In what seems to be a major move in the fight against online piracy, the United States Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) has recently arrested the founder of one of the world's most popular torrent websites, KickassTorrents. The 30-year old Ukrainian national, Artem Vaulin, was arrested in Poland late last month and was charged with multiple copyright infringement counts. The arrest was also accompanied by the removal of the website, which until then had more than a million users online on a daily basis.
Upon his arrest, Vaulin was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, two counts of criminal copyright infringement, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. To face his charges in court, the KickassTorrents founder has apparently sought the counsel of Ira Rothken, the lawyer famously known for defending the online millionaire, Kim Dotcom. The owner of Megaupload is currently also fighting several extradition cases, but has, for the most part, evaded custody for the past several years.
In a public statement, Vaulin's lawyer mentioned that there was no case against his client, let alone any criminal case.
"This case of KickassTorrents, we're not able to find any cases, especially criminal cases, where a hyperlink was considered direct wilful infringement. We believe that the US case here is without merit and ultimately the folks involved with that will win as a matter of law. This case by the US is an attack, using the criminal laws, on BitTorrent technology generally," Rothken said, as cited by Ars Technica.
It isn't quite clear as of the moment what the outcome of the proceedings will be and if Vaulin will be facing any jail time. For now, one thing is for sure: The closure of the KickassTorrents website has dealt a very significant blow to the industry and more so to the growing BitTorrent community.