Feds in Chicago charge owner of illegal file-sharing site

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by dawg, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    ct-kickass-torrents-copyright-charges-chicago--001.jpg

    For years, the file-sharing site Kickass Torrents has enabled users around the world to illegally reproduce hundreds of millions of copies of copyrighted material, from hit Hollywood films to the latest video games, TV shows and songs, federal authorities allege.

    As the site grew into a multimillion-dollar business, its owner, Ukrainian-born Artem Vaulin, has managed to stay one step ahead of authorities, changing domain names and moving his servers from country to country to throw off investigations before charges could be brought, authorities say.

    That changed Wednesday, when federal prosecutors in Chicago announced sweeping copyright infringement charges against Vaulin, alleging he allowed the illegal sharing of more than $1 billion worth of copyright-protected material.

    Vaulin was arrested by authorities in Poland on Wednesday, according to the U.S. attorney's office. He was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in Chicago with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement, authorities say.

    The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

    Federal prosecutors will seek Vaulin's extradition to the U.S., a process that could take weeks. In addition to the charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert earlier this month ordered the seizure of seven domain names associated with the alleged conspiracy, court records show.

    "Copyright infringement exacts a large toll, a very human one, on the artists and businesses whose livelihood hinges on their creative inventions," U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said in a statement.

    According to the 50-page complaint, Kickass Torrents, also known by its acronym KAT, was founded in 2008 and is currently the 69th most-visited website, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors. It operates in at least 28 languages, and has a net worth estimated at $54 million.

    The site relies on a network of computer servers around the world, including Chicago, Costa Rica and the Pacific island nation of Tonga, according to the complaint.

    Court records show that as part of the investigation, agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security executed a search warrant in January on KAT servers housed at the Chicago Board of Trade building at 141 W. Jackson Blvd.

    Vaulin, who used the online screen name "tirm," helped design KAT's original website and oversaw the company's vast operations, according to the complaint. Recently, Vaulin operated under the guise of a Ukrainian-based front company called Cryptoneat, authorities say.

    Over the years, KAT has been the subject of numerous seizures and copyright lawsuits, and has been ordered blocked by courts across Europe, the complaint states. Despite the legal action, KAT has consistently offered copyright-protected movies for download, including many that were still in theaters at the time, authorities say.

    In March, the Motion Picture Association of America estimated that based on the number of KAT downloads of just six recent movie titles — including the blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — it had lost more than $324,000 in revenue.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...right-charges-chicago-met-20160720-story.html
     
  2. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    :depressed:
     
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  3. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    Drunks that kill people in car accidents get less time.
     
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  4. VarmintSam

    VarmintSam Well-Known Member VIP Gold

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    Get a seedbox kids
     
  5. Nickthedick

    Nickthedick Absotutely

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    @banksy
     
  6. Who-Me?

    Who-Me? Active Member

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    Sad day, I love kat.
     
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  7. TonyJax

    TonyJax White Privilege Denied. VIP

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    He could have learned a thing or two from Hilary.
     
  8. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    everything is politics on this forum nowadays, even stories about file sharing :facepalm:
     
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  9. Johnnykstaint

    Johnnykstaint VIP Extreme Gold

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    Shut 'em all down as far as im concerned. Movies are not that expensive.
     
  10. SorryBoff

    SorryBoff Well-Known Member

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    How does law enforcement in Chicago have time for this when there are shooting victims lying around everywhere?
     
  11. banksy

    banksy You wrote "I love you" in lipstick on the mirror VIP

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    What
     
  12. rebelfan

    rebelfan Active Member

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    A misuse of Home Land Security assets imo.
     
  13. Tranquil

    Tranquil Well-Known Member

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    This is a sad day.
     
  14. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    I blame Bush.
     
  15. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    Plenty more where KATs came from.
    Fuck the MAN.
     
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  16. Tranquil

    Tranquil Well-Known Member

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    I was quite fond of KATs, but yea there are plenty more out there.
     
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  17. EasyJesus

    EasyJesus Pappy Gold

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