THE AUTHORITIES took a little time but they have shut down the Kickass Torrents (KAT) tribute clone that sprang up after they went to great effort to close the original, and after the original's founders revealed their plans to recreate the site.
The newly shattered mirror site came out of IsoHunt's user forums almost immediately after the FBI took over the official KAT.am site. This is no longer available, according to our searches, but a cache of the same link shows what used to be going on through that cat flap. And, yes, it does rhyme with ‘viracy'.
TorrentFreak informed interested parties that the site is the victim of a letter from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). These letters are a bit like Howlers in the Harry Potter books and send the fear of the law through recipients.
TorrentFreak has seen this particular missive, and reported that it is mildly threatening and very direct.
"This notice requires you to immediately (within 24 hours) take effective measures to end and prevent further copyright infringement. All opportunities provided by the website to download, stream or otherwise obtain access to the entertainment content should be disabled permanently," the letter said.
A person associated with KAT.am told TorrentFreak that the decision was made for them when the MPAA pulled the switch on the service and its servers. Someone will presumably get round to seizing the domain soon, but until then users should expect the disappointment of an error page, and just move on to another option.
sementara itu:— troy. (@imajinasijoker) July 28, 2016
"The authorities suspended our original domain Kat.am, we have now shifted to kickass.mx. Spread the word out..."
Besides, the original KAT is coming back better, or badder if you are a copyright holder, than it was when it was shut down at the source.
The KAT.am replacement shot up to fill the KAT gap, and a number of other proxies survived the official shutdown axe, but the team behind the original effort has not sat on its hands. One of them, of course, has been arrested, but others have been busy.
They appear to have learned from mistakes that others have already learned for them. Kickass Torrents was using servers housed in the US, something that Kim Dotcom cottoned on to a few years ago. It also used servers in Canada, which may not have been the wisest choice.
The Verge has the details on the new site and said that they came via an email from KAT.am. The missive claims that the site is "hosted on multiple cloud servers to prevent blockade, and the hosting information is well hidden behind CloudFlare".
That's not all, as a mobile version has been promised and, despite a presumed evisceration from the boys in blue, the site will retain some of its original material.
The anonymous source promised that the new site "will [have] the complete torrent database of KAT, including the comments [and] user information, intact".
The US Department of Justice and a range of police enforcement people shut down Kickass only last week. The site's alleged administrator was arrested in Poland and given a potential one-way ticket to the US.
However, a user of IsoHunt, a search engine for the kind of litter that Kickass put out, has already relaunched the site in a kind of tribute.
That version of the site looks and feels like its predecessor, and performs a very similar service.
If anyone from HBO is reading (we assume such sites are blocked at the broadcaster's offices) we can tell you that Game of Thrones is on there despite all your best efforts.
The DoJ said that Apple played a role in helping to find 30-year-old Ukrainian Artem Vaulin, who is thought to be the administrator of the site that has parted cocaine, profits and ego from media companies to the tune of $2bn, according to the charge sheet.
The full criminal complaint (PDF) is 48 pages, so make a cup of tea and get comfy if you want to read it.
Facebook also played a role, according to the DoJ, because it was an IP address and an email used with an Apple account that tracked Vaulin to his location and led to his sudden popularity among government agents.
"On July 31st 2015 records provided by Apple show that the me.com account was used to purchase something on iTunes. The logs show that the same IP address was used on the same day to access the Kickass Facebook page," reported Engadget.
"After Kickass began accepting bitcoin donations in 2012, $72,767 was moved into a Coinbase account in Vaulin's name. That bitcoin wallet was registered with the same me.com email address."
We asked Apple and Facebook if they have anything to say about their apparent roles. They were not keen. µ
The week in Google
The scandal that just keeps giving
Clip to the end....