U.S. Looks to Prosecute Owner of Kickass Torrents After Arrest in Poland

Artem Vaulin is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images

The Justice Department has announced that it has charged Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old native from Ukraine with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and money laundering in connection with the operation of Kickass Torrents.

In a press release, law enforcement calls KAT the "most-visited illegal file-sharing website," with 50 million unique monthly visitors and allegedly responsible for enabling users to distribute films, television shows, and video games valued at more than $1 billion.

Vaulin was arrested today in Poland, says the Justice Department, which is now moving to seek extradition.

"His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice," says assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell.

In recent months, Kickass Torrents has reportedly reacted against ISP blockades in several countries by joining the dark web. The feds say they have seized domain names associated with KAT.

The U.S. government will now attempt to do to Vaulin what it has for the last four years been trying with Kim Dotcom, the leader of Megaupload, who was indicted on similar grounds and is still fighting extradition efforts. 

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