In recent weeks several piracy-related websites lost control over their domain names. Most of these issues could be tracked back to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in the UK.
In recent weeks PIPCU sent letters to various domain name registrars of alleged pirate sites, requesting a suspension of domain names that had been classified as “infringing” by copyright holder groups.
This resulted in a temporary suspension for the popular torrent search engine Torrentz.eu, while FileCrop, Cricfree, Delishows and others lost permanent control over their domains.
This week another popular site ran into domain trouble. Putlocker.BZ, a popular movie streaming site with millions of active users per week, had its domain name suspended yesterday.
“We are having an issue with .BZ Registry, so we had to move from putlocker.bz to http://putlocker.is/. IS is the domain name of Iceland – a safe haven for freedom of speech,” the site’s operator announced.
At this point it’s unclear whether Putlocker’s issues are related to the actions of UK Police. TorrentFreak contacted the site for more details but we have yet to hear back.
For now the site continues to operate via the new .IS TLD. Iceland is indeed a relatively safe haven. The domain registry ISNIC previously informed us that it would not proactively suspend a domain, and that it would only take action when an Icelandic Court asks them to.
“Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant’s usage of their domains,” ISNIC’s Marius Olafsson told TorrentFreak.
The above means that a letter from PIPCU would not be enough to suspend the new Putlocker.is domain name.
While PIPCU’s efforts under the “Operation Creative” flag may not eradicate piracy altogether, they may make some domain names and registrars a no-go area for these types of websites. Whether that will have any effect has yet to be seen, but copyright holders must be pleased with the close collaboration.
Update: The Putlocker.BZ team told TorrentFreak that they received a letter from PIPCU last month, which makes it likely that the UK police is behind the suspension. Putlocker.BZ’s has reached out to NIC.BZ to see if the issues can be resolved.
Update: The Putlocker.BZ team told us that they have the .BZ back, but they will continue to operate from the .IS domain name. The old domain name is currently redirecting to the new one.
Note: Putlocker.BZ is not in any way connected to Putlocker.com, the cloud hosting service that’s now known as Firedrive.