Torrentz site blocked in UK as part of Operation Creative

The latest torrent download site, Torrentz.eu, has been blocked in the UK by the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit

Illegal download

Torrentz.eu has been blocked by the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) as part of 'Operation Creative'.

Torrentz.eu is registered by Polish company Nazwa and is one of the largest torrent search and download sites in the world with millions of visitors per day.

The torrent search engine will still be available through its other sites, based in Switzerland and Montenegro and hopes to switch from the .eu domain suffix to another, allowing it to become accessible again.

Torrentz was told to change its DNS entries to ns1.blocked.netart.pl and ns2.blocked.netart.pl, meaning no one could access the site. However, just hours later, service was restored when the DNS entries were changed back by the domain's registrar.

Nazwa'a legal team said the suspension was unlawful because it did not receive a court order as stipulated by a ICANN's Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy panel and therefore there was no reason for the site to be taken offline.

However, the site is now offline again, suggesting PIPCU was able to take action after all.

Operation Creative is run by the City of London Police and seeks to block domain names that have been involved in copyright piracy via the domain's registrar. The copyright holder will identify websites using its content and the police will then verify them. When they are satisfied the website is operating illegal, the force will contact the domain's registrar and ask them to block it.

In December, police took down 40 websites as part of the operation with an aim to combat internet-enabled crime and disrupt the advertising revenues on infringing websites.

PIPCU explained how its system works to Torrentfreak: "As part of Operation Creative, rights holders in the creative industries identify and report copyright infringing websites to PIPCU, providing a detailed package of evidence indicating how the site is involved in illegal copyright infringement.

"Officers from PIPCU then evaluate the websites and verify whether they are infringing copyright. At the first instance of a website being confirmed as providing copyright infringing content, the site owner is contacted by officers at PIPCU and offered the opportunity to engage with the police, to correct their behaviour and to begin to operate legitimately."

If the site owners don't co-operate, the domain registrar is contacted and advised of the criminality with the recommendation to block the site.

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