The day we feared the most is finally upon us; the most visually appealing torrent site has been taken down. Artem Vaulin, Ukrainian owner of file-sharing website KickassTorrents (KAT), has been arrested by Polish police on U.S. charges of criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
With millions of daily unique visitors, KAT which was founded in 2009, has become the world’s number 1 torrent site beating even Pirate Bay.
The 30 year old Ukrainian was arrested in Poland on Wednesday and will stand trial in the U.S. after he has been extradited by the United States. According to BNO news, A criminal complaint filed in U.S. federal court charges Vaulin with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
Leslie Caldwell of the U.S. Justice Department had this to say about Vaulin:
"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."
The complaint further reveals that the feds launched an undercover investigation and posed as an advertiser, which revealed a bank account associated with the site.
It also shows that Apple handed over personal details of Vaulin after the investigator cross-referenced an IP-address used for an iTunes transaction with an IP-address that was used to login to KAT’s Facebook account.
It wouldn’t be hard to initiate a Pirate-Bay-ish comeback but with investigations still ongoing, it would be a foolish and risky decision.