A fight over domain names killed one of internet's biggest pirate sites


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The age of video piracy, in some ways, is over. It's not just that streaming video has become relatively cheap and simple, with even long-time holdouts like HBO expanding into online-only options. It's not just that ISPs finally settled on a fairly standard "six strikes" warning system for pirates. It's that the anonymous piracy ecosystem itself is sometimes more fragile than it seems. According to TorrentFreak, this is exactly what killed one of the internet's most prominent pirate sites, EZTV.

EZTV was (and still is, technically) a methodically organized television piracy service, collecting and distributing BitTorrent trackers for just about any moderately popular TV show. Like most other torrent sites, it's had several false alarms, but it's run almost consistently since its founding in 2005. But last month, it reportedly ran into trouble with Italian domain registrars and abandoned its long-standing .it suffix, moving to the Switzerland-based domain EZTV.ch. A change of address is nothing new for a piracy site; the veritably indestructible Pirate Bay has hopped between several over the course of its life. In this case, though, it was the first in a chain of deeply unfortunate events.

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