Popular online piracy torrent metasearch engine Torrentz has been taken offline and is no longer allowing users to perform searches for pirated content.
At 1am BST on Friday 5 August, users began posting on Reddit that when they visited torrentz.eu, torrentz.me, torrentz.ch, torrentz.in and the https version, the website homepage still loads but the usual welcome text has been changed to read: "Torrentz was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine combining results from dozens of search engines."
And when users tried to search for something to download on the search engine, no results would show as the search engine functionality had been disabled, and instead the search engine displayed the text, "Torrentz will always love you. Farewell."
Torrentz was founded in 2003, just a few weeks before the infamous Pirate Bay. Initially the website hosted torrent sites, but eventually the site's team decided to turn the website into a metasearch engine instead.
Online for over 13 years, and one of the biggest torrent search engines in existence, Torrentz has remained running despite the turbulent fates of other popular online piracy websites like the Pirate Bay, IsoHunt, RapidShare and most recently, Kickass Torrents.
Copyright holders are increasing their efforts against online piracy. In July, the hugely popular Kickass Torrents, which has overtaken the Pirate Bay in popularity, was shut down after the US Department of Justice arrested the site's founder Artem Vaulin in Poland and seized the site's domains. Vaulin is now being represented by Kim Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken, as mirrors and proxies of the popular site continue to flourish.
Surprisingly, the team behind Torrentz has not made any public announcement, and neither Reddit nor torrent news site TorrentFreak have any knowledge of what has happened to cause the search engine to stop working.
IBTimes UK will update once we hear more about the fate of Torrentz.