The brainchild behind Kickass Torrents (KAT), the world’s biggest online piracy site has been arrested in Poland. Artem Vaulin, a Ukrainian national — who also goes by the alias ‘trim’ — has been accused of criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.
According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), 30-year-old Vaulin is the man behind Kickass torrents and authorities want to bring him to the US to face trials. He’s been charged 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. The United States is now seeking to extradite the Ukrainian international to the country.
“ARTEM VAULIN, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, allegedly owns and operates Kickass Torrents, or KAT, a commercial website that since 2008 has enabled users to illegally reproduce and distribute hundreds of millions of copies of copyrighted motion pictures, video games, television programs, musical recordings and other electronic media, collectively valued at more than $1 billion”, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Over 50 million users share movies, TV shows, music, computer software and video games on Kickass torrents on a monthly basis. The site has been accused of distributing over $1 billion (approx. Rs. 6,724 crores) of copyrighted content which includes movies, music TV Shows and more.
Though advocates of peer-to-peer file sharing insist that they are not infringing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, since they only aid the process of sharing data. They argue that it’s the users who are infringing the law by sharing copyright-protected content.