Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - As the popularity of 720p and 1080p movie rips rose on torrent sites, so too did the name YIFY - a group that pirated just about each and every new Blu-ray release and became huge by providing MP4 copies in reasonably small file sizes.

Every YIFY release zoomed straight to the top of torrent download lists and illegal file sharers kept watch on the group's activities like a hawk. So too did the authorities however, and it seems like the group has been shut down.

The Motion Picture Association of America claims to have discovered the true identity of the New Zealand-based leader of YIFY, who also operated torrent site YTS, and have filed lawsuits against him. It is said that YTS and YIFY are now gone forever.

The MPAA also claims to have forced the shut down of Popcorn Time, the website that streamed illegal rips of movies through a browser.

No doubt someone(s) will step up to take YIFY's place, after all YIFY effectively replaced aXXo, but the MPAA sees these scalps as major victories in the battle against online piracy.

"This coordinated legal action is part of a larger comprehensive approach being taken by the MPAA and its international affiliates to combat content theft,” said head of the organisation Chris Dodd.

“Popcorn Time and YTS are illegal platforms that exist for one clear reason: to distribute stolen copies of the latest motion picture and television shows without compensating the people who worked so hard to make them."

Best VPN 2021: The 10 best VPN deals in the US and UK

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 4 November 2015.