- The most-visited illegal file-sharing website Kickass Torrents was shut down after the alleged owner of the site was arrested by United States authorities
- Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland and was charged with criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement
- Kickass Torrents or KAT is a commercial website ran by Vaulin which enabled internet users to illegally reproduce and distribute movies, television programs, music recordings, and other electronic media
Kickass Torrents or KAT was taken down by the US government after US authorities have announced that the alleged owner of popular illegal file-sharing website was arrested.
The website’s alleged owner, Artem Vaulin, a 30-year old man from Ukraine, was caught in Poland and is already facing several criminal charges filed in the U.S. District of Chicago. Vaulin was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
"Copyright infringement exacts a large toll, a very human one, on the artists and businesses whose livelihood hinges on their creative inventions. Vaulin allegedly used the Internet to cause enormous harm to those artists. Our Cybercrimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago will continue to work with our law enforcement partners around the globe to identify, investigate and prosecute those who attempt to illegally profit from the innovation of others,” said federal prosecutor Zachary T. Fardon who was one of the US authorities who made the announcement on Vaulin’s arrest.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement that Vaulin illegally distributed over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. According to the criminal complaint, US authorities disguised as as advertiser to the site, which exposed a bank account related to Kickass Torrents.
Apple Inc. was one of the source of Vaulin’s personal details as federal agents cross-referenced an IP address used for an iTunes transaction with another IP address used to login to the Facebook account of Kickass Torrents.
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Although users of Kickass Torrents can share and download files in the website for free, the website’s revenue is a close to $17 million a year, according to estimates.
Kickass Torrents is the 69th most frequently visited website on the internet and has more than 50 million visitors every month. -NB, Kami Media