The legislation regarding online internet users is getting sterner by the day. Authorities have cracked down hard on several torrenting websites that operate through peer-to-peer sharing. Popular torrenting websites like Kickass Torrents have been under severe scrutiny by copyright infringement hunters all over the world, which eventually led to their shutdown. However, many Reddit users have claimed that the website keeps materializing under different domains just to mess with the authorities, shortly after it disappears and reappears again. Don’t know the full account? Let us brief you.

The Kickass Case/Kat.cr

The original domain that supported the Torrent website Kickass Torrents was shut down a very long time ago, however, this website has continually been replicated through newer domains to accommodate loyal torrent users. On these domains, the complete previous database of the prototype Kickass Torrents can be accessed easily, as if it was never truly gone. If you heavily favor the use of peer-to-peer sharing, you must already be cognizant of the Kat.cr domain. But we are crestfallen to notify you that even that has been shut down indelibly. Prior to this, this website would continue to reappear for use, though Is It Down Right Now corroborates that the distinct domain is now not only expired but is also listed for sale. This, of course, means that it cannot be used for the same purposes again.

Kickass Torrents Alternative

This torrent website has seen better days. After Artem Vaulin was apprehended in 2016, Kickass Torrents has endured quite drastically. A website which was the go-to site for the majority of torrent users all over the world is now no more. Though over the years, several Kickass Torrent proxies have materialized to take over where the last one left off, none have stuck around for good. Since the untimely demise of KAT, we have taken liberties to find suitable torrenting alternatives for our readers.

The Pirate Bay

TTB is a torrent giant in the industry since it hosts some of the most popular torrents and can even level with Kickass Torrents. However, The Pirate Bay has also been no stranger to domain seizures and countless notices by DMCA. And yet, TTB has been nothing but resilient in the face of these notices and possible domain seizure threats. Post the shutdown of KAT, The Pirate Bay can easily be labeled as the best Torrenting website out there. We highly suggest that you review this website and consider it for long-term torrenting purposes.

Popcorn Time

Popcorn time has very little in common with Kickass Torrents and The Pirate Bay. It actually happens to be a streaming website that utilizes peer-to-peer file sharing protocol. With its easy interface platform, Popcorn Time gives you the benefit of streaming your favorite movies and TV shows online in high video qualities such as 720p or 1080p, and this website has zero to minimal buffering but ultimately, that depends on the speed of the internet you use.  Several governments have condemned the use of Popcorn Time which is why you may need to utilize a VPN to access this site.

Torrent Hound

This website should undoubtedly be on your list for viable alternatives to Kickass Torrents. It provides you with popular torrents categorized by movies, music, anime, books, games, software and much more. Upon finalizing your choice, you can immediately download it to your device. Though this is a lesser-known alternative to Kickass Torrents and may not be the best in the game, it definitely does a good job at protecting user information by utilizing its own torrent client.

LimeTorrents

This is yet another website that doesn’t lack when it comes to diverse torrent options. LimeTorrents is always updated with newer torrents and provides you with magnetic links. What makes this website such a good alternative to Kickass Torrents is its strict policy against what kind of submissions are made. Sadly, this website is also geographically restricted which means you may have to make use of a reliable VPN service to access this site and download torrents carefree.

The Case Against Kickass Torrents

Artem Vaulin, the creator of Kickass Torrents was arrested in July of 2016. He was 30 years old at the time and was apprehended in Poland under serious charges of criminal copyright infringement, money laundering, and many other similar charges. The United States Department of Justice conducted this arrest with aid from the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). This kind of alliance also made it possible for the DoJ to retrieve Estonian banking records that would have otherwise been sealed due to them belonging to a Ukrainian National.

Kickass Torrents is definitely guilty of providing magnet links of copyrighted content to users, but it is not guilty of personally hosting any of this content. This torrent website was previously generating a little over 50 million monthly users and had accumulated the net worth of $54 million US dollars. Through this ordeal alone, it is estimated that Kickass Torrents will generate anything between $12.5 million to $22.3 million, through free advertising.

The Damning Evidence

Unlike the rest of the torrenting websites out there, KAT has decided to respectfully address the notices put out by DMCA. In the 50 page criminal complained filed by the FI Jared Der-Yeghiayan was met with the following response officially issued by KAT.

 “Greetings,

Your request has been reviewed, but cannot be processed due to one (or more) of the following reasons:

The Claim wasn’t written in English language;

  1. You provided no evidence showing that you are the copyright holder

or that you are acting on behalf of the copyright holder;

  1. You provided no evidence showing that the content is legally

Copyrighted;

  1. There was more than [sic!] 30 torrents mentioned in the Claim email;
  2. Your content is hosted on a different website.

Please, make sure to fulfill all the conditions mentioned above before sending a claim.

You can find more detailed information regarding the DMCA email layout via the following article -https://kat.cr/dmca/

Respectfully,

KAT team”

In the affidavit issued by Jared Der-Yeghiayan, he explained how he impersonated himself as an advertiser for KAT. It cost him $300 starting price for daily ads and when he decided to take out the second one, he was duly informed that only expensive alternates were left for him to choose from, ranging from $1000 to $3200 daily. He bought these ads through a Latvian bank account and was asked to be careful as to not mention KAT anywhere by its given name. any future payments were then made through an Estonian bank account. Artem Vaulin, founder of Kickass Torrents was also accused of operating Cryponeat which is a Ukrainian company that launders money received through KAT.

Where Does Apple Fit Into This?

It has been stated in the official complaint that Apple aided the federal authorities in order to track down Artem Vaulin. Apple did so by providing Vaulin’s IP address obtained through his email account which the founder of Kickass Torrents often utilized to make purchases.

“Records provided by Apple showed that tirm@me.com conducted an iTunes transaction using IP Address 109.86.226.203 on or about July 31, 2015. The same IP Address was used on the same day to login into the KAT Facebook Account. Then, on or about December 9, 2015, tirm@me.com used IP Address 78.108.181.81 to conduct another iTunes transaction. The same IP Address was logged as accessing the KAT Facebook Account on or about December 4, 2015.”

Read the abovementioned statement for references.

Vaulin’s Arrest

Vaulin is set to face all the charges against him in the court of the United States. He is subject to face five years for the copyright charges, however, the laundering charge alone could lock him up behind bars for two decades!

There is a reason why Vaulin is being tried in a court in Illinoi. About 3 years ago, KAT had a server located there. The official website of Kickass Torrents is completely off the grid now, along with Vaulin’s money laundering site Cryponeat. However, it is a notable fact that in all of the proceedings of the case, that is the affidavit so far, none of the employees belonging to either Kickass Torrents of Cryponeat have been named or arrested.

Current State of Play (As of July 2018)

Though Vaulin is currently fighting against extradition in the US, Kickass Torrents remains shut down. Following are Vaulin’s grounds against his stand against extradition in the US.

“The primary basis for challenging extradition is that the acts of which Artem is accused do not constitute a crime in Poland where he is detained, nor in the [sic!] Ukraine where he lives and works.”

There also has been a new development which states that a secondary copyright infringement charge doesn’t exist. US-based lawyer Ira Rothken has offered her legal services to Vaulin but hasn’t been able to get into Poland to meet with her client officially. This particular lawyer also legally represents Kim Dotcom and has issued the following statement in front of the court.

“The fundamental flaw in the government’s untenable theory of prosecution is that there is no copyright protection for such torrent file instructions and addresses. Therefore, given the lack of direct willful copyright infringement, torrent sites do not violate criminal copyright laws.”

Vaulin has currently been denied bail and shall remain in jail during the proceedings.

Using a VPN to Protect Yourself Online When Torrenting

Torrenting can get you into serious trouble, regardless of how convenient it might seem. Following are a few pointers to remember in order to secure your browsing habits through a reliable VPN.

  • ISP will not be able to track your browsing habits
  • A VPN will hide your real IP address
  • With a VPN, you can access geographically restricted content online

Conclusion

This torrenting website has dodged several bullets in the past but by continually avoiding notices issued by the DMCA, it has nothing but its own self to blame for this predicament. In order for you to continue downloading torrents online, we have mentioned the best of the best torrent alternatives for you here and we hope, that you remain an aware and careful user online in order to safeguard your identity. In the meanwhile, if you think we have missed a torrenting site, do let us know!

Hudson

Hudson is currently an editor at Hudson Rhine. She also holds a degree in Computer Science from Bridgewater College. She loves to write about software and tech shaping the future. She lives in Virginia with her parents.

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