US authorities arrested a Ukrainian man for who happened to be the mastermind behind kickass torrents. This world’s largest online file sharing site is alleged for sharing pirated content of movies, TV shows and other content. US officials arrested Artem Vaulin on Wednesday in Poland for committing criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.
US officials tracked Vaulin by his iCloud account transaction records which Apple provided to law. Kickass torrents have eclipsed pirate bay in recent years and become the world’s largest pirated media. It is reported that the website offers a user-friendly way to find content which is copyrighted. According to the justice department, it is estimated that kickass torrents ranked 69th most visited website on internet.
“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. “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 cyber criminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice,” he added.
Kickass torrents operations are in 28 languages earning revenue from advertisements by posting movies still were in theatres. It is estimated that the value of website would be more than $54 million and make annual revenue around $22.3 million. KAT has relied on a network of computer servers across the world and moved its domain several times after being blocked.
Vaulin using a screen name “Trim”, collaborated with Ukrainian based company called cryptoneat and distributed a pirated versions of movies worth more than $1 billion. According to the justice department, KAT website appeared to remove of copyrighted contents, but it proved that the website did not remove the content claimed by the organisations.
The move took place by the step taken by US officials to arrest the head of another piracy site Megaupload. Known by his pseudonym Kim Dotcom, got arrested and the site got shuttered by FBI in 2012. He is out on bail and recently revived his activities. Authorities often take action on illegal sites, but they are open by the operators with servers in different jurisdictions.