New Delhi: If you are among those who used KickassTorrents (KAT) as one of your primary sources for downloading movies, music, and more, you need to start looking for alternatives. The alleged owner of the popular torrent site has been arrested by the US government in Poland and the website has been taken down.
According to reports by TorrentFreak, a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news on Torrent, Artem Vaulin, 30, was arrested in Poland accused of distributing over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,724 crores) worth of illegally copied films, music and other content. Following the arrest, the federal court in Chicago ordered the seizure of the domains.
An official note issued by the US Department of Justice reads, “In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”
Here is the picture of the complaint by US Department of Justice by TorrentFreak
The criminal complaint according to AFP said the website offers "a sophisticated and user-friendly environment in which its users are able to search for and locate content" which is protected by copyright.
"Vaulin is charged with running today's most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.
"In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice."
The complaint said officials were able to track and identify Vaulin from records provided by Apple on his iCloud account.
Vaulin, who is also known by the name ‘Trim,’ is believed to be the person who founded the popular torrent site back in 2008. He is also likely to be the person involved in daily operations of KickassTorrents.
Shutting down of KickassTorrents would hit the torrent community the worst as it is the biggest and most popular torrent among others. According to the criminal complaint filed against the site, KAT has more than 50 million unique monthly hits and is the 69th most frequently visited site online.
This is not the first instance of such a crackdown. Before KickassTorrents, the founder of ThePirateBay, another downloading site, was arrested and site was taken down.