Residence > Anti-piracy > Withdrawals and seizures >
Two of the biggest movie and TV streaming piracy sites have had their domain names suspended in recent days. Targets include Lookmovie and Cuevana3, both of which have millions of regular visitors. The suspensions, issued by the .io domain registry, are likely related to copyright issues. However, the two sites are not giving up and have quickly moved to new homes.
Over the years, pirate streaming services have eclipsed torrent sites and direct download portals in popularity.
These streaming sites are seen as a huge problem in Hollywood, which has made shutting them down a priority.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is actively trying to find out who is behind these sites, through DMCA subpoenas for example. However, there are also other ways to access these streaming portals. This includes pursuing their domain names.
Rights holders regularly complain to domain registries and registrars about pirate sites. Most of these companies prefer not to get involved without a court order, but sometimes we see action on this front.
Lookmovie.io and Cuevana3.io disconnect
A few days ago, the .io registry “removed” two of the biggest pirate streaming sites. Lookmovie.io and Cuevana3.io suddenly stopped resolving after their domain status was changed to “ServerHold”. The same goes for the slightly smaller Emovies.io site.
This status, set by the domain registry, effectively renders the domain unusable. Although no official explanation is available, it is reasonable to assume that this action was triggered by a copyright complaint.
TorrentFreak has contacted the .io registry, hoping to find out more, but so far we haven’t heard back.
At this point, we can only speculate on the forces behind domain suspensions. With this in mind, it should be noted that the .io registry was purchased by Afilias a few years ago, which was acquired by Donuts shortly thereafter.
The Donuts link is crucial as an MPA; which is part of ACE, has a “trusted reporter” agreement with the company that allows the Hollywood group to report pirate sites, whose domains can then be suspended. The same seems to have happened to Watchsomuch and Watchseries last week.
Update: After publication, MPA Executive Vice President and Global Content Protection Chief Jan van Voorn informed us that ACE was not behind these suspensions.
“The suspension of these two specific domains was not the result of direct enforcement by ACE, but as you know, we perform similar actions all the time. We work with a number of domain name registries, of registrars and other intermediaries to take down rogue sites and their supporting infrastructure and identify operators, and we’re glad to see the .io registry has joined the fight.
“All high-profile pirate sites and services are targets for ACE and should expect enforcement action directed against them sooner rather than later,” Van Voorn added.
Resilient streaming sites
Although the loss of a domain name temporarily hurts a site’s traffic, Lookmovie and Cuevana3 have no intention of throwing in the towel. In fact, Lookmovie soon moved to lookmovie2.to and, in addition to explaining what happenedthe operator took the opportunity to announce a new design.
“[The domain suspension] happened without any prior warning from our Registrar or anyone else. Whether they knew but couldn’t tell us, whether they didn’t want to tell us or whether they didn’t know, the fact remains that the field is pretty much dead,” says Lookmovie.
“The domain may be down, but we are not. We were planning to release a fresh new design of the website with new features in the next few days, but since we are already at this stage, what the heck… we have done so now on our new domain – lookmovie2.to”
Lookmovie warns its users not to fall into the trap of fake sites and other copycats. To point people in the right direction, the operator has released a list of over a dozen official backup domains, in case those are needed in the future.
Cuevana knows the drill
Similarly, Cuevana3 isn’t going anywhere either. The site would have been moved to cuevana3.me where visitors are greeted with the following message, translated from Spanish.
“Dear users, thank you all for the great support you give us on social networks, especially on Twitter. We want to ask you to add the hashtag: #Cuevana3.me so people aren’t confused with the clones. »
It shouldn’t be surprising to see that targeted sites take countermeasures. After all, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
Last year, ACE announced that it had shut down Cuevana. Following a cease and desist letter, 30 Cuevana-related domain names were assigned to the film industry group. However, Cuevana wasn’t completely down, as the .io domain name was still up and running and thriving.
So far, there is no indication that this mole game is about to end any time soon. At least not by looking for replaceable domain names.
Update: This article has been updated to include a comment from the MPA and we have also removed some refuted speculation.