YIFY/ YTS Shuts Down Forever – The End of a Piracy Icon

YTSTen days ago the popular movie torrent site YTS stopped working.

The downtime raised concern among many BitTorrent users, not least because the site belongs to movie release group YIFY, which has dominated public BitTorrent sites for several years.

Today we can report that this reign has come to an end. YIFY and YTS have shutdown permanently, as predicted earlier this week.

A lot of information has been made available over the past several days and multiple sources have now confirmed that YTS and YIFY will not return. The entire operation has stopped which means that no new official YIFY movie releases will appear on any torrent site, anywhere.

TF has received additional explanatory details from trusted sources, but we have been asked not to reveal all of the information just yet. However, our sources confirm without doubt that the shutdown is permanent.

The operator of YTS/YIFY, meanwhile, remains silent.

The news marks the end of a remarkable era. YIFY first arrived on the scene in 2010 and the group has shared over 6,000 releases since.

The group’s website (YTS.to) also gained popularity in recent years. Earlier this year the operator informed TF that they had close to a million unique visitors per day, generating six million pageviews.

The YTS/YIFY shutdown doesn’t mean that piracy will end anytime soon, but it’s one of the most significant changes to the landscape in recent history. YIFY releases were consistently among the most-pirated movies, week after week.

In an interview in 2013, YIFY attributed this popularity to the presentation and consistency of its releases.

“I personally think that many people are following and downloading YIFY encodes due to the consistency we offer in our releasing. Everything from the consistent film cover art, to the information layout, and ultimately to the file-size of our encodes,” YIFY said.

“I believe this is important because people like stability and assurance with what they are downloading. By adding consistency to a reasonable file-size, we have filled a spot in the community, which seemingly has a lot of demand,” he added.

YIFY also played a crucial part as the primary movie supplier for many Popcorn Time forks. The size of the shutdown fallout will become apparent during the weeks to come.

Over the past several days many people have been misled by fake YIFY websites, Facebook accounts and impostors. These should not be trusted and are trying to profit from the confusion.

To be continued.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Should RuTracker Delete 320,000 Torrents to Pacify Record Labels?

Previously known as Torrents.ru, RUTracker.org is a very large torrent tracker and one of Russia’s most popular sites overall. It’s also facing a huge dilemma which has the potential to seriously affect the site’s functionality and perhaps its entire future.

RuTracker’s problems arise from its poor relationship with the National Federation of the Music Industry (NFMI), a group which counts Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI among its members. They insist that RuTracker repeatedly infringes their copyrights on a grand scale and as a result they want the site blocked in Russia.

To achieve this aim, earlier this month NFMI filed a lawsuit at the Moscow City Court, the first of its kind against a torrent site. If successful, RuTracker would be permanently blocked by all Russian ISPs. However, it appears that RuTracker’s operators see the chance of a negotiated way out.


RuTracker insists that it cooperates with rightsholders who want torrents removed and says that since the start of the year around 10,000 have been deleted. It has also responded to 19 direct requests (covering 60 torrents) from telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor.

“We cooperate with right holders, precisely because the role of RuTracker is a non-profit library,” the site said in a statement this week.

According to the site (and present issues aside), things have been running pretty smoothly too. In the past three years no complaints have been filed with its ISP or domain registrar. Furthermore, no copyright holders have ever publicly complained that the site refuses to take down torrents.

Nevertheless, RuTracker says it has been handed an ultimatum.

“We have been handed a huge list containing several million artists, albums and songs with an ultimatum to remove everything that is in this list and block the appearance of any of these songs, albums or artists on RuTracker in the future. Otherwise the NFMI will insist on blocking RuTracker in the territory of the Russian Federation through the courts,” the site says.

After trawling through the lists provided by the labels, RuTracker says it has drawn a number of conclusions.

First, they contain matches for around 22,000 music albums/torrents accessible via the site. Second, “full or partial matches” for songs present on the list appear in a further 300,000 torrents.

While not all of the songs on the second batch of albums are a problem individually, as long as just one NFMI track exists in a torrent (in a compilation, for example), that whole torrent becomes an issue. The site believes that to wade through them all properly could take months or even years to complete.

Let the people decide

deleteSo, in a nutshell, RuTracker is presenting its users with a choice. Do they want the site’s operators to delete 320,000 torrents to pacify the labels, or would they prefer them to be left intact but face a nationwide ISP ban?

While the choice appears simple on first view, on closer examination it becomes more complex. Losing 320,000 torrents would obviously be a blow, but an estimated 50% of RuTracker’s users are from Russia and it’s far from clear how many would be capable of circumventing a blockade.

“Not all users from Russia will be able to bypass the ISP block so the current audience of RuTracker (about 13 million active accounts) would be quickly reduced. Also, the number of new torrents would decrease strongly and the speeds available on existing torrents would be noticeably lower,” the site explains.

And of course, even if the site does remove 320,000 torrents as asked, who’s to say the demands will stop there? The site predicts that sooner or later there will be other unresolved copyright issues which will result in RuTracker being blocked in Russia anyway.

RuTracker reportedly has around 1.6 million torrents so the chances of further complaints are indeed extremely high. Nevertheless, the site is currently running a poll among its members to decide its fate. Delete the torrents and try to stay useful to all, or refuse and have millions of members locked out?

Currently the poll has attracted almost 278,317 votes, an indication of just how big RuTracker is. Thus far nearly three-quarters are defiant. While 30% think the site should remove the torrents to avoid being blocked, 70% disagree. That large majority believes that the site should leave the torrents where they are and trust users to find a way to circumvent any blockade.

It’s a dilemma no other torrent site has ever faced. The outcome and fallout will be extremely interesting.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Google Asked to Remove One Billion “Pirate” Search Results

google-bayIn recent years copyright holders have overloaded Google with DMCA takedown notices, targeting links to pirated content.

These requests have increased dramatically over the years. In 2008, the search engine received only a few dozen takedown notices during the entire year, but today it processes two million per day on average.

This week TorrentFreak crunched the numbers in Google’s Transparency Report and found that since its publication Google has been asked to remove over 1,007,766,482 links to allegedly infringing webpages.

Indeed, that’s more than a billion reported URLs, a milestone Google crossed just a few days ago.

The number of notices continues to increase at a rapid pace as nearly half of the requests, 420 million, were submitted during the first months of 2015. The graph below illustrates this sharp rise in takedown notices.


While some notices identify pages that are not infringing, most are correct. These are then removed by Google and no longer appear in the search results.

The successful takedown notices are also factored into the Google’s search algorithms, where frequently targeted websites are downranked.

TorrentFreak asked Google for a comment on the most recent milestone but the company chose not to respond on the record.

In a submission to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator last week Google stated that it has taken various measures to help copyright holders, including swift removals.

“We process more takedown notices, and faster, than any other search engine,” the search giant commented.

“We receive notices for a tiny fraction of everything we host and index, which nonetheless amounts to millions of copyright removal requests per week that are processed, on average, in under six hours.”

The company rejects broader actions, such as the removal of entire domain names, as this would prove counterproductive and lead to overbroad censorship.

Copyright holders, however, don’t share these concerns. Over the years groups such as the MPAA and RIAA have repeatedly argued that clearly infringing sites should be barred from Google’s index. In addition, they want Google to promote legal services.

While Google believes that the billion reported URLs are a sign that the DMCA takedown process is working properly, rightsholders see it as a signal of an unbeatable game of whack-a-mole.

As this stalemate continues, we can expect the number of reported pages to continue to rise in the future, adding millions of new URLs on a daily basis.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak