Apple provided the cue in busting piracy site Kickass Torrents

By : |July 22, 2016 0

The U.S. Department of Justice has seized seven domain names associated with Kickass Torrents — purportedly the most-visited piracy site in the world — and charged the man they allege is its owner and operator with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.

Federal authorities said Artem Vaulin, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was arrested on Wednesday in Poland and that the U.S. will seek to extradite him to the States. Vaulin allegedly owns and operates Kickass Torrents and has been accused of illegally reproducing and distributing hundreds of millions of copies of movies, video games, TV shows and music albums totaling more than $1 billion.

CIOL Apple provided the cue in busting Piracy Site Kickass Torrents

KAT counts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors and is estimated to be the 68th most frequently visited the website on the internet, according to officials.

“Copyright infringement exacts a large toll, a very human one, on the artists and businesses whose livelihood hinges on their creative inventions,” Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, said in a statement. “Vaulin allegedly used the Internet to cause enormous harm to those artists.”

Law-enforcement officials across the globe have battled pirate sites for years, but the task of shutting down such illegal operations remains challenging as pirates routinely switch up domain names and use anonymizing services that mask their identities and locations.

“This criminal case is a major step to reduce illegal theft of creative content by large-scale piracy sites,” MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement. “Actions like these help protect the livelihoods of the 1.9 million hard-working Americans whose jobs are supported by the motion picture and television industry – and a legal market that generates $16.3 billion in exports for the U.S. economy.”

It wasn’t easy to get hold of Vauln. Federal agents could nab him only after posing as a prospective advertiser on Kickass Torrents. They linked Vaulin to the piracy site after identifying that the IP addresses he allegedly used to make Apple iTunes purchases on two different occasions in 2015 were the same ones used to log into the KAT Facebook page around the same dates.

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