Targeting the domain names of “pirate” sites and services has become one of the main priorities for copyright holders.
Previously, City of London Police managed to convince several registrars to suspend sites that allegedly infringe copyright and earlier this week Swedish authorities commented on their efforts to seize two of Pirate Bay’s domains.
Since it’s not always easy to convince registrars or registries that these sites are acting against the law, rightsholders are also exploring another route, pointing out administrative issues for example. This is how EZTV lost its .IT domain.
Private BitTorrent tracker TorrentShack also ran into administrative problems this week, and on Monday the site’s .EU domain became unreachable.
“As you can see there is a problem with the Whois/Domain at the moment, the problem is not with our setup and is being reported by the domain hosts as fully live (not suspended),” TorrentShack staff said.
“If necessary we have backup solutions in place and we are not going anywhere while the problem is being tracked down,” they added.
While the site’s registrar may not report a suspension, the EURid registry certainly does, as shown below.
This issue is reminiscent of the trouble a popular Popcorn Time fork faced a few months ago. They also lost control of their .EU domain, which is now listed as withdrawn.
To find out more about the reason for these suspensions TorrentFreak contacted the EURid registry. We were informed that a “third-party” alerted them to the fact that both domain names were registered with inaccurate details.
“We have initiated our verification procedure based upon complaints from third parties and we have suspended/withdrawn the respective domain names based on inaccurate holder’s address details,” an EURid spokesperson told us.
“As you know, the .eu terms and conditions, as well as the registration policy, require the domain holder to keep his/her contact information as shown in WHOIS complete and accurate at all times. Based on our verification, we can confirm that for both .eu domain names that was not the case.”
The above means that TorrentShack probably won’t return on their .eu domain name and they have switched to theshack.us.to for now. This switch is not without problems, as many torrents still use the old .eu domain as an announce URL.
There seems to be an easy fix for this issue, as several users report that the torrents will become active again by manually pointing the .eu domain name to the tracker IP-addresses in the hosts file.
The identity of the mysterious “third-party” behind the complaints is likely to remain a mystery. However, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they’re most likely from a copyright holder group.