Court orders two Colorado-based YTS users to settle piracy claims of filmmakers

Thuranira John Kobia  - Tech Journalist
Last updated: November 20, 2023
yts users piracy claims
  • Two more YTS users were found pirating films and got fined hefty amounts by a group of film-making studios.
  • One user is ordered to pay $2,320 while the other is required to complete a total of $10,500 with $50 monthly installment for years to come.
  • YTS remains live, but it is essential to avoid using it or opt for a reliable VPN to protect your IP location.

Fallen Production Inc., Rambo V Productions, HB Productions Inc., and Hunter Killer Productions are film-making studios to receive a settlement from two YTS pirate site users. The two users, William Nelson and Ryan Flattery engaged in film piracy and were ordered to compensate the affected studios.

The penalty will see Nelson pay a total of $10,500, which comes with the least installation of $50 for years to come. At the same time, Flattery will settle a $2,320 fine and a waiver of $120 if he makes his first five payments without failure. Flattery got a lesser penalty as he seemed to have downloaded and shared fewer titles than Nelson.

Refuse the penalty, go to court

At first, Nelson and Flattery got a settlement demand out of court but chose to ignore it. They hoped the filmmakers would forget, but that was never the case. A few months later, they were in a federal court to answer copyright infringement claims. Most of the evidence dwelled upon emails and IP addresses from the YTS database.

Film companies had a solid case, especially with federal cases demanding concrete evidence about torrent users. With the evidence in hand, both defendants agreed to settle privacy claims based on the court’s order.

The digital pirates got away cheaply

According to the plaintiffs, they made generous arrangements for lesser compensation. Yet, due to the offense’s severity, they could seek up to $150,000 from each defendant.

The impact of the Coronavirus and existing financial hardships played a role in reducing the fines.

Besides, the two pirates have since lost their jobs. Hence, they are unlikely to meet the maximum fine required. This comes as filmmakers plan to send a strong message to the pirating community rather than seek compensation.

Contrary to the two Arizona-based pirates, Nelson and Flattery received a significantly lower penalty. Back in November 2020, two other pirates were to compensate the same plaintiffs. They were to pay $750 each to settle the matter. But they failed to cooperate, which attracted the maximum fine.

They received an order to cover statutory damages amounting to $35,000. They also paid attorney fees of $4,653 and an additional $460 taxable costs. The fine became one of the greatest compensations paid to the plaintiff in the film sector.

YTS remains active to date

In January 2020, YTS provided all the needed user data to movie studios, and as a result, users received letters. Because of piracy issues, YTS paid a total of $150,000 and settled the matter. This enabled the website to continue running till today.

Even so, the website has since removed titles for filmmakers who went to court against it. Of course, YTS remains a pirate site offering films to users unlawfully.

Using pirate platforms

The best advice with pirate platforms such as YTS is to avoid them. This also includes P2P networks, which usually allow users to share copyright-protected materials. These materials are often available on the content distribution official channel.

Though it might seem enticing, it remains a risky move that can lead you to pay thousands of dollars in fines. Engaging in such activities can see you join Nelson and Flattery and pay hefty fines—as several film-making studios have continued to seek compensation from film pirates.

If you choose to take part in this risky (and illegal) activity, at least use a secure and reliable VPN. NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two great choices for hiding your real IP address. If Nelson and Flattery had used a VPN, the chances are none of these studios would detect them.

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About the Author

Thuranira is a privacy expert who is always excited about security empowerment through technology. He loves sharing his tech expertise with everyday users so that they can enjoy a better life online.

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