Torrentz.eu is back in business, after serving just a day of suspension from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in the United Kingdom.
Nazwa, a Poland-based domain name registrar, suspended Torrentz.eu domain, following a letter from PIPCU that ordered the suspension. The letter was also said to threaten registrars with legal action should it not suspend the domain names given.
The legal team of the foremost torrent search engine argued that the suspension order was unlawful, which eventually led to the reinstatement of the DNS entries of the domain name. The lawyers explained in a letter to Nazwa that it was not the latter’s duty to conduct domain-name suspension based on third-party letters or orders alone, which are not even backed by any court order. Nazwa never replied to the lawyer’s letter but brought back the domain name on the Internet, which was considered a sign of admission of the suspension error.
The City of London Police targeted dozens of domains by way of registrars in the recent months, says research. While some followed police instructions, others looked the other way unless it comes with a court order, which is said to be the appropriate thing to do.
Further research also says that the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (TDRP) panel of ICANN made an earlier conclusion that a court order is indeed required before such domain suspensions could be imposed. However, the .eu domain doesn’t fall in the TDRP of ICANN.
Founded in September 2013, PIPCU was already involved in about 40 domain suspensions. The domains were allegedly engaged in the piracy and illegal distribution of copyrighted contents. Said property crime unit works closely with media industry members and government counterparts such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These units not only interrupt operations of such sites allegedly engaged in piracy activities but also of those individuals and organizations engaged in trading counterfeit items.
The latest moves that sought registrars for domain-names suspension was reported by TorrentFreak as part of the “Operation Creative” of PIPCU. The copyright holders are the ones that identify the websites that should be targeted by police. Police officers will then verify the information prior to taking any further action.
“If a website fails to comply and engage with the police, then a variety of other tactical options may be used including; contacting the domain registrar informing them of the criminality and seeking suspension of the site and disrupting advertising revenue through the use of an Infringing Website List (IWL) available to those involved in the sale and trading of digital advertising,” PIPCU says.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has an ongoing campaign versus copyright infringement, pursuing for the suppression of traffic to websites that are engaged in said illegal activities. Lately, it sent a report on infamous infringing websites to the US Trade Representative for review.
"Others actively champion their supposed subversiveness by proclaiming to be advocates for freedom of expression while undermining the careers of creators whose very existence is based on expression,” the RIAA says.
Torrentz.eu is among the biggest torrent sites on the web and is very popular among Internet users for its seeded films, with visitors counting to millions daily. It is available in all countries unless where it was blocked by ISPs, such as in the UK where it is also among the 21 websites blocked since October 2013, following a court order to place a virtual wall.