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KickassTorrents founder granted bail

By | Published on Wednesday 24 May 2017


The founder of file-sharing platform KickassTorrents – Artem Vaulin – has been released on bail nearly a year after he was arrested in Poland.

As previously reported, the US authorities moved to shut down the popular file-sharing service last July. At the same time Ukrainian Vaulin was arrested in Poland and the Americans began extradition proceedings in a bid to force the Kickass man to face criminal copyright infringement charges in a US court.

Previous attempts by Vaulin to secure bail had been unsuccessful, even after he spent some time in hospital being treated for severe back pain. But, according to The Verge, which has interviewed Vaulin, bail was finally granted last Thursday, despite a court initially refusing bail once again earlier in the same week.

According to his lawyers, the former Kickass chief was ordered to post bail of $108,000 and to give up his passport. He will now have to stay in Poland until the ongoing extradition process has gone through all its motions.

Welcoming the latest development, the US lawyer representing Vaulin Stateside, Ira Rothken, said: “We are pleased that the Polish court allowed Artem Vaulin to be free on bail. This will allow Artem to care for his health, be with his family, and assist in his legal defence”.

At stage one of the extradition process in March the Polish court considering the case gave the green light for Vaulin to be extradited to the US. Though a second court has to also consider the application and the country’s Minister Of Justice must also sign-off on any extradition. Vaulin could also appeal to Poland’s Supreme Court, so there are still plenty of stages to come in the extradition process.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Rothken is still trying to have the case against his client dismissed on the basis that KickassTorrents could only be accused of so called secondary or contributory infringement, which – he argues – is not a matter for criminal law. That argument is based on the fact KickassTorrents only facilitated the infringement of others, rather than being directly involved in the distribution of infringing content.