KickassTorrents shut down after alleged owner arrested in Poland

By Scorpus ยท 23 replies
Jul 20, 2016
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  1. The most popular torrent site in the world, KickassTorrents, has gone offline today. The alleged owner has been arrested in Poland at the request of the United States governments, and domain names connected to the site have been seized.

    Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukranian living in Poland, is the suspected owner of the site and is facing extradition to the United States. He is facing two counts of criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

    In a statement on the matter, assistant attorney general Leslie R. Caldwell stated that Vaulin is "charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials."

    Authorities managed to arrest Vaulin by posing as a potential advertiser, which led to his bank account being exposed. Combined with cross-referencing IP addresses used to access various KickassTorrents accounts, the government believes they found the owner of the site.

    Vaulin managed to keep KickassTorrents successfully operating for so long by hosting the site on a wide range of servers and domains. Whenever a copyright owner alleged infringement, KickassTorrents used a lengthy and confusing process in an attempt to keep as many torrents active as possible.

    Right now it appears that all of KickassTorrents' domains and proxies are down. It's not clear when, or if, the site will return.

    Permalink to story.

  2. poohbear

    poohbear TS Addict Posts: 149   +83

    This is just a game of cat & mouse. now to wait for the next torrent site to pop up. and the cycle continues.
    iABDOzz, Hexic, drjekelmrhyde and 2 others like this.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    Yep. With Magnet links all the torrents on KickAss can be hosted with only 53.8 MB of space. I hear the next big thing after magnet links will be direct downloads right through the torrent client. You will basically subscribe to different torrent search engines and abe be able to search and download them right from the client. It's not something that can ever be shut down either because the stock software won't have subscriptions. Unless they are going to sue everything and anything that could be used for piracy, which has no basis in law.
    psycros likes this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,725   +3,699

    Isn't that what Warez was all about 15 years ago?
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    Warez is a general term used by software pirates for direct downloads. That was really before torrents took off. Warez involved going to some shady random websites to downloads cracks or key-gens. The lack of comments and a centralized database of files ultimately lead to high amounts of malware and poor distribution.

    What I'm talking about is finding and downloading torrents all from within the torrent client itself. No need for 3rd party websites. You would subscribe to your favorite torrent database and you would search it all from within your torrent client.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,871   +1,291

    Napster and similar systems even distributed the database among its clients. This is an old idea..and soon to be reborn, I suspect.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  7. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,265   +436

    Most people will just go back to the TPB and it will go back to being the #1 ranked site again.

    I loved napster back in the day, but I was on it before the bandwagon and flood of users towards the end. Some of the music that I found on it back in the day I still couldn't find now.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    AnonymousSurfer likes this.
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Eventually proxies and vpn will be illegal in the USA for non commercial use, just a matter of time
  9. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 781   +235

    Now how are people without disposable income supposed to get the Adobe Creative Cloud?
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  10. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    So any more info as to this new / old approach ? The reason Kazaa and Shareaza sucked, but not as bad as the somehow allegedly more riddled with malware Limewire... was that you had no comments just a star rating system no one prob used.

    Then they made websites for md5 links to stuff so you could find "proven reals". Which personally I think when that happened and BiTorrent came on the scene, they realised that was needed so people could warn others of malware or nonworking bs so people didn't waste their time.

    And as I read that the US government / navy are being sued for distributing software all over their bases or what have you illegally, they are a fine one to talk about this crap. It's ok for them eh? Go F yaselves America :D ya bumming the world out.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    The problem with napster was that it was a single entity in control of the whole thing. It'd be a lot harder to target every torrent client, especially when said clients aren't making money off it or even distributing their software with the database pre-installed. Napster's problem was that it was setup for illegal file sharing to begin with. If the end user has to subscribe to a database containing illegal files in order to search it then the developer is at absolutely no fault for those actions. Sueing them would be the equivalent of suing microsoft because piracy occurs on their operating system. In other words, not including a database in the stock software would make it harder to challenge legally all the while users would get more choice as they can choose from god knows how many databases would spawn from this. They would still be able to go after the torrent databases but because these only require an IP address they would be very hard to take down. Simple use of Dynamic DNS would essentially render any attempt to take them down futile.

    FYI any modern torrent client already checks the hashes of files it downloads. It's very necessary because there is usually some lost data when torrenting. That, plus you want to make sure that one of the people seeding you isn't sending you the incorrect bits.
  12. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    I do know all that. I was saying that all that was around with kazaa lite. What I am wondering is if the client with its in built search system is going to have a comments or verified not uploaded by a plum system. Otherwise it's just kazaa and limewire all over again.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    A framework to support that would be in place but it would not be a requirement. It would be whoever runs that database's job to decide if they want that feature or not. Rating torrents would be easier than ever as well because most torrent clients already have a rating system but it only ever goes to help other users of the same torrent client. Adding things like trusted posters and ratings would be as simple as adding another line to the database. The plus side is this information can be pulled from the torrent client so their is no additional work involved. I guess what were are building up to is essentially an API that let's torrent databases interact directly with torrent clients instead of having a website middle man.
  14. fl21289

    fl21289 TS Booster Posts: 60   +40

    With so many other problems in this country and the world... the US government spends time and money tracking down torernt sites and their owners. What a waste. Don't they know that library and database will always contuine on to the next torrent site? That's just one down out of the hundereds out there. You will never stop illegal downloads of anything while the internet is alive.
  15. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    Big corporations / globalist own the US government. Where else do you think Hillary Clinton makes her money from. She is filthy rich!
    LiveResistance and fl21289 like this.
  16. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    I can think of a few more choice words to describe her.
  17. xiromisho

    xiromisho TS Rookie


    Though the Feds will at some point realize they're the mouse.
  18. cerealkeller

    cerealkeller TS Rookie

    The US government wants their sales tax. What's 6%, in PA, of 1 billion dollars? $60 million. There you go. Greedy bastards.
  19. GirlDownunder

    GirlDownunder TS Enthusiast Posts: 74   +21

    Ditto. I found the most eclectic (my taste) stuff then, and most wasn't even available for sale anywhere!
  20. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    Damn, KAT was a pretty good community and had really nice features, not to mention loads of torrents not available on most other trackers. If the owner's out of commission, I don't see it coming back.

    Now where am I going to get my early access games from? :(

    TPB? I'd rather not feed malware onto my system.
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    It's only the domain that's been seized. The database has already been saved and you can still access the website through other domains or through IP directly.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    This is all about the draconian nature of current copyright legislation. You can pick up a copyright violation for distributing and / or buying content which has long been out of print. You're just supposed to sit around with your thumb up your bum, and hope it will be re-released someday, while you're still young enough to enjoy it.
    Evernessince likes this.
  23. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,104   +1,280

    Yep and these companies will do anything to make copyright last ridiculously long. It's amazing to me that Elvis songs are still copyrighted. It's been a long time since he was the one benefitting from their sales. The whole "70 years after the death of the author" we've got going on right now obviously has no intent of helping the person who made it.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    Well, it's so that the do nothing, no talent families, of the late artist(s), can keep getting rich off the accidentally inherited talent of their offspring. For example, Martin Luther King's speeches are still under copyright protection. And the King family, "have their own dream" as to what to do with the income from them.

    Then there's the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act", also referred to as "The Mickey Mouse Act", which was passed in large measure so that Disney Studios could maintain control of that prized property.

    Aldous Huxley's, "Brave New World", won't be in the public domain in the US until 2023 (?). Anybody with any sense should be able to read that for free. It might drill some sense into this current generation..

    I think it is in the public domain in Canada, who I believe, is looking to sh!t up their copyright laws to align them with ours.

    Follow this link if you feel like suffering a bit of depression and outrage:
    Evernessince likes this.

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