Kickass Torrents Goes Down; Owner Arrested
The popular torrent directory Kickass also known as KAT is down after the owner was arrested by U.S. authorities yesterday. The Kickass Torrents owner Artem Vaulin, got arrested in Poland, and faces 20 years jail for copyright infringement and money laundering.
The Kickass owner founder was caught while trying to buy something legally on iTunes. The authorities were able to trace down his IP address when he logged into official Facebook page of Kickass Torrents, right after the iTunes purchase. This confirmed that the person making transaction was running Kickass.
According to the attorney general, The site has stolen over $1 billion from the entertainment industry. Artem Vaulin was charged for money laundering and criminal copyright infringement.
The press release by The US Department of Justice reveals that federal authorities of Chicago have charged the owner with criminal copyright infringement, and also seized the domains of the website.
The website found in 2008 and got a massive amount of users in a short time. It has recently overtaken “The Piratebay”, receives around fifty million unique visitors per month, and ranked 69th most visited website on the internet today. The website has net-worth of more than $54 million, and generates approximately $12.5 million to $22.3 million in annual advertising revenue.
The end of KAT?
Meanwhile, many clones of KAT are emerging, who look exactly like the KAT, but are actually mirrors. One of the clones KAT.am has also popped up with KAT database, including user comments and other information.
The question remains, is this the end for KAT? since the domains are seized and are under government’s hands, we will probably see more clones of the original giant torrent directory.
Let us know us what you think in the comments below.