Namecheap Suspends, and Other ‘Pirate’ .to Domains

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Several popular .to domain names have been suspended by Namecheap over the past few hours. The targets include the streaming portals, Upmovies and, which have dozens of millions of monthly visits. Since .to domains don't support the conventional clientHold status code, their nameservers were changed, presumably in response to an Indian court order obtained by Netflix and several Hollywood studios.

can't be reachedLast week, we reported that an Indian dynamic+ court order had taken down movie-web’s demo site, along with several other pirate sites.

The injunction, issued by the New Delhi High Court, requires local ISPs to block access to the domains. In addition, domain name registrars are also urged to take action.

The reach of this Indian order expands far outside the nation’s borders. Several international domain registrars, including the American company Namecheap, complied with its instructions. Failing to do so, could harm the ability of these companies to operate in India.

At the time of our initial coverage, .to domains were a clear outlier. While several of these were registered through Namecheap, they remained online. A possible reason for this is that the .to registry doesn’t support the standard clientHold status code that’s used to suspend domain names.


For a moment, it seemed that anonymous .to domain names, registered through Namecheap, were a perfect match for pirate sites. However, recent developments show that this is not the case.

Over the past few hours, all Namecheap-registered .to domains listed in the Indian court order have also been taken out. This includes several of the world’s largest pirate sites such as,, and Smaller sites, including and suffered the same fate.

Instead of using the clientHold status code, Namecheap has updated the nameservers of these domains, changing them to and These nameservers are linked to other Namecheap abuse actions.

ns block

Hollywood Connection

TorrentFreak previously reached out to Namecheap requesting a comment on the domain suspensions, but the company hasn’t replied. It seems likely, however, that its actions are a direct response to the Indian court order. All suspended domains are listed in the court order and no other popular .to pirate sites are affected.

Interestingly, the High Court action was instigated by American companies including Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Through the Indian legal system, this eventually came back to the U.S., as Namecheap’s recent actions indicate.

Given the recent success, we expect that the movie industry companies will try a similar approach again going forward. This makes it harder for pirate site operators to keep their domains secure.

Why Namecheap?

Finally, one might wonder why pirate sites would register their domains through an American company to begin with. However, according to a source, the reason for this is fairly straightforward.

Namecheap accepts cryptocurrency payments, which offer more anonymity than credit cards and other traditional payment methods. However, Namecheap’s recent actions show that the domains, including .to ones, are not immune to legal action.

The problem from an enforcement aspect is that the .to registry doesn’t show through which company the domain was registered; but there are ways to find that out, at least for Namecheap.

The suspended sites may eventually make a comeback through new domain names. Upmovies, for one, already appears to have switched to a .net domain. However, Hollywood’s route through the Indian High Court might nonetheless prove to be an effective anti-piracy tool going forward.

Update: Zorox is back at This domain doesn’t use Namecheap as the registrar.

A copy of the High Court injunction is available here (pdf).

Upmovies, relocated



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