KickassTorrent, commonly abbreviated KAT, was a controversial file sharing website the BitTorrent protocol. KickassTorrent, peer-to-peer file-sharing site, became the world’s biggest piracy hub and promoted copyrighted content. Kickass Torrents (KAT cr) was founded in 2008 and by November 2014, KAT became the most visited BitTorrent directory in the world, overtaking The Pirate Bay.
In July 2017, Kickass Torrents (KAT cr) was taken down by the United States authorities after its owner Artem Vaulin was arrested for hosting copyrighted material.
In this article, you will learn what was KickassTorrent and the legal issues surrounding KickAss Torrents.
What Was KickassTorrent?
KickassTorrent, also known as KAT, was founded in 2008 and was of the most popular illegal torrenting sites on the internet, until its founder, Artem Vaulin was arrested for hosting copyrighted material by the United States Department of Justice in 2016. In 2017, the original Kickass Torrents (KAT) site was shut down.
The peer-to-peer file-sharing site KickassTorrent became the world’s biggest piracy hub after The Pirate Bay went offline after promoting copyrighted content. The popular site used the BitTorrent protocol that allowed file sharing. Users could share files including music, movies, TV shows, software and much more.
Kickass Torrents allowed users to search, download and contribute magnet links and torrent files, which facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing among users of the BitTorrent protocol.
Kickass Torrent was no stranger to attracting the attention of legal authorities and legal complaints from movie studios, music companies and other content providers whose works can be found on KickAssTorrent.
Was KickAssTorrent Legal in South Africa?
KickAssTorrent was not legal in South Africa, however, the South African government has not blocked the new Kickass Torrent domain and proxies in South Africa. The list of countries that have blocked the site is growing and in the US alone, more than 1000+ copyright violation lawsuits have been filed against those who used the site.
In South Africa, you can still access the Kickass Torrent domain and proxies, but many countries such as the US, Greece and Romania have made it even more difficult to access the site. For privacy, security and legal reasons, the site strongly recommends torrenters to use a VPN (a virtual private network) each time they torrent.
Why Is The New Kickass Torrents Website Not Blocked in South Africa?
Torrent sites as Kickass Torrents are killing the music and movie industry in South Africa, but why is the site not blocked? Although torrenting itself remains legal in many countries, downloading and sharing copyrighted material without permission is illegal in South Africa.
Since peer-to-peer (P2P) sites can be utilized for both unauthorized and legal file-sharing, different countries have different policies toward KickassTorrent proxy and mirrors. Maybe this is one of the reasons South Africa has not blocked KickassTorrent proxy and mirrors. However, it’s not South Africa alone which hasn’t blocked the site. Countries such as Switzerland, Brazil, Belarus, Hong Kong and Canada, torrenting currently exists in a legal gray area.
Do not assume that KickassTorrent is legal in South Africa just because you got away with it. Downloading copyrighted material could result in a heavy fine or jail. There are harsh penalties against those who torrent files.
How Can My ISP Tell I’m Using KickassTorrent?
How can your Internet service provider (ISP) tell if you are using KickassTorrent? How do they know? Your ISP cannot instantly detect if you are using KickassTorrent or tell what you are downloading from it. Most torrent users have some form of encryption, which makes it very hard for your internet service provider to narrow down the BitTorrent traffic. However, ISPs have some ways to tell you are using BitTorrent.
Many ISPs that detect that you’re using BitTorrent to download something, may slow your connection if you are downloading large files since torrents consume a lot of bandwidth. Communicating with multiple IP addresses and downloading many files at the same time can also help your ISP to tell if you’re using BitTorrent.
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