This week the MPAA ended the mystery surrounding the unexpected shutdown of the torrent site YTS.to and its associated release group YIFY.
While the announcement answered a lot of questions it also raises a few more.
The alleged mastermind behind the operation, a New Zealand citizen, was facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit. However, the dispute was already settled before the case got properly underway.
Sources have informed TorrentFreak that the operator and the movie studios reached a private agreement. It’s unclear what the terms are but judging from previous deals it’s likely to involve a damages payment as well as some type of information sharing
The news of a quick resolution is corroborated by local MPAA representatives who informed the NZ Herald that the case against the YTS/YIFY operator was settled out of court.
To many this deal comes as a surprise, as the MPAA previously preferred to send a strong and deterring message. In this case, however, other factors may have weighed stronger.
It could be that the operator has very valuable information to trade. It’s also possible that the MPAA wanted to avoid another piracy case besides Megaupload in New Zealand. Or they might simply want to settle the case without incurring large legal fees.
Whatever the case, the settlement is unprecedented when compared to other MPAA cases that dragged on for years, including the ones against isoHunt, Hotfile and TorrentSpy.
It also stands in sharp contrast to the criminal referrals the MPAA made against Megaupload, NinjaVideo and the IMAGiNE release group.
Since YTS/YIFY was both a release group and a major torrent site, it was certainly just as big of a target as the aforementioned, if not bigger.
TF contacted the MPAA for information on the decision to settle as well as further details on the agreement. The movie group said it couldn’t comment.
Thus far the YTS operator has remained silent. Perhaps we’ll hear the true story from him one day a few years from now…
Update: The YTS.to domain was just signed over to the MPAA.