Yify Torrents or commonly called YTS was a peer-to-peer website which was famous for distributing a large number of movies for downloads to its users for free of cost through the infamous torrent called BitTorrent. The releases on this website were classified through their HD video quality and small size which attracted a large number of users to download the media.
Although the original Yify website was closed by the MPAA in 2015 but still numerous imposters or proxies, which they are commonly referred to as kept on running and continuing the YIFY/YTS brand. They kept on attracting a large amount of traffic even after being proxies which showed how popular the website had become in the masses. The name YIFY was derived from the name of its owner and founder, Yiftach Swery.
The infamous Yify torrents website was founded in the year of 2010 by Yiftach Swery. Yiftach was studying computer science at the University of Waikato. Yiftach was an app developer, web champion along with being an archery champion who hailed from the city of Auckland in New Zealand.
It wasn’t until August of 2011 that the Yify brand had started gaining a lot of traffic. It then prompted Yiftach to eventually launch the official Yify Torrents website. However, he faced a setback quite early as the website got blocked by the United Kingdom authorities. He then launched a backup website called yify0torrents.im so that the users can use it without any problems by bypassing the ban.
The YIFY continued getting significant amounts of traffic and started getting popular among the masses to the point wherein 2013, the name ‘YIFY’ became the most searched word on Kickass Torrents. Along with that, related terms like ‘yify 720’, ‘yify 2013’ and ‘yify 1080’ were also among the most searched terms on the torrents. This popularity kept on increasing and remained throughout 2015 when it was again the most searched word on the BitTorrent websites.
In January 2014, Yiftach, the founder of Yify, made an announcement that he would be retiring from encoding and uploading, giving a statement that it is time for a change in his life. The website then rebranded itself to YTS and thus, moved to a new domain called YTS.RE. The term “YTS” was an abbreviation of ‘Yify Torrent Solutions”. Yiftach handed over the management to the existing members and staff and he delegated the encoding part to a new automated system which was nicknamed as “OTTO” which would be responsible for handling future upload and encodes. YTS.RE owned a company whose base was set up in the United Kingdom. It was officially incorporated on 5th February 2015. In the newly incorporated company, Yiftach took the role of a company programmer. However, the company got dissolved in February 2016. In order to deal with the increased amount of traffic, an overhaul was done at both the frontend and backend of the website in February 2015. The domain name YTS.RE was unfortunately suspended by the FRNIC registry in March 2015 which forced the company to move to a new domain called YTS.TO from 20th March 2015.
Late problems leading to the shutdown
In October of 2015, the Yify website, without any pre-announcement from any of the staff members or anyone related to the website, went down and there were no new Yify releases causing panic among the users. It was then confirmed on 30th October 2015 that the Yify/YTS website had shut down permanently. The reason for the shutdown was revealed to be a lawsuit filed by the MPAA.
The MPAA filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the operators of the website claiming that they have ‘facilitated and encouraged a massive copyright infringement’. This news, as expected, came as a surprise to some. Especially the spokesman for the New Zealand Screen Association who had expected the website to operate from Eastern Europe like it was the case for some other websites in the past.
Swery was, however, able to make a settlement out of the court a month later, also signing a non-disclosure agreement. He did not resist legal action in any way and gave his full cooperation to the authorities as required from him. He clarified by saying that he never had any intention to put up a fight and he would stop whenever he would be asked properly.