World's Largest Torrent Search Site Seized by UK Police, but it's Back Already

By Gizmodo Australia on at

Torrentz.eu, the world’s largest torrent search engine, was taken down temporarily on Monday by a UK police order, but it’s already back.

Apparently the City Of London Police action wasn’t in line with accepted procedure, and Torrentz.eu’s domain name registrar was a little too hasty to comply.

The Independent reported early this week that the Torrentz.eu domain was seized by the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, after a takedown letter was sent from the London-based outfit to the site’s Polish domain name registrar. The move didn’t stick, though; the letter was only a request from police, and didn’t have any legal weight behind it.

The ICANN ruling on domain disputes is that a validated court order must be passed and delivered to the registrar before any action can be taken; this prevents malicious third parties from sending unsolicited or irregular takedown demands and holding websites to ransom. Torrentz.eu’s owners apparently said as much to the registrar, according to Torrentfreak, and the site’s DNS listings were reverted and back in action pretty quickly afterwards.

If you read about this on Monday and were surprised to see the site back in action a few days later, don’t be — it’s still under the control of the original owners. Pirates and peer-to-peer file sharers alike can rejoice a while longer. [TorrentFreakThe Independent]

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