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<nettime> TorrentFreak: YTS Reaches MPAA Deal But Dotcom Faces Decades i
nettime's_kremlinologist on Mon, 9 Nov 2015 03:26:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> TorrentFreak: YTS Reaches MPAA Deal But Dotcom Faces Decades in Jail?

< https://torrentfreak.com/yts-strikes-mpaa-deal-but-dotcom-faces-decades-in-jail-151108/ >

YTS Reaches MPAA Deal But Dotcom Faces Decades in Jail?

* By Andy
* on November 8, 2015


How does YTS, one of the most organized and notorious public torrent
sites, strike a deal with Hollywood despite being listed as a notorious
market by the U.S. government? We're all curious to know more, but
spare a thought for Kim Dotcom. He's in the same country as the YTS
operator but faces decades behind bars.

After reporting on thousands of file-sharing related stories around the
globe for almost ten years, the folks here at TF have a `feel' for how
certain scenarios play out. With that in mind, something doesn't feel
right with the ongoing drama involving YTS / YIFY.

When sites as big as YTS get taken down by the MPAA, RIAA, or their
partners around the world, these organizations usually order their PR
departments to repeatedly bash the big button marked "CONGRATULATIONS
TO US". Yet for weeks following the YTS shut down there was complete

Details of the multi-million dollar lawsuit supposedly filed in New
Zealand are nowhere to be found either. And if one was expecting the
usual "Shut down by ICE/FBI/DELTA FORCE" banner to appear on YTS.to
instead of the usual YIFY movie rips, then there's only disappointment
there too.

Ok, the MPAA have this week admitted they're behind the shutdown,
but the way it's being handled is extremely puzzling. The announcement
from MPAA chief Chris Dodd was muted to say the least and the somewhat
compulsory gloating at having taken down one of the world's most
important piracy sites is almost non-existent.

This is odd for a number of reasons, not least when one considers the
nature and scale of the operation. YIFY / YTS released as many as five
thousand copies of mainstream movies onto the Internet. Between them
they were shared dozens of millions of times, at least. Over the past
decade those kinds of numbers - and a lot less - have seen people
jailed for up to five years in the United States and elsewhere.

Yet according to credible sources the operator of YTS - a 21-year-old
who for unknown reasons isn't even being named - has already
settled his beef with the MPAA. This, despite running a site that has
been repeatedly listed as a worldwide notorious market in the USTR's
Special 301 Report.

Of course, the operator of YTS isn't in the United States, he's in New
Zealand, but geographical boundaries are rarely an issue for Hollywood.
Take the drama surrounding Kim Dotcom and his former site Megaupload,
for example.

Like the operator of YTS, Dotcom also lives in New Zealand.
Importantly, it's never been claimed that Dotcom uploaded anything
illegal to the Internet (let alone thousands of movies) yet he was
subjected to a commando-like raid on his home by dozens of armed
police. He's also facing extradition to the United States where he
faces decades in jail.

Now, think of the flamboyant Dotcom what you will. Then feel relieved
for the admin of YTS, who by many accounts is a thoroughly nice guy and
has somehow managed to save his own skin, despite providing much of the
content for global phenomenon Popcorn Time.

But then try to get a handle on how differently these two people are
being treated after allegedly committing roughly the same offenses in
exactly the same country. One case is still dragging on after almost
four years, with tens of millions spent on lawyers and no end in sight.
The other was a done deal inside four weeks.

Earlier this week TorrentFreak spoke with Kim Dotcom who told us he'd
been following the YTS story in the media. Intrigued, we wanted to know
- how does it feel to be raked over the coals for close to four years,
have all your property seized, face extradition and decades in jail,
while someone just up the road can walk away relatively unscathed from
what would've been a slam-dunk case for the MPAA?

"It's a double standard isn't it?" Dotcom told TF.

"I think our case has chilled law enforcement and Hollywood against
pursuing the criminal route in cases such as this. Quick civil
settlements seem to be the new way to go."

Dotcom may well be right and the fact that New Zealand already has a
massive headache because of his case may well have been a factor in the
decision not to make a huge example of the YTS operator. At the moment
no one is talking though, and it's entirely possible that no one ever

That makes a case like this all the more unsettling. Are we witnessing
Hollywood's ability to switch on a massive overseas law enforcement
response in one case and then reel in the United States government in
another? It's worth saying again - YTS was a `notorious market' in the
eyes of the USTR yet apparently that be dealt with privately these

But with all that being said, it is quite possible that the U.S.
government has learned lessons from its heavy-handed actions in 2012
and doesn't want to repeat them again, least of all in New Zealand, a
country whose judges must be growing tired of the Dotcom debacle.

"As the DOJ admitted the Megaupload case is a test case. The test isn't
going well for them," Dotcom concludes.

And for that the guy behind YTS must be thanking his lucky stars.

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