100s of Pirate Sites Go Dark as .TV Domains Placed on ServerHold

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At the time of writing, at least dozens but most likely hundreds of pirate sites are effectively down due to a domain issue at a single registrar. The problem seems to be isolated to sites using .TV domains registered at Sarek Oy in Finland, a registrar well known for its pirate-friendly policies. As things stand, hundreds of domains are completely devoid of DNS, resulting in one of the biggest mass blackouts in recent history.

stupidtv-lA few hours ago a TorrentFreak reader linked us to a list of almost 200 domains with several things in common.

The vast majority have naming conventions that almost certainly point to some type of piracy activity. No shortage of the word ‘streams’ for example, along with other familiar pirate terms such as HD, cine, film, movie, plus the likes of buff, cric and crack.

Sites with ‘anime’ in their domain names also stand out; they include the popular Animebytes, a platform that above most seemed to be generating significant panic. A gloomy discussion on Reddit spoke of the site having just hours to live, a fate that may have since been suspended but with a root cause that remains unresolved.

The Sun Doesn’t Shine on .TV

The sites on the list have other things in common too. All operate from .TV domains that were registered at Finnish registrar Sarek Oy. As things stand, none have any functioning DNS and that means all are completely inaccessible, at least as far as site users are concerned.

The list can be viewed here and given its size and the platforms on it, it feels safe to conclude that this blackout is currently affecting millions of pirates. It’s probably fraying the nerves of many site operators too, albeit some more than others.

As far as we know, information and explanations for the unprecedented failure are in short supply, at least those announced directly from Sarek Oy. It’s the middle of the night in Finland, so it may be a few hours before any official announcement arrives.

Domain Status: serverHold

After checking a few dozen WHOIS records for domains on the list, all display a domain status of ‘serverHold’. ICANN’s official description notes that the status is set by domain registries to indicate that a domain is not activated in the Domain Name System (DNS).


Given the way the current problem manifests itself, the explanation is accurate but not especially helpful.

The bigger question is why hundreds of domains were suddenly placed on serverHold and why did that have to be done so urgently that there was no time to inform the domain owners? That will likely become evident during the next few hours, but we can confirm that sites operating .TV domains with other registrars remain functional.


That may suggest an issue specific to the registrar. Some type of issue between the registry and registrar seems most likely, but it’s hard to imagine either party simply deciding to render so many domains inoperable, seemingly all at once, without any kind of warning.

So at least for now, beads of perspiration will have to persist while soaking up the irony. Perhaps more than any other registrar in operation right now, Sarek Oy’s reputation for keeping sites online is extremely well known. That it’s currently at the center of one of the largest blackouts in recent history is unexpected, to say the least.


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