Artem Vaulin, the alleged mastermind behind KickAss Torrents, was arrested in Poland earlier this week and it now appears that the site may have been shut down for good with US authorities seizing the KickAss domain. Commenting below on this news is Lee Munson, Security Researcher for Comparitech.com.
“Torrents, as we all know, are hugely popular for their ability to allow quick and easy peer-to-peer downloading of large Linux distros, but a few mischievous people have subverted that original intent to distribute copyrighted material, including movies, games and music.
One such person is Artem Vaulin, the mastermind behind KickAss Torrents who now faces extradition from Poland to the US in return for accumulating a significant amount of ill-gotten gains through his site.
I’m sure all affected copyright owners and legal representatives will say that this is a victory for the authorities, though one person and one site constitute a mere drop in the ocean of torrented material found across the internet today.
As any movie buff with an aversion to paying for their content will tell you, newsgroups are the best way to find the latest releases and many offer the tools required to stay anonymous too, even if a VPN isn’t already being used.
That said, high profile cases do have their advantages – casual copyright infringers may be put off by this news – and other criminals may think twice before starting their own, overly visible service.
The demise of KickAss Torrents will likely also silence those who claim such a closure affects freedom of speech. After all, if you associate with such a site in the first place, chances are the only topic of conversation on your mind will be that of copyright theft, something best left unsaid when the lawyers are circling.”