After evading authorities for quite some time, KickassTorrents, a famous site for free downloads of movies, television shows, games, music, software and more, has been shut down by the federal authorities in Chicago. Meanwhile, its alleged owner has also been arrested.
KickassTorrents or KAT is a commercial website that has been around since 2008. Here, users are able to distribute and download various copyrighted films, television programs, music albums, video games, electronic books, software and more.
On a monthly basis, KAT is said to received more than 50 million unique visitors and has been named the 69th most frequently visited website online. It is utilizing several domains, namely:
According to the complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the Northern District of Illinois, 30-year-old Ukrainian Artem Vaulin was arrested Poland, as he is believed to be the owner and operator of the famous site.
KAT is said to have amassed a collection of multimedia for download that is now valued at approximately $1 billion. The complaint also pointed out that Vaulin had used a network of computer servers in Chicago for KAT activity.
For this, Vaulin has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering along with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, as well as two counts of criminal copyright infringement. It is also believed that Vaulin used a company known as Cryptoneat as a front for KAT.
This is not the first time KAT has faced charges. Back in February of 2013, the England and Wales High Court has found that KAT had infringed copyrights. During the proceeding, an expert report estimated KAT’s annual advertising revenue to amount between $12,525,469 and $22,383,918 “on a very conservative basis.”
The government is now working on having Vaulin extradited to the U.S.