What is The Scene?


Date: 2009-03-25 19:33

What is "the scene" and how do it get in?

Disclaimer : Don't expect that when you walk away from reading this post that you will be magically transformed into the scene as one of their l33t members - it aint gonna happen. This post will hopefully give you an idea of how the scene operates, and this knowledge MAY aid you in your endeavours to get in. You are also hereby instructed not to send me PM's asking me if I have any leads for you.

The Scene - it's an amazingly large underground network of pirates, and it's a very secritive society. The Scene hates P2P (which includes Torrents), primarily because we give away all their stuff, even though it's ironic that it's not actually theirs to begin with. The scene operates simplisticly as follows.

A supplier (somebody who has access to stuff, eg people at DVD store or publishing house) provides a group with source media. This group then rips the media and converts it to scene standards. If it is software, and the group specialises in cracking software, then they write a keygen or crack for it. Scene Standards is a plethora of rules that people in the scene have to follow - these rules are goverened by the most l33t of scene groups and agreed between them before being made official.

This group then uploads their stuff to affiliates - an affiliate is a topsite which allows affiliation. You can be almost guaranteed that the vast majority these topsites are private and do not sit in co-location datacenters. Many affiliates are in Sweden because of their 100 Mbit home links, and others are on hard to obtain links. The group uploads it to at least 2 topsites, preferably one based in EU and one based in US. Once the files are up on both (or more) sites, somebody from the group pre's them.

When they are pre'd, bots which monitor the site (usually eggdrop bots) echo to other pre channels, and the pre database is updated. There is not one master pre database, but with all the bots somehow connected to each other, there is a good chance that many databases will get all announces. Once they are pre'd they are moved from the topsite's pre directory into the normal directory and it's up to racers to race.

A racer is somebody, usually always automated with a whole bunch of rules, who will xfer the recently pre'd release to other topsites. On the target server, he will get 3 x credit for his efforts, but he has to hurry because he will be raced by other racers. In some cases you could get up to 20 racers on the same release all killing each other for the credit. When this happens there is usually a bottleneck, and if the group for example has only pre'd the release on one server (they have to pre it on all of them), then that server will send out the data slower - this results in what's known as a "slow race". The files are then on another topsite and the race begins yet again from there to another site.

There are primarily 5 different ways you can get onto a topsite (commonly known as axx, short for scene access). They are listed in order of difficulty from hardest to easiest.

1) You own one or part own one. Good luck pulling this one off. You can either own the master server or one of the slaves, and it usually means you have to provide a server which is used for nothing else but this site, a whole bunch of bandwidth and disk. Some topsites will have 3-5 slaves and some may even have as many as 10. As a part owner you may or may not have siteop permissions - it all depends on your agreement with the owner.

2) You become part of a group. A group who affiliates to a topsite will have a joint credit, so if user A uploads a release to the site, he'll earn credit for his whole group, not just himself. The group can then download what they like from the topsite for their own use.

3) You are a racer. As a racer and through word of mouth, you will be invited to race on new sites. You will have to go through a trial period, and you will also have to maintain a quota for each month. Quotas range from 10 GB upwards, depending on the topsite. I have known racers to be on as many as 25 topsites, and they literally have 4 bouncers and constantly racing from one to the other. Sometimes they never use their gained credits (which usually expire every month), they just race for fun.

4) You have friends who know siteops or are siteops, and they give you a leech slot for nothing.

5) You partake in what's known as P4L (Pay For Leech). You pay a sum of money per month for a certain amount of credit, and a limited number of concurrent download connections. The more you pay the more bandwidth you get. If you get this kind of access, it's almost guaranteed that this site won't have any affiliates due to the risky nature of the site. Usually you always have to pay via paypal for this, so it's all traceable so if there is a bust then you're probably going to get into trouble.

There are primarily 4 different ways you can get into a scene group, and this is listed in order of difficulty from hardest to easiest.

1) You create one. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? WRONG! You have to still find affilliates, and new scene groups are very hard to trust because they are new. You need to have tons of samples of your work and the site who is considering you an affilliate can judge if your work is suitable or not.

2) You can provide an affiliation. This means you have to own a topsite which is private and well raced.

3) You know somebody who is already in a group. Because of the secrecy of being in a scene group, it's possible that you may already know people but they've never told you anything. They will usually come to you to make you an offer. TD uploaders are allowed to upload stuff they rip themselves, and if it's good enough, they may eventually get approached to rip for a group.

4) You can provide stuff. Many scene groups have a means of contacting them so if you can provide pre-relesae DVD's, CAMS, software or have the ability to crack, then contact them and apply to join their group. No doubt they will test you thoroughly before giving you more access. (which means access to the pre command, and eventually to the pre-nuke command and pre-unnuke commands).

Let's see what have I missed. Oh yes, the most important thing.

Because the Scene hates us, there are very severe consequences if P2P is directly associated with a topsite. The person who "leaked" the data would have his account deleted and if that topsite is responsible for many leaks then the topsite may lose racers, affilliates and could be blacklisted on other topsites so that racing to or from that site is no longer possible.

If you are lucky to get into the scene or get topsite access be VERY CAREFUL. Don't use the same IP address that you seed from to access the topsite or IRC servers or your scene groups. Don't use the same IDENT, and if at all possible, use more than 1 different bouncer.

What is a bouncer you ask? A bouncer (BNC/TBNC) is a server which bounces traffic from you to your desired target, and the traffic looks like it's coming from your bouncer. Very good for concealing your real IP address. The vast majority of sceners will be using one or more bouncers. A socks server or proxy or TOR node would in some cases also prove to be useful.

Well I hope this introduction to the scene has been useful - now that you know a brief outline of how it all fits together, you can work out which suits you best and you can take it from there.

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