Last month Torrentz2.eu had its domain name suspended by the EURid registry. We can now confirm that action was taken following an order from the Belgian Public Prosecutor in Brussels. The Prosecutor hasn’t published the order, but a trail of leads suggests that the MPA was involved. Torrentz2, meanwhile, has added a new backup domain to its arsenal.
When one of the most visited torrent sites loses a domain name, people take notice.
This is exactly what happened last month when the European Registry of Internet Domain Names (EURid) suspended Torrentz2.eu.
The torrent search engine has used the domain for nearly four years but that run came to an abrupt end. According to an email EURid sent to Torrentz2, the domain registry acted on a public prosecutor’s order.
The Order Came from Brussels
The exact office or even a country was missing from this email, nor was there a copy of the order enclosed. When we contacted EURid for further information, the organization said that it never comments on court orders or prosecutor actions. However, it did clarify that the request came from Brussels.
“For this case, we acted upon the explicit order of the Belgian Public Prosecutor to whom you may request a copy of the order,” EURid informed TorrentFreak.
The involvement from Brussels doesn’t come as a complete surprise. We already hinted at this possibility in our previous coverage, because EURid flagged other torrent sites four years ago following a request from the same prosecutor’s office. At the time, the domains were not suspended, however.
Rabbit Hunting in Brussels
Hoping to find out more, we contacted the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office repeatedly, requesting a copy of the order. Unfortunately, the office didn’t share a copy, pointing us to a court order from the Commercial Tribunal in 2018 instead.
When we contacted the Dutch Commercial Tribunal in Brussels, we were referred to the French Commercial Tribunal in the same city. However, our request for paperwork was rejected again.
Instead, we obtained the name of the lawyer that acted on behalf of the claimant in this case. When we specifically asked for the claimant’s name, the court again urged us to contact the lawyer, who works at the firm HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER.
We reached out to the attorney and the press contacts of the Brussels-based law firm but no response was received, ending the official trail. However, there are enough pieces of the puzzle to make an informed guess who the complaining party is.
Motion Picture Association?
Generally speaking, a prosecutor would act upon a complaint from a copyright holder group. The Motion Picture Association (MPA), for example, which has its local headquarters in Brussels.
The same MPA is also working with the earlier mentioned law firm HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER on other piracy cases, which makes that guess even more likely.
TorrentFreak contacted the MPA and asked the organization to confirm or deny its potential involvement but this request remains unanswered too.
It would be in the public interest to know on what grounds this order was made and which rightsholders are connected to it. However, it appears that the trail runs dead here.
For Torrentz2 the final details won’t change much. The site continues to be available from its backup domain Torrentz2.is. In addition, the site has updated its homepage to remove the Torrentz2.eu link, while adding other backups with Torrentsmirror.com and Torrentz.pl.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.