When torrent sites, streaming portals and IPTV services suddenly disappear or find themselves fighting a lawsuit, it’s common for users to be taken by surprise.
Social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Reddit are suddenly alive with questions seeking information on what happened to Site X or IPTV Service Y but, in many cases, potential answers have been available for some time.
If a service’s domain has been seized, blocked by ISPs, or an IPTV subscription has abruptly come to a halt in the face of a lawsuit, early signs of trouble can often be found in US DMCA subpoena applications granted months or even years before.
Streaming Sites For The Future ‘What Happened?’ List
In recent weeks the MPA and Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment obtained new DMCA subpoenas that require Cloudflare and domain name registry Tonic to hand over the personal information of people behind dozens of sites and services.
The applications allege that the platforms have infringed member studios’ rights in a number of movies including Morbius, Joker, Frozen, Mortal Kombat, and Godzilla vs Kong, plus TV series Supernatural and Dark.
The first application requests information on the following web-based streaming services (Estimated monthly visits per SimilarWeb data, 163+ million visits total)
123moviesfree.so (2.9m), 123movieshub.tc (7.4m), 123watchmovies.co (1.3m), 2embed.ru (5.2m), blogdepelis.io (3.3m), cine-calidad.com (7m), cliver.me (1m), cuevana.pro (37.6m), cuevana3.cc (22.6m), d123movies.to (10m), dytt89.com (2.1m), ffmovies.sc (3.1m), pelisplay.co (1.5m), putlockers.li (7.1m), repelis.red (0.2m), repelis24.co (9m), seriesflix.video (2.4m), hackstore.la (4.7m), suzihaza.com (7.9m), televisionlibre.net (9m), we-play.live (4.1m), ymovies.to (2.5m), bflix.watch (3.7m), 123moviesfree.love (5m), pelis24.se (3.3m)
Ymovies.to is also referenced in another DMCA subpoena. It requires domain registry Tonic to produce information on the domain owner due to alleged infringement of the movies Frozen II and Minions.
Cloudflare subpoena (1,2,3 pdf) Tonic subpoena (1,2, pdf)
IPTV providers, suppliers, facilitators and resellers remain key targets for ACE so regularly appear in DMCA subpoena applications. The latest pair list several domains and request the production of personal information related to them.
“The subpoena requires that you provide information concerning the individuals offering infringing material via the domains described above: magistv.net, 6iptv.com, xtremehdiptv.org,” the letter to Cloudflare reads.
“This would include the individuals’ names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account history.”
DMCA subpoena applications for IPTV platforms are a little more detailed than those submitted against standard sites. As well as detailing the content allegedly infringed (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, for example), the main domain, and a portal URL (such as a Stalker directory or M3U file), backend URLs are also referenced.
In many cases, these URLs are simply IP addresses or domains followed by long alphanumeric strings but occasionally there’s a gem to be found.
In a DMCA subpoena targeting Cloudflare, listing vw-source.com and futbollibre.net as alleged infringers of the TV series Supernatural, the backend URLs appear to show Google being used as an HTTP proxy, to access streams made available via Warner Media’s official CDN.
Whether any of these sites and services will fall in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen but the existence of DMCA subpoenas shows that investigations are underway. Data held by Cloudflare often goes nowhere due to the company’s less-than-strict verification processes but there are many other ways to obtain intelligence too.
The IPTV subpoenas can be found here (1,2 pdf) and here (1,2,3 pdf)