Fmovies and Other Piracy Streaming Giants Switch to New Domains

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Several of the largest pirate movie streaming sites, including Fmovies and Sflix, relocated to new homes over the weekend, switching domain registrars in the process. No official explanation was provided, but global vulnerability to Indian court orders seems a likely trigger.

fmovies logoWith more than a quarter billion site visits between February and April, pirate streaming site Fmovies is seen as a major threat by Hollywood.

The pirate site rivals legal streaming platforms such as Disney+ in web traffic and has become the poster child for rejuvenated site blocking proposals in the U.S. Congress.

Fmovies is no newcomer to the pirate streaming market. The site has been around for quite some time and ACE and the MPA have pinpointed its alleged operators in Vietnam. Efforts to shut the site down have failed thus far, however, while its main user base in the United States continues to grow.

The Indian Threat

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon for Hollywood. In India, the home of Bollywood, courts have recently signed several site blocking orders, amplified with broad injunctions intended to have a global effect.

In addition to requiring Indian ISPs to block access to pirate sites, High Court orders also require domain registrars to suspend their domain names. Some American domain name registrars are receptive to these orders, as they otherwise risk being banned from doing business in India.

Earlier this year, this resulted in suspensions of popular pirate site domains including Zorox, Upmovies, Animeflix, and Vegamovies. Many of these suspensions were the result of action by foreign companies, including US-based domain name registrars Namecheap and Porkbun.

Top Pirate Sites Switch Domains

Domain suspensions can prove punishing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that pirate sites go down for good., which lost its domain last month, continues its operations from And it’s not the only popular pirate site to relocate.

This weekend, several pirate streaming sites switched to new domain names. Fmovies, for example, traded in its domain name for, without any explanation.

Other popular pirate site domains that appear to be part of the same group, took similar decisions. For example, moved to,, became, and switched to


The suggestion that these sites are operated by one group is strengthened by their redirection notices. All appeared at the same time and are identical, as shown above.

Why Move?

None of the sites provided an explanation for their sudden moves. We can only guess what motivated them, but considering the domain crackdowns over the past several months, one explanation stands out.

TorrentFreak learned that the originating domain names of these pirate sites were all registered though Namecheap. This makes them vulnerable to Indian court orders. The new domains have moved away from Namecheap, possibly as a preemptive move to avoid suspensions.

Technically, the original domain names could have been transferred out without moving to a new domain. It’s not clear why that hasn’t happened, but there must be a good reason for it.

All new domain names are still .to, which are overseen by the Tonic registry. The new domains might also be registered there directly but, in any case, the new domains are not linked to Namecheap.

It’s possible that the Tonic registry will be subjected to the same Indian court order, but the company’s compliance standards might be different. Thus far, only .to domains registered though Namecheap have been suspended. Other domains listed in the same court orders, such as and, remain active.

Update: also switched to a few days ago.


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