Did you visit YTS.to or Yify Torrents to download a scary movie for Halloween weekend? Did you get a blank, white page? If yes, you ought to be aware that the popular website has shut down permanently.
While a few impostors linger, allowing browsers to download previously released YIFY BluRay rips from their respective websites, the real deal is done for. “That site/release group is never coming back,” Andy from TorrentFreak.com told Heavy. Earlier this year, TorrentFreak reported that YIFY had close to a million unique visitors per day, generating six million page views.
Earlier this year, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) sued movie-streaming website MovieTube – which ran through 29 different mirrors/websites. While YTS has yet to officially declare a reason for shutting down, speculation is rife that a possible lawsuit threat from MPAA forced them to exit. For over a week, the website was down without any malware warning or explanation. At first, it was thought to be a DDOS attack or internal server error until TorrentFreak’s report stated otherwise.
Since most of these websites are hosted outside the U.S., it’s difficult for MPAA to target them. In early October, MPAA submitted to the Office of U.S. Trade Representatives a list of sites notorious for stealing copyrighted materials. YTS was on top of the long list. Interestingly, the popular Browser Popcorn and website PopcornTime.io also became inaccessible the same time as YTS. This crackdown by the MPAA will result in many more sites going out of business.
You can still find YIFY BluRay rips floating around the internet. But the fact that YIFY won’t be releasing more torrents ever is a rude awakening for movie buffs who’d come to blindly trust the website for more than a decade. While it’s possible to download from Pirate Bay and other popular torrent websites, YTS.to was highly revered because of its HD quality-assured database and search engine that allowed users to filter movies via genre, rating, year of release, etc.
In a 2013 interview to Torrent Freak, YIFY attributed its 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.
YIFY-Torrent.org and YIFY-Movie.com are fake websites. They are not affiliated with the original YTS team. “Anything that currently claims to be YIFY or YTS is fake and should be avoided (because of malware and virus threats),” the real YTS team told Heavy. Similarly, the YTS Facebook page is not connected to the original group. Remember, YIFY only uploaded movies after they are made available on BluRays, unlike other websites that upload illegal HDCam and Cam Rips barely days after a movie is released.
CouchPotato, Shaanig.com, bird-hd.info, Kickass Torrents and Scene are trying to capitalize on YTS’ shutdown. But most of these sites are unsafe or marked by Google as a malware-carrier. It’s advised that you avoid downloading from these websites. The Pirate Bay (TPB) is the safest alternative. This is because YTS used to mirror all its torrent releases on TPB.