The popular movie release group YTS, also known as YIFY, has switched to a new domain name. The French domain registry FRNIC has informed the site’s operators that YTS.re will be suspended by the end of the month, an outcome most likely the result of pressure from copyright holders.
Operated by the popular ‘YIFY’ release group, YTS has become one of the most popular pirate brands.
The group releases its movies on various popular torrent sites and its home base YTS.re has also become increasingly popular.
Over the past year YTS gathered fame as the movie source for the “pirate Netflix” app Popcorn Time. Pretty much all popular Popcorn Time forks get their movie releases from the YTS API.
This connection further raised YTS’s profile and turned it into a prime target for various copyright holder groups. Even the U.S. Government chimed in, labeling YTS a notorious pirate site.
Apparently this pressure has paid off. YTS is now being forced to switch to a new domain after being advised by French domain name registry FRNIC that its .re domain is doomed.
“We got a warning from FRNIC that the domain is frozen and will be suspended by the end of March,” a YTS admin informs TorrentFreak while announcing YTS.to as their new domain.
It’s unclear where the complaint originates from, but the MPAA and BREIN would be on top of the list if YTS has to take a guess. The admin is happy, however, that FRNIC informed them in advance so they have time to inform users about the transition.
“It was very nice of FRNIC to give us more than a week prep time. I see too many cases were the registrar closes an account without warning,” the YTS admin says.
The MPAA and other anti-piracy groups are increasingly pressuring domain name registrars and registries to cut off “pirate” domain names. While not all organizations are as eager to comply as FRNIC, YTS doesn’t blame them for the suspension.
“I don’t blame them for caving into threats. After all, 10 to 50 USD per year is not enough to warrant the hassle of dealing with lawyers and 3rd party law enforcement bodies. It’s easier and cheaper to just drop the client,” the admin concludes.
Despite the unforeseen move, YTS will continue to release the latest movie torrents from its new YTS.to domain.
For its users the implications are limited to updating their bookmarks. The various Popcorn Time forks will have to update their API links to point to the new domain name, but other than that things should work as usual.