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July 21, 2016 | International

U.S. Justice Department Shuts Shut Down Kickass Torrents, Arrests Principal Operator

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has “charged the alleged owner of today’s most visited illegal file sharing website with criminal copyright infringement and have seized the domain names associated with the website.”  More details, via the Justice Department, on the news here. Below is a comment from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman.

“In one of the most significant intellectual property enforcement actions since the shuttering of MegaUpload, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the single largest pirate bittorrent site, Kickass Torrents, has been shut down and the principal operator of the site was arrested.  Kickass Torrents operated what amounted to the world’s largest stolen property ring where billions of copies of stolen intellectual property – movies, music, games and software – were distributed through the site over the years.  The creators received nothing, but the operators of Kickass Torrents most assuredly made handsome profits off the tens of millions of users and hundreds of millions of visits to the site each month.

“This is yet another example of a problem that is multi-jurisdictional in nature where no one country or law enforcement agency can mount effective enforcement alone.  Fortunately, Homeland Security Investigations working with prosecutors in Chicago were able to organize a multi-national law enforcement operation that was as far-reaching as the site’s operation.  It demonstrates not only outstanding leadership on the part of the U.S. investigative team, but also reflects an enormous commitment to bringing to justice those who would brazenly profit from the theft of the works of U.S. creators.

“We are grateful for the outstanding work of U.S. law enforcement and their partners outside the United States whose joint efforts put a stop to this massive theft.  In a music industry that depends upon legal digital distribution platforms for the majority of its revenues, targeted criminal actions play an important role in protecting the ability of creators to earn a living.  This case shows that individuals who use the veil of anonymity of the Internet to make a business of preying upon the creative industries are not beyond the reach of the law.”

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Jonathan Lamy



Liz Kennedy