The website Final Gear is one of the premiere fan sites for Top Gear on the Internet. For over a decade, it has been providing followers of the show and its spinoffs with BitTorrent links for the episodes and gave people a place to discuss all things related. However, the site was hobbled on July 17 by a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown notice that forced it to remove all of its links to the series.
In addition to publishing the notice in full, the site left this brief message to fans: "While FinalGear.com does not host any torrents or copyright infringing material, we have had to disable all episode links due to a DMCA Take-Down covering every Top Gear (and spin offs) episode." The letter indicated that it came from BBC Worldwide Consumer Products, and it specifically requested that Final Gear remove all of its links to Top Gear, Top Gear Australia and Top Gear America. While not mentioned, the site removed BitTorrent connections to Fifth Gear, as well. Otherwise, everything else, including the episode summaries and forum, are still up and running, as of this writing.
According to Final Gear, the site originally launched in October 2003 and did host the actual downloads at the time. In March 2004, it was redesigned and began using the torrents. Autoblog has reached out to the site for more information on what it plans to do going forward. We'll update this story, if we hear back.