Kickass Torrents founder arrested in Poland
Kickass Torrents, one of the world’s biggest BitTorrent distribution sites is offline and the alleged founder, Artem Vaulin has been arrested.
He was arrested on Tuesday in Poland on behalf of the United States. America has requested the extradition of the Kickass Torrents’ founder for crimes related to the running of the file sharing site.
Artem currently faces two counts of criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
All of the sites domains have been seized and if you try to get onto Kickass Torrents it says that the address can’t be found.
The irony of this story is that Vaulin was allegedly tracked down via a legal iTunes purchase he’d made by cross referencing an IP address used for the purchase with the IP address used to log into the Kickass Torrents Facebook page.
“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. 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.” Said Leslie R. Caldwell, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s criminal division, in a statement
The legalities of torrent sites
The accused is said to have distributed as much as one billion dollars worth of copyrighted works.
According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, torrent sites have stayed firm in the fact they are legally compliant. Since the content is not provided by the torrent site and it operates merely as a platform for users to share files, the illegal activity is not on them technically.
Kickass Torrents is also said to have rejected take down notices of copyrighted content available on their site.
They based this refusal on what has been described as “meeting an entire list of sometimes arcane and confusing criteria”.
The site is not only about the free sharing of content, it is also a profitable business. The federal affidavit in the arrest states that Kickass Torrents has been making as much as $16 million in advertising revenue this year.