The world’s largest pirate anime site, Zoro.to, has reportedly been shut down by ACE.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is a global anti-piracy organization that is responsible for shutting down hundreds of pirate streaming sites.
We have no idea which streaming apps/sites hold the proper licensing for the content they broadcast, and we rely on reports from ACE like this one to better inform our visitors about the legality of streaming websites.
Zoro to Shut Down
This time it’s a notable anime streaming website on ACE’s radar that was seized – Zoro.to.
If you visit the official website (zoro.to) you will be presented with this screen – “This site can’t be reached.”
Zoro.to was the world’s largest anime pirate site, with over 205 million monthly visits.
This has been seen as a significant event in the world of online piracy, with reports suggesting that it was prompted by issues related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Piracy has been a growing issue in Vietnam over the past five years, with multiple major American rights holders expressing concerns about the rising threat.
Some of the largest piracy sites, including 123movies, Putlocker, Kisscartoon, 123movieshub, and GoMovies, became global household names, despite their content largely being pirated from existing brands.
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In 2018, the US Ambassador to Vietnam took a stance against these sites, prompting the Vietnamese government to initiate criminal prosecutions that led to the shutdown of several notorious sites.
In the wake of these shutdowns, hundreds of domains with similar branding sprouted on the web, none of which reached the level of influence and persistence of the previous major pirate sites. Meanwhile, a new generation of pirate sites was emerging, with some drawing up to 200+ million visits each month.
Despite legal developments in Vietnam, the government’s response to local pirate platforms remained unclear until recently.
On June 29, 2023, Vietnam welcomed Jan van Voorn, Head of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and Chief of Global Content Protection at the MPA, and Karyn Temple, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Counsel of the Hollywood industry group.
This meeting was deemed an opportunity for “open, substantive and effective exchanges” on online content protection, with Vietnamese authorities promising to intensify the fight against intellectual property crime.
Zoro.to was directly called out during this meeting, with ACE intending to completely shut down the pirate site to prevent its reopening under a different name.
By July 4, ACE had already scored a significant victory with the closure of 2Embed, a site that served as a video library for hundreds of others.
Zoro.to Rebrands to Aniwatch
Subsequently, rumors of significant changes at Zoro.to began circulating.
There was a message posted in an Anime forum over a week ago about Zoro.to rebranding to a new site called “Aniwatch.”
Without any immediate explanation, Zoro.to left its domain and reappeared as Animewatch.to, with an entirely new design and an announcement of a change in its development team.
Such a domain change is unusual for piracy sites and hinted at possible enforcement actions against Zoro.to.
In the days following, Zoro.to’s domain records were updated to point to nameservers used by the MPA for seized domains, further suggesting that Zoro.to might have been under pressure from ACE/MPA directly or indirectly through local authorities.
While the transfer of the Zoro.to domain to MPA ownership remains unconfirmed due to privacy concerns, the trend of domain changes is not unique to Zoro.to.
Other piracy sites, like Goku.to, have undergone similar changes, suggesting a broader enforcement push against online piracy.
The story of Zoro.to underscores the increasing global scrutiny against online piracy and the continuous efforts of rights holders and anti-piracy organizations to combat it.
It also highlights the adaptability of pirate sites that attempt to evade legal repercussions by changing domains and operations. Whether these tactics will prove effective in the long term, however, remains to be seen.
Overall, it will be interesting to see what ultimately happens to the operators of Zoro to.
We are also curious to determine which pirate streaming sites are next on ACE’s target list. We will always keep our visitors informed on the latest streaming news when the information is released.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen notable streaming sites shut down by ACE and other anti-piracy authorities.
- USTVGO Shut Down by ACE
- Top Piracy Threats Reported to US Government
- Over 400 Streaming Sites Shut Down by BREIN
For more information on this story, you can watch the video below and view the report on TorrentFreak.
Legal Streaming Options
It’s impossible for IPTV Wire to determine whether unverified IPTV services, apps, websites, or add-ons hold the proper licensing.
If and when a streaming website is deemed illegal, we notify our users immediately and update reports on our website like this one to reflect that information.
In conclusion, the end-user is responsible for all content accessed through free streaming sites, apps, and paid services.
See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.
For 100% verified and legal IPTV providers, see the options listed below:
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