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Namecheap has suspended the domain of the Nofile.io file hosting service. The suspension comes weeks after the RIAA targeted the site, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the music group’s investigation directly or indirectly pushes the domain registrar to act.
Nofile.io is a simple and popular file hosting service that has been around for about two years.
Similar to other hosting services, people can use it to upload and share files. However, this week the site was inaccessible.
Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the downtime was the result of a domain name issue. It appears that the site’s registrar, Namecheap, put the Nofile.io domain on “serverHold”.
According to ICANN, the serverHold domain status is rare and “generally adopted in legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.”
This status is set by the domain registrar, Namecheap in this case, and advises the registry not to enable DNS. As a result, the website in question will become inaccessible.
It is not known why Namecheap took this step. We contacted the company earlier this week, but had no response.
The suspension may be related to a previous problem. As reported last month, the RIAA obtained a DMCA subpoena ordering Namecheap to hand over the personal data of the domain name owner.
“The website associated with this domain name offers files containing sound recordings that belong to one or more of our member companies and have not been authorized for this type of use,” wrote RIAA at the time.
The RIAA pointed out that a piece leaked by rapper “Tyler, the Creator” titled “Earfquake” was shared on the site and requested the personal details of the owner of the domain from Namecheap.
While the registrar is not known to suspend domains based on these kinds of allegations, it could be that this investigation has raised red flags. For example, he may have revealed that the WHOIS information was false. This may justify a suspension.
Last week we reported a similar issue, where a torrent site lost its domain name due to inaccurate WHOIS data.
Whether something similar has happened here is not confirmed. However, unless the operator of Nofile.io resolves the issue with Namecheap, the site’s domain name will remain suspended.