Tirexo becomes PapaFlix, Download Zone remains closed

A few weeks after its sudden closure, Tirexo, one of the largest French-speaking illegal download and streaming sites, returns under the name PapaFlix. Zone Telechargement, the other reference service, remains closed… for the moment.

Lovers of films, series, software and other “free” content will be able to rejoice: three weeks after its surprise closure at the end of April, Tirexo is back under a new name. Renamed PapaFlix – no doubt in a nod to Netflix… – this famous French-language download and streaming illegal has a new look, in beta mode, in a version still under construction, but fully functional, and even with recent new features in the catalog. It was the platform administrators who announced it on the Telegram group associated with Tirexo, warning of the presence of some bugs. We imagine that once the news spread, the site will take on new colors. On the other hand, nothing new for Zone Telechargement, the other large online “catalogue” of pirated content, which served as a reference in the field, which had suddenly closed two days after Tirexo, for the same reasons. But given the enthusiasm of users for this kind of service, we imagine that the platform will also resurface soon, probably under a new name. And the vacuum created by the sudden disappearance of these two popular platforms has led users to similar sites and more or less successful clones. And with inflation hitting all sectors of the economy right now, it’s safe to assume that some will unsubscribe from paid services like Netflix and turn to illegal solutions…

Tirexo and Zone Telechargement: a surprise disappearance

We know more about the surprise closure of Tirexo and Zone-Téléchargement. At the end of April 2022, these two popular French-speaking illegal downloading and streaming sites suddenly shut down, two days apart, and without warning, to the chagrin of lovers of “free” content. Instead of the traditional catalog on the home page of Zone Telechargement (Zone-Téléchargement or ZT for short), one could read a message from the administrators announcing the news. Without giving a precise explanation of the reason for this sudden decision and without leaving the slightest hope of return for the regulars. “It is on these few lines that we announce the closure of the ZT site. Yes, this is the end, no joke, everything is not eternal. […] The database will be completely destroyed and the CMS will not be distributed, there will be no recovery or follow-up”, could we read in this surprising announcement of Monday, April 25. Two days earlier, on Saturday April 23, Tirexo officials issued a similar message: “The Tirexo adventure ends there. Thank you for everything. ‘t take away anything we’ve done for us and you so far. Bye.” Unlike Zone Telechargement, the Tirexo catalog is still accessible, but no download or streaming link is available in the files.

Closure of the Download Zone and Tirexo: an action by the ACE

A week after the announcement, we know a little more than the reason for this sudden closure. In fact, it is theAlliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE or Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment) which will be behind this decision. Created in 2019, this organization brings together more than 30 major global entertainment, film and copyright content production companies (including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, Universal, Sky, BBC, Amazon and Hulu) in order to protect their interests, in particular by fighting against all forms of illegal downloading. It is she who would have contacted the administrators of the two sites – which still total more than 30 million visits per month… – urging them to immediately cease their activities. It must be believed that ACE’s arguments must have been particularly convincing since the owners of these sites located respectively in Tunisia (Zome-Téléchargement) and Morocco (Tirexo) immediately lowered the curtain, no doubt for fear of legal proceedings and (very) heavy fines…

As you can imagine, these sudden and almost simultaneous decisions have had the effect of real bombs in the small world of fans of “free” downloading and illegal streaming, the two “services” offered by these famous platforms which, without hosting the smallest file, gave all the links making it possible to recover content of all kinds (films, series, programs TV, music, software, games, magazines, books, etc.). In a very simple way and without any real risk, unlike highly monitored torrents, thanks in particular to the “direct download” technique. And even if no “official” explanation is given, one can easily imagine that they result from legal proceedings launched against the administrators of these sites, theArcom (the new authority that succeeds both the CSA and Hadopi) since the beginning of the year has been conducting a fierce and obviously very effective hunt against all platforms engaged in the piracy of protected content (see our article).

Tirexo and Zone Telechargement: clones still active

Is this the end of “pirate” sites? Not sure. Because in the middle of illegal downloading and streaming, specialized sites have the habit of regularly changing their URL (the address on the Internet) to pass under the radar. And the most popular are often imitated, not to say cloned, by “pirates of pirates” who wish to attract visitors by usurpation of notoriety. Not to mention that the “good addresses” are very easily shared on blogs and social networks (see our article). In addition, if Tirexo and Zone Telechargement have “fallen”, other platforms are still active, such as Extreme Download, Wawacity, Annuaire-Telechargement, LibertyVF, Cpasmal or Zone Annuaire to name only the most popular. not to mention the multiple clones of these two reference sites, which continue their activities, taking advantage of the confusion of former users. However, if Arcom and the beneficiaries maintain their pressure, it is not certain that all will survive. The hunt for piracy continues: it should be more and more difficult to recover copyrighted content without paying anything…

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