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EZTV, one of the world's most popular torrent sites, appears to have lost control of its main domain after its registry marked it with a serverHold status code. Meanwhile, torrent multi-search and proxy index Torrents.io received the same treatment at roughly the same time.

EZTVOver more than a decade, EZTV established itself as one of the most respected torrent sites on the Internet. But five years ago, unwelcome change hit the platform.

In 2015, former EZTV operator NovaKing was ousted from the platform after an apparent hostile takeover of the TV-focused torrent site. Interestingly, this development began when the original EZTV had domain troubles, something now being faced by its new owners.

EZTV.io Faces Domain Issues
While EZTV has other domain options, the site has been stable on its EZTV.io domain for some time, including when the site ranked #7 in our annual review of the world’s top 10 torrent sites earlier this year. During Wednesday, however, a serious issue hit the domain, as the image below shows.

EZTV.io Whois
For those unfamiliar with domain codes, having the term ‘serverHold’ in a domain’s register status is nearly always bad news. According to ICANN, the serverHold domain status is something people shouldn’t come across very often but when it does appear, it’s usually the result of “legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.”

Given the nature of the site, it’s possible if not likely that copyright issues underpin the domain status change at EZTV but at the time of writing we have no official confirmation.

EZTV.io Disabled, EZTV Switches to a New Domain
Precisely what will happen to the .io domain now isn’t clear but it appears that EZTV no longer has control over it. According to an archived copy of the site on the Wayback Machine, up until at least Tuesday EZTV was still promoting the .io variant as its main domain, both on the main site and its status page.

As the image below shows, that was now changed, with the TV-focused site now promoting EZTV.re as the alternative main domain.

EZTV Status
While this development is a setback for EZTV, others are facing similar issues.

Torrents.io Domain Also Suspended By Registry
Up until this week, Torrents.io acted as a multi-site search engine for torrents. It also provided an index of proxy sites for some of the world’s most popular torrent indexes including The Pirate Bay, RARBG, 1337x, RuTracker, and LimeTorrents.

However, in common with EZTV, it too went dark due to domain issues on Wednesday. Torrents.io, which is managed by the same domain registry as EZTV.io, also displays the ominous ‘serverHold’ status code, suggesting that legal trouble may be in the air.

Torrents.io ServerHold
Unlike EZTV which had several domains in backup, Torrents.io doesn’t currently appear to have any alternatives, so visitors are greeted with nothing at the time of writing.

Update: An earlier version of this article suggested that Torrents.io and EZTV.io may be run by the same team. The operator of the former denies that and the piece has been corrected. He also reports that the site has a new domain, Torrends.to

Like EZTV, .io Domains Are Administered in the UK
Domains such as EZTV.io are assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory and administered by the Internet Computer Bureau in the UK. This is interesting because EZTV and Torrents.io also have a legal presence there.

While the connections have been known for years, EZTV is ostensibly operated by a company in the UK called EZ Cloud Ltd, a company that appears to fulfill all of its filing obligations as a limited company but without doing any actual business – apparently. The company name is also present in the WHOIS records for its new domain, EZTV.re.

Back in the summer, torrent site ‘BitTorrent Database’ also lost control over its BTDB.io domain after the .io domain registry marked it with an identical ‘serverHold’ status code. In 2017, infamous academic pirate site Sci-Hub also had an .io domain suspended. Its severHold status remains in place to this day.