Torrentz.eu mysteriously shuts down, a new piracy crackdown?

Torrentz.eu, one of the largest torrents sites on the Internet, has made a surprise announcement: it ceases its operations for what seems to be an indefinite period of time.

Torrentz was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine combining results from dozens of search engines, the homepage reads.

Starting today, users are no longer able to login or search for torrents. The site did not host torrent files, but helped users find them. Some took Reddit to ask what happened:

Speculations on the reasons why the site disappeared soon followed.

reddit_torrent2

Crackdown or not, torrent-ing is continually decreasing, as streaming services like Netflix, Youtube and HBO gain popularity in North America and Europe.

BitTorrent traffic is now responsible for less than 5% of all Internet traffic in North America, according to reports from network management company Sandvine.

“In every single market where over the top video has entered whether it is Netflix or a local service, we have seen a decline in Filesharing traffic share,” Dan Deeth from Sandvine said. “There are certainly some markets where those streaming services have yet to launch where BitTorrent is still 25%+ of traffic, but in North America it isn’t.”

The Finland-based torrent search engine has 13 years of service and was one of the most visited sites of its kind.

The news comes after Kickass Torrents, another popular torrent site, closed down. Its owner, Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukrainian, was detained in Poland after being charged with a four-count US criminal indictment which was followed by shutdown of the search engine.

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