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Yify Torrents And PopCorn Time Shut Down

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Popular movie release group Yify Torrents/YTS (yts.to) and the most popular avatar of PopCorn Time (popcorntime.io) have shut their doors permanently within days of each other. This is indeed a big setback for movie lovers since these two sites were big names in the P2P world and were being used by millions of people every day to download/stream their favorite movies and TV shows. The closure may also have a cascading effect on other filesharing websites and could also lead to the shutdown of P2P sites and/or release groups.

Yify was considered as an icon among movie lovers since the group provided HD quality rips of the latest movies in reasonably small sizes. The group released its first title in 2010 and quickly went on to become one of the most prolific movie sharing group in the world. The popularity of Yify torrents could be judged by the fact that its releases topped the charts on almost all torrenting websites and its official website was visited by close to a million people every day before it got shut down in late October. In the last 5 years, the group released over 6,000 movie titles that were downloaded by millions of people from around the world.

Days after Yify’s website stopped working, MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) took credit for the closure. The group representing six major Hollywood studios is involved in legal battles with several filesharing and torrenting websites and it was even responsible for the closure of major sites like MegaUpload and IsoHunt. MPAA claimed that bringing down YIFY Torrents was an international effort and teams from Canada and New Zealand were also involved in the operation. The operator behind the website/release group was found to be a resident of New Zealand and was threatened with a multi-million dollar lawsuit in exchange for information. Facing a tough legal battle ahead, the operator not only decided to close the YTS website but also signed an unprecedented settlement with the MPAA outside the court. The operator also promised not to release any movie related torrent in the future as well as delete/disable Yify’s existing torrents that were circulating on the web.

The closure of the YTS website was bound to affect PopCorn Time as well since Yify Torrents acted as a source for thousands of movies. However, it turns out that the most popular version of PopCorn Time was shut down voluntarily by its developers after they were threatened with a lawsuit by the MPAA. The threat caused a big rift within the development team and several members left as a result. The developer who owned the popcorntime.io domain name also left the group and decided not to hand it over to the remaining members and consequently the site went dark permanently.

Although the closure of Yify Torrents and PopCorn Time is bound to have a seismic effect on the P2P scene, history shows that such setbacks do not last forever. Yify Torrents itself replaced aXXo as the most popular movie release group and somebody is bound to take its place in the coming months. For those who cannot live without sharing/downloading content, the good old Pirate bay is still functioning. And as for streaming movies through PopCorn Time, the second most popular avatar of the app (popcorn-time.se) is still up.

February 23, 2016

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