Over the years, pirate streaming services have eclipsed torrent sites and direct download portals in popularity.
These streaming sites are considered a big problem in Hollywood, so shutting them down was a priority.
Reading: What happened to look movie
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 means of accessing these streaming portals. that includes going after 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 we do occasionally see some action on this front.
lookmovie.io and Cuevana3.io go offline
A few days ago, the .io registry took down 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 applies to the slightly smaller site emovies.io.
This state, set by the domain registry, makes the domain unusable. while no official explanation is available, it’s safe to assume this action was prompted by a copyright complaint.
torrentfreak contacted the .io registry in hopes of getting more information, but so far no response.
At this point, we can only speculate on the forces behind the domain suspensions. In this sense, it is worth noting that the .io registry was bought by afilias a few years ago, which was acquired by donuts not long after.
the link of the donuts is crucial as the mpa; which is part of ace, has a “trusted reporter” agreement with the company that allows the hollywood group to report pirated sites, whose domains can then be suspended. it seems the same thing happened with watchsomuch and watchseries last week.
Update: Following publication, mpa’s EVP and Head of Global Content Protection, Jan van Voorn, informed us that Ace is 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 execute similar actions all the time. We collaborate with a number of domain name registries, registrars and other intermediaries to crack down on pirate sites and their supporting infrastructure and identify the operators, and we are pleased to see that the .io registry has joined the fight.”
“All high-profile pirate sites and services are targets of ace, and should expect targeted enforcement action against them sooner rather than later,” added van voorn.
resistant transmission sites
While the loss of a domain name will temporarily hurt a site’s traffic, lookmovie and Cuevana3 have no plans to throw in the towel. in fact, lookmovie quickly moved on to lookmovie2.to, and in addition to explaining what happened, the operator took this opportunity to announce a new design.
“[The domain suspension] occurred without notice from our registrar or anyone else. Whether they knew but couldn’t tell us, didn’t want to tell us, or didn’t know, the fact is the domain is pretty much dead,” explains lookmovie.
“The domain may be down, but we are not. we were planning to launch a new website design with new features in the next few days, but since we’re already at this point, what the hell…we did it now on our new domain: lookmovie2.to”
Lookmovie warns its users not to fall for fake sites and other copycats. To point people in the right direction, the operator published a list of more than a dozen official backup domains, in case these are needed in the future.
cave knows how to do it
Likewise, Cuevana3 is also not going anywhere. The site has reportedly moved to Cuevana3.me, where visitors are welcomed with the following message, translated from Spanish.
“Dear users, thank you all for the great support you are giving us on social networks, especially on twitter. we want to ask you to add the hashtag: #cuevana3.me so that people don’t get confused with the clones.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that the targeted sites are taking countermeasures. After all, it’s not the first time that this has happened.
Last year, ace reported that Cuevana had closed. Following a cease and desist letter, 30 Cuevana-related domain names were signed to the film industry group. however, Cuevana was not completely inactive, as the .io domain name was still operational and thriving.
For now, there are no signs that this mole whack game is going to end any time soon. at least not looking for replaceable domain names.
Update: This article has been updated to include a comment from the mpa, and we’ve also removed some refuted speculation.