Torrentreactor.net and Torrents.net will soon be inaccessible in Italy. Following an investigation by the country’s cybercrime police and the local music industry all internet providers are required to block access to the sites. A probe into the identities of the owners, who the authorities believe are profiting heavily from the sites, is ongoing. The move follows similar blockades against both The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and the now-defunct BTjunkie.
Italian authorities and the local music industry are continuing their war on piracy, resulting in a new blockade of two frequently visited BitTorrent sites.
The Vallo della Lucania Court just issued an injunction that requires all Internet providers to block access to the domain names and IP-addresses of both TorrentReactor.net and Torrents.net
The investigation that led to the blockade was carried out by the Agropoli Fiscal Police office, with assistance from the music industry anti-piracy unit FPM. An investigation into the identities of the sites’ owners is still ongoing.
According to the prosecution TorrentReactor has an average of 600,000 Italian users who generate 4 millions page views per month. In total 14% of the site’s users come from Italy. A technical investigation further revealed that the site indexes 1,695,907 copyrighted files.
Torrents.net is claimed to have an average of 320,000 Italian users with 3 million page views per month, which translates to 12% of the site’s total visitors. The prosecution found 788,252 links to copyrighted works on the site.
The authorities further estimate that both TorrentReactor and Torrents.net both make more than a million dollars in proceeds per year, $1.72 and $1.17 million respectively. It’s unclear how these figures were calculated.
Enzo Mazza, head of the music industry group FIMI, applauded the court’s decision. Mazza told TorrentFreak that TorrentReactor and Torrents.net were targeted because they became the leading torrent sites after similar court orders blocked three other prominent sites.
“After the blocking of Pirate Bay, BTjunkie and Kickasstorrents these two sites were among the new top torrent sites in Italy, so we have referred them to the Fiscal Police,” Mazza told us.
“The case is very important because the blocking actions are on the eve of Christmas sales, when all the new releases will come out. We collected evidence on an increase of uploading of these new releases during the last week, and by blocking the sites we are limiting the impact of these illegal offerings.”
Whether the blockades will stop any Italians from torrenting remains to be seen as quite a few popular BitTorrent remain unblocked. However, Italian users of TorrentReactor.net and Torrents.net will soon be without a home.