The creators of Project Free TV, a hugely popular TV show-streaming website, have broken their silence to announce a new domain, almost four months after they disappeared off the internet.
On 24 July, Project Free TV mysteriously vanished, much to the dismay of its legions of fans, who rely on the website to provide links to web players that stream pirated recordings of TV episodes.
The website's usual URL www.free-tv-video-online.info routed to a webpage that was completely stripped of content or a design stylesheet and simply said "Goodbye". Three days later, on 27 July, IBTimes UK discovered that a site called Project Free TV was residing on another domain, projectfreetv.so, that was still functioning.
We contacted Project Free TV's creators at the time for comment, but since then there has been no explanation given, no rumours picked up by TorrentFreak and no copyright holders making a statement.
Creators say one of the domains is an imposter
After almost four months of silence, Project Free TV contacted IBTimes UK, simply saying: "Hello, Project Free TV Is Online. New tv show Site is http://www.Projectfreetv.us and we closed free-tv-video-online.info. Thanks."
A comparison between projectfreetv.so and this new domain projectfreetv.us shows that the design stylesheet on the new domain is less sophisticated than projectfreetv.so and there are no TV show descriptions or images.
A quick search on Google seems to show that the domain projectfreetv.us is still not being crawled on the search engine and a Who Is domain search states that the domain projectfreetv.us was registered in November 2014 and updated on 23 September.
Still, Project Free TV's sudden email raises questions – where did they go? Why didn't they announce that they'd started a new website? How many domains do they have now? Why do they suddenly have yet another domain?
IBTimes UK asked the creators for more information, receiving the following response: "We launched our site this month. projectfreetv.so is just a fake copy of Project Free TV. We have just projectfreetv.us. We had some bad law issues [in the] past due to link exchange with linking sites. so that's why we closed our old site and launched a new one."
What is Project Free TV?
Project Free TV is a website that links to thousands of other websites hosting copies of popular TV shows so that people can watch them online for free. It also provides TV scheduling information.
All users have to do is log on to the website, search for a TV programme and a particular episode they wish to watch, and then they are taken to another website where the video file is hosted and streamed in a web-based video player for free.
Project Free TV is one of the oldest websites of its kind, but today there are many other websites that offer similar services. Copyright holders frequently petition courts to get internet service providers (ISP) to block the services, and the website has been blocked in the UK since November 2013.