The YTS Platform Helped Copyright Holders Identify Pirates

By Bill Toulas / August 18, 2020

There's a certain unspoken bond of trust between pirates and the platforms they use to engage in copyright-infringing activities- "you help me access licensed content for free, I generate traffic on your platform and advertisers pay your bills." And as for the users' identities, pirate websites like the YTS torrent movie platform don't request subscriptions or memberships and don't keep real names, payment details, etc.

However, they still have their visitors' IP addresses - and if these users are members, YTS also has their email address. If these people don't use a VPN tool to engage in their illegal activities, and if they're not using an anonymous email address, then it's their problem.

According to a report by TorrentFreak, the makers of the movies "Rambo: Last Blood" and "Hellboy" have recently applied great legal pressure to YTS, resulting in the latter giving away information that could be used for identifying pirates. In a recent case, the two filmmakers submitted a lawsuit against a US Army veteran whose IP address seems to derive directly from the YTS database. Maybe YTS handed over this information to help them reach some form of an extrajudicial settlement agreement, which they have done multiple times in the past couple of years.

According to the details laid out in the lawsuit, the movie companies managed to make correlations between the veteran's IP address and his email address. This way, they found him on Facebook, identified him on various BitTorrent swarms, and generally tied him with all infringements that concerned their two productions.

In total, the copyright holders now ask the defendant to pay $97,704.79 in damages - which, as they point out, is only about 3.3% of the man's actual liabilities and 15% of the damage that corresponds to the United States market.

This is a story with simple teachings to keep in mind if you take the risk of pirating content. Platforms like YTS will happily give away anything they have on you if they are in trouble, and they often are.

That said, don't get tricked into thinking that YTS is like Netflix, where you use your actual email address to subscribe and then access the service without a VPN to anonymize yourself. YTS is an illegal content source, and if you insist on visiting it, at least take proper precautionary measures. If we were to advise you on anything, it would be to stop using YTS altogether and just pick a legitimate streaming platform.

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