By: Nick Gambino
Despite the arrest of the founder and operator (alleged) of KickassTorrents (KAT), Artem Vaulin, and the subsequent seizure of its domains, it seems the site is back up and running.
A clone of the site popped up within days, complete with the original’s library and a homepage “Free Artem Vaulin – Sign Petition Now!” link.
The Ukraine-born Vaulin was tracked and apprehended in Poland after a hefty sting operation conducted by the U.S. Justice Department. A 48-page criminal complaint filed in Chicago with the U.S. District Court details the lengths to which they went to finally catch up with him.
The filing covers everything including the fake ad they placed on the site, directing people to an undercover site, which was then used to link up KAT with a bank in Latvia. One account alone saw around $31 million deposited into it in a span of 7 months, mostly advertising payments. Guess this wasn’t really a robbing from the rich to give to the poor situation.
This fake ad allowed them to discover an e-mail address which led to a virtual Pandora’s box of information. Long story short this information allowed them to discover Vaulin’s identity and an IP address used both for Facebook and, ironically, the legal purchase of digital media on iTunes.
The assistant attorney general of the criminal division, Leslie R. Caldwell, released a statement, “Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials.”
KAT became the biggest torrent-sharing site in the world just last year after Pirate Bay’s own legal woes including several raids and the arrest of its founders. Following close behind it in popularity are ExtraTorrent, Torrentz and TorrentHound. Apparently these guys really like the word, “torrent.”
KAT’s various domains were seized after Vaulin’s arrest but as I said earlier, a clone of the site is back up and running. In a statement to The Verge, creators of the new site claimed that their site is, “hosted on multiple cloud servers to prevent blockade.” Guess these pirates aren’t going down without a fight.
I don’t know if there will ever be a time when piracy sites will be extinct but it does look like the Justice Department is doing its job to scare the hell out of anyone thinking about getting into the business.
What do you think of KickassTorrent’s shutdown and revival? Is piracy wrong? Discuss it in the comments below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.