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Kickass remains offline despite the clones

By | Published on Tuesday 26 July 2016

Kickass Torrents

A former Kickass Torrents team member has confirmed that the various mirrors of the file-sharing platform that are still available online are not fully-working versions of the site, while he and others have cautioned people against signing up to KAT clones, which may be scams designed to distribute malware or grab logins and passwords and such like.

While it wasn’t initially clear whether the arrest of the alleged boss of Kickass Torrents in Poland last week had actually taken the leading file-sharing hub offline, that does indeed seem to be the case. The US authorities – targeting servers used by the file-sharing operation in North America – seized various domains linked to Kickass as well as launching extradition proceedings against alleged overseer Artem Vaulin.

The former team member, going by the name Mr Black, spoke to Torrentfreak as an online community for those who used to help run the file-sharing site was launched. Though members of that community – former moderators and admins – don’t seem to have access to any Kickass code, having never had any direct connection with the site’s owner.

Of the online community, Black said: “We need to remember that Kickass Torrents is not simply about uploading, the heart and soul of KAT is our members, which are family and family is important as we all know. Nothing can ever take that away and no matter what happens we will not let our community down”. He then added that “we guarantee that KAT will continue in one form or another and we will come back stronger than ever”, though it’s not entirely clear what that means.

Of course it remains to be seen if the US can successfully extradite Vaulin and, if so, what defence the KAT man will use in court, assuming it can be proven he ran the file-sharing operation. Black claims that the charges against Vaulin are “murky” at best. Though that mainly relies on the golden oldie file-sharing excuse: “KAT didn’t actually host any copyright infringing files, we’ve never hear of ‘contributory infringement’, so that’s all fine, right?” Though he did then add the more contemporary “DMCA compliance” excuse too.

It seems unlikely either of those defences would stand up in an American court if Vaulin ever got there and used them. Though whether that means that KAT is basically dead in the long-term remains to be seen. Meanwhile that other file-sharing hub, which has proven very resilient over the years despite spectacularly failing in court with the “but we didn’t host any content” excuse – The Pirate Bay – has enjoyed a considerable traffic boost since its big rival’s demise last week.