YTS Users Targeted by Filmmakers as the Platform Agrees to Settlement

By Bill Toulas / January 28, 2020

YTS is still up and running despite the surge of lawsuits and the numerous settlements that it has reached lately. The domain YTS.lt remains the “go-to” place for those who are looking for quality pirated movies accompanied by subtitles, user reviews, and trailers. As the filmmakers realize that going after the platform and its owner directly isn't bringing results, they have now started to target individual users who take part in the file-sharing torrent swarms that support YTS files. Thus, casual YTS users are now finding themselves in a difficult position for the very first time.

The first complaint which is filed by Definition Delaware and Fallen Productions on the US District Court of Hawaii identifies the pirate by name. Puakailima Davis, a 21-year-old woman from Honolulu is accused of taking part in a BitTorrent swarm which supported the sharing of the movie titled “Angel Has Fallen”. The defendant has been identified by the IP address and has been confirmed to have an account of YTS by her email address. The second lawsuit involves three more filmmakers and targets unidentified individuals who were sharing an “Angel Has Fallen” YTS torrent by taking part in P2P swarms. In both cases, the lawyer of the plaintiffs is Kerry S. Culpepper, and the request is to award damages of up to $3 million.

At the same time, YTS has agreed to pay $150k to the makers of “Hellboy” in the context of an extrajudicial settlement. The platform has removed the particular film from its database, in the same way, that it has done with other titles previously. Defendant Senthil Vijay Segaran believes that he can keep the ship afloat by paying settlements right and left, as YTS is most probably generating the required revenue to make the effort worth the trouble.

As for the casual users, YTS doesn’t require a person to authenticate on the platform, so the email isn’t concrete evidence that points to one’s identity. The same applies to the IP address which has been ruled as an inadequate conviction element before. The conclusion for the average internet user is that if you want to get involved in piracy, you’d better use a phony or anonymous email, and hide behind a VPN connection. BitTorrent swarms seem to be on the cross-hair of copyright holders lately, so streaming directly from platforms would be a safer bet too.

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