If you’re a KickassTorrent user, you’ll have to find another means to torrent media. Its alleged leader has been arrested and the site is now offline.
Reaching all the way to Poland, the US has arrested 30 year old Artem Vaulin and charged him with two separate counts of criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Vaulin is believed to be the founder of the torrent site, which went live in 2008. He was arrested and charged by the United States because a server for KickassTorrents was based in Chicago.
In a Department of Justice press release, US Attorney Zachary Fardon had the following to say:
Copyright infringement exacts a large toll, a very human one, on the artists and businesses whose livelihood hinges on their creative inventions. Vaulin allegedly used the Internet to cause enormous harm to those artists.
Our Cybercrimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago will continue to work with our law enforcement partners around the globe to identify, investigate and prosecute those who attempt to illegally profit from the innovation of others.
KickassTorrents was more popular than The Pirate Bay, but was able to avoid headlines (for the most part) until today. The complaint notes it receives 50 million unique visitors per month.
Though it probably goes without saying — don’t expect KickassTorrents to come back online.