The alleged owner of Kickass Torrent, Artem Vaulin, has been arrested in Poland. The criminal complaint filed in Chicago charges Vaulin with “one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.”
Vaulin is still in Poland at this moment, where the main Kickass Torrent website is also hosted. American authorities, though, are seeking his extradition to the United States for trial.
However, as Techdirt reports, there may be certain obstacles to a proper process of justice. For one thing, Kickass Torrent is not a company registered in the United States. Hence it is not under the jurisdiction of US law. Secondly, the type of infringement that Kickass Torrent is being charged with – secondary liability – does not currently exist in the law. The website itself is not actually responsible for the actual illegal reproduction and distribution of materials. Yes, it’s a matter of technicality, but it is important nonetheless.
The criminal complaint states the site as the 69th most commonly visited website on the internet, and accuses it of distributing over USD 1 billion of copyright materials, which include movies, TV shows, games, songs and the like.
Kickass Torrent had always avoided DMCA takedown notices by “finding legal loopholes, including, but not limited to, questioning the validity of the complainant’s ownership of copyright,” according to the Indian Express.
It’s not the first time authorities have sought to take down torrent sites, and it likely won’t be the last. Just because this one popular torrent site has been seized doesn’t mean that online piracy will die.