After pulling down the very-popular piracy empire ?The Pirate Bay? (TPB) last year, the U.S. Government apparently set its eyes on the numero uno ?Kickass Torrents? (KAT). KAT is known widely as the biggest file-sharing website in the world. However, as of today, the Kickass Torrents site is down.
The owner of KAT is apparently a 30-year-old Ukrainian named ?Artem Vaulin? and he was reportedly tracked down in Poland yesterday. He has been charged with criminal copyright infringement and also, money laundering. To top it all off, the seizure of all Kickass Torrents domain names has been ordered by a federal court. Vaulin will be extradited soon.
According to Assistant Attorney General Caldwell, Vaulin has helped distribute?$1 billion worth of pirated files. This also means he helped siphon off $1 billion worth of profits straight out of the U.S. entertainment industry. The complaint has listed the following new movies as being shared and downloaded via Kickass Torrents when they took control of the domain:
- Captain America: Civil War
- Now You See Me 2
- Independence Day: Resurgence
- Finding Dory
Caldwell has some strong words for Vaulin and anyone that is involved in such a questionable business model: “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. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.?
Kickass Torrents or KAT operate under not one but many domains. The list includes kickasstorrents.com, kat.ph, kickass.to, kickass.so and kat.cr, to name a few. The interesting part is that these domains received about 50 million ?unique visitors? every month. KAT is reportedly the 69th most frequently visited website in the world.
This site is reportedly worth more than $54 million. The annual revenue is reported to be somewhere in the range of $12.5 million and $22.3 million. The source of income is via advertisement and the site operates in about 28 languages.
Furthermore,?Similar Web says KAT.cr domain?s global ranking is 54. The top 5 visitors are from the following countries:
- The U.S.
With two of the most prominent sites down, we do not know who is next, but here is a list of top 5 Kickass Torrents alternatives:
Readers should note that whenever a popular site goes down — clone sites, proxies and mirrors do pop up. However, it might take some time.