July 21, 2016

KickassTorrents — Domain Names Seized! Owner Arrested! Website Goes Down!

A decade ago, we came across various torrent search engines. But unfortunately in 2009 major file sharing sites which belonged to the torrent community were closed by the authorities. So, In February 2009 a fresh engine KickassTorrents was established. The site has many innovative functions that have been improved out of the elder systems. Now it has more than 10 million files being shared on the whole, as hundreds of thousands of users communicate and share data daily in different languages worldwide. Right from the beginning, Kickass torrents continued to gain spots on Alexa ranking charts. But unfortunately now onwards we cannot download torrents from this site. Artem Vaulin, the owner of kickasstorrents was arrested on 20th july,2016. Here are the reasons behind his arrest.

Artem Vaulin was accused of distributing copied films, music and other content illegally. It worth around $1 billion. Recently Kickass torrents became the worlds biggest pirated media. It also achieved an alexa ranking of 69 worldwide.

artem vaulin

The criminal complaint 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.”

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said,

“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 cybercriminalscan run, but they cannot hide from justice.”


A case against Vaulin was filed in Federal Court, Chicago. The court ordered to seize the bank account of Vaulin and 7 doamin names associated with the file-sharing.

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According to the complaint,

  • KAT operates in 28 languages. It has made available movies that were still running in theaters.
  • At the same time, company is earning revenue through advertisements.
  • The website’s value is estimated at more than $54 million. It’s annual advertising revenue ranges between $12.5 million and $22.3 million.
  • KAT was blocked in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia. As a result, it moved its domain 7 times.
  • Vaulin used the screen name “tirm,” during the design of original website. He is operating this site and running sccesfully since 2008 through a Ukrainian-based front company called Cryptoneat.

According to the Justice Department, KAT’s website was requested by Motion Picture Association of America to remove the content on account of being allowing users to download illegal copies of recent hit movies such as “Captain America: Civil War,” “Now You See Me 2,” and “Finding Dory.”But evidence has proved that site did not remove content requested by the organizations.

Finally, Authorities say they can seize or shut down illegal file-sharing sites but that the operators often reopen with servers in different jurisdictions. But at the end of story, it is a sad news for most of the users who download movies and other stuffs from this site. At last, the era of kickass torrents that ruled the torrent kingdom over the 8 years came to an end.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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