The popular torrent tracker Demonoid is back online throughout much of the world after the site, rendered inaccessible by copyright enforcers, relocated to a new, as-yet-blocked URL. The move comes mere weeks after KickAss Torrents also quietly switched to a new URL in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the law.
Along with KickAss and the Pirate Bay, Demonoid.ph was one of the most heavily trafficked piracy sites in the world, attracting millions of daily page views by Internet users looking for illegally posted music, movies, TV shows and software. Despite a nearly two-year downtime that ended in March 2014, the site is still popular enough to have caught the attention of copyright protection groups in Italy (where Demonoid has been largely blocked since October) and elsewhere. When a European court ruled last month that British Internet service providers must de-list Demonoid for users in the United Kingdom, it seemed like the site would once again go dark.
“Securing court orders requiring ISPs to block access to illegal websites is an accepted and legitimate measure to tackle online copyright infringement,” Chris Marcich, president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association of Europe, told TorrentFreak. “It carefully targets sites whose sole purpose is to make money off the back of other people's content while paying nothing back to the legitimate economy.”
Now, though, when a potential visitor enters “Demonoid.ph” into his browser address bar, he's instead redirected to Demonoid.pw, a Peru-based domain. While a mere domain switch may seem too simple to be effective, other major sites have used the same measure successfully.
KickAss Torrents just recently switched from KickAss.to to KickAss.so, prolonging the site's life after it initially found prominence at Kat.ph. The same goes for Popcorn Time. Yet it's been the Pirate Bay that has set the standard for piracy relocation, regularly moving to and from various domain names that sometimes differed by only a single letter.