Late last month one of the biggest piracy icons ended its operation.
Faced with a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Hollywood the operator of YTS and the YIFY release group decided to throw in the towel.
However, that doesn’t mean that these famous have disappeared for good. Several unrelated sites are trying to take over YIFY’s dedicated followers, with YTS.ag being the most successful thus far.
The site, which is connected to the people who hijacked EZTV earlier this year, want the public to believe that they are the real YTS. They misleadingly use the name of a member of the real YTS team, for example, and suggest that YTS simply decided to move to a new domain.
This strategy appears to have worked since hundreds of thousands of visitors have viewed the site already. And after the ‘fake’ YTS decided to encode their own rips, many believe that it’s business as usual.
Hoping to push the traffic numbers up even further, YTS.ag also contacted several of the most popular torrent sites, asking if they can release their torrents there as well.
In their email the operators make it clear that they have nothing to do with the original YTS/YIFY team. However, they say they would like to pick up where the original group left off.
“Do we have acknowledgement from previous YIFY team to do this? The answer is that we could not reach them,” the email reads.
“We do our best to continue their work, thus so far we have uploaded our own encodes/releases with very similar quality/size of previous YTS team and even improving a bit the audio part of the encodes. We have our own seedboxes and upload very fast the releases.”
The YTS.ag team offers the torrent sites a “partnership” and hopes it will be able to add their releases to these sites, using the popular YTS brand.
“You have a very strong community and your users are searching daily for new YTS releases. Even though they can find them at yts.ag we would like to partnership with you and add our new releases to your website,” they write.
TF spoke with several torrent site operators who say they will not allow YTS.ag to publish on their websites with a YTS or YIFY inspired tag, stating that it would be inappropriate.
RARBG isn’t allowing any YTS.ag rips on their site and ExtraTorrent is banning YTS and YIFY impostors as well.
“They are cheap groups who want to benefit and make a quick name by jumping on something that was already there,” the ET team tells us, adding that the same thing happened when aXXo disappeared several years ago.
“They will fade away, even though many downloaders will fall prey to the scam,” they add.
KickassTorrents is another site taking a similar stance. The KAT team says it will only accept releases if YTS.ag uses an unrelated name.
“Here at KAT we don’t think it’s a good idea for a release group to use the name of the other group confusing our users. So no platform will be provided at least until they choose another name,” the team informs us.
KAT administrator Mr. Black understands that other groups want to trade on the popular YIFY/YTS name but adds that in addition to the possible confusion, KAT would never allow it out of respect for the original group.
“This is something that is always going to happen but we also understand that the quality of these groups will never be the same. To allow this would be insulting to the original release group who we trusted in the past and gained so much respect with us,” he says.
“Over the past weeks we thanked YIFY for his input to our site over the years. His reply was that the appreciation from ourselves made them pleased and he thanked us for having trust in them.”
That being said, KAT can’t ban regular users from uploading the releases.
None of the torrent sites we spoke with will allow YTS.ag to take over from the old group but the releases are presently appearing on some automated search engines including isoHunt.
While the operators and moderators at the major torrent sites are quite loyal, many users don’t seem to care. They are happy as long as they can get their weekly dose of pirated movies.
At the time of writing thousands of people are sharing the YTS.ag releases as if nothing ever happened.