KickassTorrents shut down for good? Domain seized and owner arrested

Bradley Wint
Jul 21, 2016 8:01am AST
Photo: KAT

Popular torrenting website, KickAssTorrents (KAT) has been taken offline after the U.S. Government arrested Artem Vaulin, the site’s alleged owner, along with seizing a number of related domain names.

The criminal complaint was issued by the U.S District Court in Chicago, Artem Vaulin was deemed to have “conspired with others to willfully infringe, for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, at least ten copies and phonorecords of one or more copyrighted works with a total retail value of more than $2,500 during a 180-day period, in violation of Title 17, United States Code, Section 506(a)(1)(A) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2319(b)(1); and (2) willfully infringe, for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, a copyright by distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, when defendant knew and should have known that that work was intended for commercial distribution, in violation of Title 17, United States Code, Section 506(a)(1)(C) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2319(d)(2), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. C”

The authorities were able to trace the Ukrainian down by pretending to be an advertiser to gain access to bank account numbers related to the website.

Apple and Facebook was also instrumental in assisting the feds by providing IP login data for transactions conducted on iTunes as well as logins to the KAT Facebook page. It was determined that one of his IP addressed used to access to the KAT Facebook page was also the same for a personal iTunes transaction.

According to the complaint, the website is estimated to have distributed over $1 billion worth in copyrighted assets.

At the time of this post, we were unable to access most of KAT’s domains, including their status update page.

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