Kickass torrents shut down; alleged owner arrested
MUMBAI: Content owners the world over must be heaving a sigh of relief because of a development in Poland. Including those in India – right from Yashraj Films to Dharma Productions to Zee Entertainment to Star India to Sony Entertainment.
The reason: the alleged owner and creator of peer to peer to sharing site Kickass torrents a 30 year old Ukrainian from Kharkiv, Artem Vaulin has been under police arrest since the past couple of days. Kat.cr, which is ranked 70 in the world, according to Alexa, has been shut down since then.
Many other domains related to kickass torrents that allowed users to download content have been taken down. Among the domains that have been seized include: kat.cr,kickasstorrents.com, katstatic.com, thekat.tv, kickass.cr, kickass.to, and kat.ph. Even proxy URLs s leading to the torrenting service, which began in 2008 have been brought down by the authorities.
Everything from the latest TV shows to events like the Star Parivaar Awards to the Zee Rishtey Awards to the latest Hindi films, apart from Bollywood fare could be downloaded without payment from kickass torrents.
Vaulin has been indicted for copyright infringement in the US which, officials say, has allowed more than $1 billion worth of movies, games, music recordings and other content to be distributed for free, thus causing losses to the content owners.
There’s more trouble lying in store for the young man. US officials want him extradited to be tried for charges that include conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to attorneys for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
“This criminal case is a major step to reduce illegal theft of creative content by large-scale piracy sites,” MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement. “Actions like these help protect the livelihoods of the 1.9 million hard-working Americans whose jobs are supported by the motion picture and television industry – and a legal market that generates $16.3 billion in exports for the U.S. economy.”