Two YTS Users Paid Settlement Amounts to Filmmakers

By Bill Toulas / January 30, 2021

A group of film-making studios, including Fallen Productions Inc., Hunter Killer Productions, HB Productions Inc., Morgan Creek Productions, and Rambo V Productions, has reached a settlement agreement with two users of the YTS pirate site, namely William Nelson and Ryan Flattery.

The first one will have to pay $10,500 in minimum installments of $50 for years to come, while Flattery is called to pay $2,320 as he downloaded and shared fewer titles. If Flattery makes the five first payments, the final installment of $120 will be waived, so he could get away with $2,200.

As the plaintiffs mention, they could seek compensation of up to $150,000 from each defendant. Still, they decided to make generous arrangements due to the impact of the Coronavirus and the fact that the two pirates are going through financial hardships due to losing their employment. After all, the filmmakers are looking to send a message to the pirating community rather than making real money from these settlements.

This is significantly lower than what two Arizona-based pirates were called to pay to the same plaintiffs back in November 2020. However, in that case, the pair was offered to settle at $750 each but denied to collaborate, and things escalated quickly. Eventually, they were ordered to cover statutory damages of $35,000, plus $4,653 for attorney fees and another $460 for taxable costs.

YTS has given movie studios all the user info they asked for back in January 2020, so since then, several users have received letters from the group. The platform itself paid $150,000 and shook the trouble off of its back, and even today, the website continues to be up and running. Of course, it has removed the titles of the particular filmmakers who moved the cogs of the judiciary against it, but otherwise, it remains a pirate site.

Our advice would be to avoid YTS and pirate platforms in general, as well as P2P networks where users share copyright-protected material that is normally sold via official channels of content distribution. If, for whatever reason, you insist on participating in this illegal activity, with all the risks involved, at least use a VPN tool to hide your actual IP address, which would have saved Nelson and Flattery from having to pay thousands of USD now.

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