Torrentz Piracy Site Pulls Plug on Meta-Search Engine

Torrentz, one of the Internet’s oldest and most popular piracy search engines, has disabled its search functionality and bid adieu to millions of fans.

“Torrentz was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine combining results from dozens of search engines,” a message on the Poland-based site read Friday. “Torrentz will always love you. Farewell.”

The apparent end of the road for Torrentz comes after U.S. law enforcement officials last month seized domain names associated with Kickass Torrents in shutting down the piracy outfit and announced the arrest of a Ukrainian man alleged to be its owner and operator.

Torrentz was on the MPAA’s list of “notorious” piracy websites around the world, per the trade org’s most recent report to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative last fall.

Torrentz.eu currently ranks as the 186th most-visited site worldwide, according to Alexa. It had 15.8 million unique visitors in August 2015 according to comScore, and claimed to index nearly 32 million active torrents via 28 major piracy websites.

The website, established in 2003, temporarily shut down in 2004 in response to a takedown notice from a copyright holder and then came back online “with a more hardened configuration,” according to the MPAA. The website adopted the .eu top-level domain following the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s seizure of multiple domains, and Torrentz has been the subject of blocking orders in the U.K., Denmark and Malaysia.

The Torrentz.eu domain name is registered to a company called Inventoris Sp., which lists a mailing address in Warsaw, Poland.

Even with the shutdown of Torrentz and Kickass Torrents, other large torrent sites remain in operation. Meanwhile, in 2015 torrent sites represented just 17% of overall piracy activity, with streaming sites accounting for 74% of illegal activity for film and TV content, according to a study by U.K.-based antipiracy firm Muso.

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