states that it merely ripped of or something like that. Don’t trust that.

    Hope it helps the community! :)

    April 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

  10. vinay

    ya..recnetly i have downloaded a movie which was a fake..it is asking me to downlaod a player from site dvd.vidplayer.net..
    and my tip for ignoring fakes is to check whether the video is playable after downloading a part of it..say 10% or 20% or so on..
    hopw its helps u guys :)

    June 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

  11. Pingback: X3 player required for playing movies?? - Digit's Technology Discussion Forum

  12. thanks for post…..i also got most of fake torrents in the form of rar or zip package…i will check out with the vcdquality…site..

    August 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

  13. Nice Post,, I really recommend this ;)

    December 10, 2010 at 7:04 am

  14. Venom MK I

    Here 2 tip:

    1)check the name of the ripper found on the torrent file.

    Eg:Tourist 2010 DVDRip XviD AC3-ViSiON

    If you already know that this movie is a fake then any other movie with the similar name [Take note of ViSion] is likely to be a fake.You will waste less time to check it out.[Does not work if a reputed ripper's name is used]

    2)Check the up-loader’s torrent stat.

    A reputed up-loader will have a good torrent stat.Any up-loader with only one torrent uploaded showed in his/her stat is likely to be a fake.

    Example of a up-loader with good stat: http://torrentbox.com/account-details.php?id=510744

    Example of a up-loader with bad stat: http://torrentbox.com/account-details.php?id=1198657

    December 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

  15. shash

    thnxxxxxxx …u doin a gr8 job…thnx for info…

    April 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  16. Froebel

    How would you know if there was an idea like say for eg – a group of 10 people uploading a fake torrent and and the same 10 people writing fake comments leading you to think its a good file to download. And also they could also rename the file extension to .avi which is actually an exe file.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:09 am

  17. rogue d

    lately the commercialism and flashy… instantly beware of these torrent site. And no more codex donload ad.join this fileshare and no one has what you really want.

    May 28, 2011 at 5:29 am

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    June 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

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