Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal

Kickass lawyers demand America’s criminal case be dismissed

By | Published on Wednesday 19 October 2016

Kickass Torrents

Lawyers representing the alleged owner of KickassTorrents have filed papers with the US courts demanding that the entire case against their client be dismissed.

As previously reported, Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland earlier this year at the request of the US government, which wants to extradite him to face charges of copyright infringement and money laundering in relation to the Kickass file-sharing operation.

He subsequently hired the services of Ira Rothken, the American lawyer who has been leading the defence of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotom as he fights extradition attempts and copyright infringement charges in relation to his old business.

The American authorities have now begun the process of trying to extradite Vaulin, who is from Ukraine, to the US. In the meantime, Rothken is trying to have the whole case dismissed from within America, filing papers with a federal court in Illinois.

As expected, Rothken’s legal argument is that KickassTorrents did not actually host any infringing content, and that while the site may be liable for so called secondary or contributory infringement – for encouraging or enabling others to infringe – under US law that is a civil rather than criminal matter.

Legal papers filed on behalf of Vaulin argue that: “[This] indictment would make defendant responsible for infringements committed by former visitors to KAT who are acting in an entirely different online context. In the global connected culture, such elastic expansions of criminal exposure cannot be permitted to stand absent overt action by Congress updating the Copyright Act”.

The US government is expected to respond to these arguments in due course.

Meanwhile, now you’ve brought up music piracy, you might be interested to know that the next CMU Insights masterclass is called ‘From Napster To Now – The Battle With Music Piracy’ and explores and explains the music industry’s various efforts to tackle online piracy. It takes place next Monday in London, info and tickets here.

Here is a little Insights Blog we just published ahead of the event.