Popular torrent site YTS has recently moved to a new domain name, using a Lithuanian top-level domain. The operators haven’t commented on their motivation, but it seems likely that a recent lawsuit several movie companies filed in the US played a role.
With millions of visitors, YTS is the most-visited torrent site on the Internet, beating even the legendary Pirate Bay.
The site ‘unofficially’ took over the YTS brand when the original group threw in the towel in 2015. Since then it has amassed a rather impressive user base of millions of daily visitors.
When the site first entered the scene it was operating from the YTS.ag domain name, which it traded in for YTS.am two years later. This month, the torrent site moved yet again to a new domain, YTS.lt, using the Lithuanian top-level domain.
It’s unclear what prompted the sudden move. The site has made no public announcement and the old .am domain name is still operational, redirecting to the new home.
TorrentFreak reached out to the YTS team for a comment on the sudden move but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.
It is possible that the domain change was in part triggered by blocking efforts around the world. The older YTS.am and YTS.ag domains are blocked by many ISPs around the world and with the new domain it will become accessible again, at least for the time being.
Another benefit of a new domain is that all search engine results that have been removed due to takedowns become accessible again. According to Google’s latest data, 23,106 YTS.am domains were removed in recent years.
However, it appears that rightsholder groups have thought of this as well. In a matter of days, Google has received hundreds of takedown requests for the new domain name.
The most likely explanation, perhaps, is the lawsuit several movie companies filed at a Hawaiian federal court last month. The complaint accuses the site’s operators of inducing massive copyright infringement and puts the domain names at risk.
Specifically, the movie companies request an injunction to prevent third-party intermediaries, including domain registrars, from facilitating access to the YTS.ag and YTS.am domains.
The domain name change took place a few days after we published our article about the lawsuit, so the timing certainly fits.
Whatever the reason, YTS remains readily available for now. And since the old domain automatically redirects users, many people probably didn’t even notice that anything has changed.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.