MPAA in Action – YiFy and Popcorn Time Goes Dark

The Motion Picture Association of America won court orders in Canada and New Zealand to shut down the BitTorrent piracy sites of YiFy/YTS and Popcorn Time. October 23, 2015 saw the last of Popcorn time when the site was shut down, citing internal issues as the reason for the shutdown. The same thing happened to the popular BitTorrent site, YTS/YiFy that closed down without any notifications. Both the sites are not going to come back as the operators are caught in lawsuits.

Since its inception in 2009, YiFy focused on speed and better quality rips to attract more downloads. While it took a year for YiFy to launch its own website known as YTS, it earlier uploaded torrents to third party websites. The brainchild of YiFy is a resident of Auckland, and claims to have run the site from his home along with a small team. They focused on making Hollywood movies available for people in a smaller file size.

Popcorn Time is another illegal platform that was being operated from Canada. The website for Popcorn Time copied the Netflix interface, and the site made copyright material available for viewers.

With the two sites closing down, MPAA expects a slow-down in the amount of illegal downloads as the availability of new content reduces. In its many attempts to stop piracy, the MPAA has shut down pirate sites before as well; however, users end up finding a copycat website, which they can use for uninterrupted entertainment.

The accused are trying to reduce their harm by asking for an out of court settlement for the exchange of information which may be useful for the MPAA. While we do not have much information on the settlements so far, there is a possibility that the details shared by the accused will empower the MPAA to take down more pirated websites in the future.

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