Over the past few years, stream-ripping service Yout.com has fought legal battles on several continents.
The most prominent lawsuit was filed by the site’s operator, American developer Johnathan Nader, who took the RIAA to court in an attempt to have the site declared legal.
The RIAA case is still pending but, in the meantime, Yout has other battles to attend to. Late last year, Nader learned that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of São Paulo, Brazil, had filed a criminal complaint against him.
As a result of this criminal proceeding, Yout.com was preemptively blocked by Brazilian ISPs. Unsurprisingly, this made the site’s traffic in the country tank. Nader previously spoke out against this “guilty until proven innocent” approach, but the blockades remain in place today.
Perhaps more concerning is a looming criminal sentence. Nader obviously doesn’t believe that his site is illegal but if the Brazilian criminal court decides otherwise, criminal copyright infringement can result in a prison sentence of up to four years.
If Nader is indeed found guilty, he would have to be extradited from the United States to Brazil, which isn’t straightforward. That might be one of the reasons why the prosecution offered Yout’s operator another way out; by signing an agreement.
Prosection Offers a Deal
The deal was proffered a few months ago behind closed doors. In exchange for reaching an agreement on several predetermined terms, the public prosecutor was willing to suspend the criminal prosecution. However, this would come at a cost.
Under the terms, Yout’s operator would pay the authorities 1.9 million Brazilian real, roughly $400,000, to be allocated to a special fund earmarked for social programs.
The deal also required Yout.com to actively block Brazilian visitors and delete their accounts, while making sure that all local payments are blocked as well. In addition, the site would have to log access attempts from Brazil and share these data with the authorities twice a month.
This proposal was discussed during a hearing last week. After carefully deliberating the proposal with his legal team, Nader decided to decline the offer.
Yout’s operator prefers not to comment publicly on the matter at this time but with the deal off the table, the criminal prosecution will continue as initially planned and Nader will do everything in his power to prove that the site isn’t breaking the law.